This season snow arrived early. It was in late September when the snow level dropped below 1500m above the sea level. Jošt, a photographer friend of mine called me if we go out to photograph these conditions. We decided to go to Vršič pass as it would give us access to high peaks of Julian Alps relatively easily. Also, we could spend a night at the nearby mountain hut.
Evening at Šitna Glava
The first day was promising. The Vršič pass was covered in snow, just enough to make it look wintery and not too much for walking. First we decided to climb Mt Mala Mojstrovka where we wanted to photograph the sunset. About half way up we got to the steep wall where the ice and rocks were falling down. It was just too risky to pass this exposed part of the trail without our helmets.
Plan B was to climb Šitna Glava instead. This is a nearby peak, located in between Vršič and Mt Mojstrovka. It offers amazing views so it was a good alternative. The trail to Šitna glava is unmarked and it was also covered with snow. We had to navigate by feel and I believe we followed the trail more or less to the top. Once we reached the peak the weather has completely changed. No more sun, the west was clouded in and as we realised from the top, clouds were rolling in from the north fast.
Soon we were wrapped in clouds, snow started to fall and we heard a distant thunder – a sure sign to go off the mountain! We did manage to get some great shots. A walk down the mountain in snow blizzard was an exciting experience that I will remember for a long time!
From Vršič pass to Prednje Robičje
We woke up at 4.30AM to start our hike towards Slemenova špica. About half way up we changed our plans for two reasons, the snow was more or less blown off the trees and we noticed the fog rolling over Vršič pass – a promising sight for morning photography!
We climbed Prednje Robičje instead. This was a good call – as soon as we reached the top we realised it’s going to be an epic morning. This location allowed us to photograph in all directions. First thing we did was to photograph ourselves with headlamps. Soon the light started to become very interesting and the clouds were rolling around the nearby peaks, we were photographing like crazy. We waited to see the sun peaking out from behind of Mt Škrlatica and returned to the valley for coffee and breakfast.
Our two day trip to Vršič pass turned out really well. We hiked up to two interesting peaks with great views and got a nice portfolio of wintery images. Wet feet, bruised knees from sliding off snow covered rocks and short sleep was a small price to pay for this experience!