#SkiLocal - Karavanke

The days are adding up quickly this season; roughly 20 ski days have already accumulated, and pretty much all of them have been at my local playground. Hard core local person… I know.

There are a lot of ideas for descents in a winter like this and I have a feeling that I won’t be able to ski them all. Korenščica, Struška, Bevska, Bevščica, Seče, Kočna, Medji dol, Čez Rt etc., and this is just a warm-up. The routes on the northern Austrian side are next in line. The starting point for all this? Javorniški Rovt.

Most tours start in Javorniski Rovt, or at the Pristava lodge. The unplowed road toward the Pusti Rovt mountain has a moderate incline, thus making it a good warm up section. There are quite a few possibilities which way to continue. The most pleasant one continues along the road that leads to Bevska Planina or Svecica. It will take you another hour to reach the highest point - the top of mount Struška, in total about 3 hours.

Mountain tops are usually not the main objective of my ski touring. My direction of ascent and skiing is mainly decided on the basis of current snow and avalanche conditions. Acquiring the knowledge on snow, avalanches and the use of avalanche equipment is definitely a time consuming activity, as well as a significant financial investment. But, in my opinion it represents the best investment one can make to enjoy skiing and to keep the ski touring a safe outdoor activity.

I admit, I am boasting of someone else`s merit. I was born in Ljubljana and moved to “Rovte” only three years ago. The real local is my wife Petra. She was the first to introduce me to this part of the Karavanke mountain region. “What an amazing area for fitness”, was the first thing on my mind. However, over the past three years I am seeing more and more potential this area has for ski touring.

Just counting altitude meters on skis seems ridiculous to me today. This region offers so much more. Playful skiing in the trees, backcountry locations with good snow, long tours to the north side, floating through powder, where 106 under foot is barely enough. Altitude meters are thus accumulating along the way. Upper body exercise, however, is maintained by shoveling snow almost every day. This is recommended to avoid the village children starting to make an igloo on your car. This, too, is an essential part of the winter fairy tale we are currently experiencing.

I believe Slovenia offers many places where skiing ideas do not run out. Given this year’s situation, the ascent efforts are well paid on the descents. With the right equipment and knowledge, a smile will be a regular guest of your face. Happy, locally grown 2021!

Luka Stražar

IFMGA Mountain Guide

"The Reading Badge was not my strongest point, as I preferred various mountaineering books and manuals to school recommended literature. Ski Touring Guide and The Secrets of Untouched Slopes were my favourites. I was lucky enough to get to know the back side of the mountains with my father as a child. These days I am happy to spend both my working days and my spare time on skis. As an IFMGA Mountain Guide, I am reassured to know I can rely on my equipment. I can always count on the quality of Elan skis when guiding the ski touring, freeride or heliski tours."