National Park Paklenica, Part II (Climbing Chronicles #4)
Dear fellow climbers and Steemians,
I love the outdoors and climbing in particular. I want to share this passion with you and maybe I’m able to lure you in, who knows? Before we start with the fourth story of the Climbing Chronicles, let me tell you a little more about the concept.
First and foremost the Climbing Chronicles will be stories telling you about climbing experiences that I had. But they won’t stop there because there is more to it, the climbing lifestyle, the beautiful nature, and the people you meet.
Rest Day in Zadar
In part one we got down to National Park Paklenica and enjoyed the first days of climbing while getting used to limestone. The weather was beautiful and therefore we climbed straight for the first four days! Exhausted we decided to do a rest day in Zadar, about a 45 minutes drive from National Park Paklenica.
Zadar is a harbor city with a beautiful ancient city center and a lot of great restaurants and cafes.
The narrow alleys of Zadar are build by limestone stone and are polished, to the extent that they look like a mirror, by the thousands of people walking across them every day. Walking through those narrow alleys on a beautiful autumn day, you get reminded of the close neighborhood of Croatia to Italy. And this is not by chance, as Zadar was part of the Venetian empire from the 15th to the 18th century. Even the pizza here tastes amazing!
Exhausted by all the walking we grabbed a beer and set down at the harbor beside the sea organ and listened to it. The sea organ is unique and one of the tourist attractions of Zadar. When the waves hit the harbor's wall they press water into a construction underneath which presses air up through organ pipes. When the waves now role along the harbor's wall you can hear the ocean sing! It's an incredible experience.
When going back to the car I almost ruined the beautiful day we just had. When pulling out the car keys I didn't grab them right, so they fell out of my hand. Remember, we were just beside the harbor's wall! They slid and slid and ... stopped literally centimeters before the edge! My heartbeat stopped for a second and beat with relief even stronger afterward.
Getting some climbing done
Relaxed and recovered from the key shock we started climbing again the next day. In the morning we went to a sector called Olymp which is a thirty-minute scramble into a side arm of Velika Paklenica. On the way, I made one of the most beautiful pictures of the trip! Which I also chose as the opening picture for the first post.
The arch is also a climbing sector called "Hram" but was not the goal today. We kept on going up and got to Olymp! It is basically a flat, vertical/slightly overhanging wall with ruff little structures and dominant cracks which remind of lightning. One line through was called Had (6a). A line using all the best holds of the cracks, about 25 meters long and really pumpy!
Me leading the route 'Had'.
My wife following top rope.
After a short lunch break, a friend and I teamed up to do a multi-pitch route called 'Danaja' (5b) at the right side of the so-called Stup of Anica Kuk. The route is 120 meters long and divided into three pitches.
Here you can see our goal. If you look closely you can see the climber atop the Stup, this is where we want to go (from the other side though).
The first pitch feels like proper alpine climbing: not to hard, scattered features and not to much protection. The second one was interesting face climbing and probably the hardest one (hard when you compare it to 5b sport climbing) with some weird moves. The third pitch was an almost 50-meter long pitch leading around a corner after the first 15 meters. This meant that I couldn't see or here my climbing partner and you are thrown back to your intuition what a pulling on the rope means.
It went all right, so after one and a half hours of climbing we topped out, sitting on top of the Stup. What a feeling with the strong Bora wind blowing in your face and a 120-meter drop all around.
If you look closely you can find the part of the picture I use for my blog. :-) As we started late and the sun was already down we had to hurry a little to get back down before it got completely dark. Walking down we realized that we were really hungry! Luckily just at the entrance of the National Park, there is a beautiful restaurant called Marasovic which serves some delicious seafood and an amazing carbonara! What an incredible day!!!
Enough for today! The next time I take you climbing to a smaller crack outside of Velika Paklenica, called Vaganac and we will see the unbelievably beautiful gem of nature called Plitvice Lakes.
I wish you all a happy New Year!
Ps: If you think, National Park Paklenica is familiar to you, it might be that you get reminded of Winnetou! The films were shot there!!! :-)
If you haven't read part one you find it here.