Valentines in the Julian Alps Chasing virgin powder in Slovenia

30-40 cm of fresh and bludbird. That`s valentines.

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After a long week in the office one thing was certain. Deadpool would be the box office hit of this Valentines weekend. Since I am not at all a fan of these kind of institutionalized “holidays” I had completely forgotten about it. Our plan had nothing to do with candle light dinners. The weather forecast was a tad bit questionable. So would we score some virgin fresh powder for Valentines ?

Late on Friday we already had a plan. We would meet up at 6 am. Erjavec, Smrekar, Slak and myself would be taking the first tram up to Vogel and go away from the resort, as the whole of Slovenia would likely be shredding the mountain for the  30 cm of fresh powder that had amassed over a meter that had fallen two days prior. We would  head away into the direction of Vogel peak. But at the last minute, we changed our plan.

Jernej, with whom I had done a little evening tour on Sorica a few days earlier, had a more interesting proposition. Why not head to Pokljuka into the national park and check Viševnik. From there we could head into the direction of the big Draški peak. Winter holidays would be starting and the number of tour-skiers would be minimal. Also they don`t shred the lines we do so.. lots of fresh for us. A few minutes later we were decided.. that would be it, but before you read the rest of the story check out the Edit Simon made 🙂

We arrived at Pokljuka and the parking lot was remarkably empty. That was a good sign. We headed up to Viševnik peak to see where we could go from there.

The weather was bluebeird deluxe, the kind you see in the tourism brochures, but there was one problem. Temperatures. After ascending for an hour it was clear that we would have to be quick. At noon the south faces would start dropping like flies next to a an insect bulb.

I was waiting for this one.
I was waiting for this one.

Almost at the top on the ridge we checked the east and the north side. Bam Jackpot. We descended down each in his own unique style. I found a little blown in chute for the kick you get from speeding out into the open face. So much fun. After a long northern virgin descend taken first by Jernej and concluded by straight line charger Gašper with a funny tomahawk, we were  tracking up again to the pass looking at the direction of Ablanca. Another great western run awaited in the shade.

Jernej dropped in on a peculiar drop and we soon followed follow cam style. It was quite long and at the bottom it was time for a break. After all we had tracked all the way up and a group of four people had followed us. We decided it was time they extend the favor so they would track first. Our plan was to go from the ridge at Ablanca to the top and drop into a chute on the north side. Unfortunately at the ridge the weather was starting to close up and it was quite late in the tour so we decided it better to just ride down,  descend to Planina Konjščica, ascend  a little to Viševnik`s ridge and return to Pokljuka trough some nice and dense woods, where as per usual I managed to befriend another “drevca” :P.

We made a few nice lines from direction Viševnik.
We made a few nice lines from direction Viševnik.

Kind of thinking of it this was the best Valentines in a while. Spending time with an awesome group of passionate friends in the mountains is what it is all about. And again it was a day where you could say “Lots of friends on powder days” :).

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