Smolnik hill is a popular training destination for locals. It lies above Završnica valley which is a very popular destination for hikers, cyclist and families. A number of hiking paths lead through the Zavrsnica valley in the direction of the Smokuska Highland (Smokuska planina), Tincek’s Hut (Tinckova koca), the Zelenica ski area, the peak of Vrtaca or towards the Valvasor Mountain Hut (Valvasorjev dom). The Valvasor Hut is a favourite destination among local hikers and is also the most popular start point for the hike to Stol, the highest peak of the Karavanke range, 2236m. From the top of Stol you can enjoy spectacular views of Julian Alps with Triglav, my hometown Jesenice and the vast countryside stretching all the way to Ljubljana.
Smolnik used to be a rather unknown peak on the way to Valvasor Hut but gained a lot of popularity lately, due to a race to the top that takes place every October. Smolnik is not very high, but it’s very, very steep. It only takes 20 minutes or so to reach the top, but if you are giving out everything you have, it can be pretty painful. Views at the top are pretty nice, especially over Završnica valley. But this time I wanted to make mystic, foggy images of this short trip and I think they turned out just great.
I really enjoy walking in a foggy forest, the contrast is amazing.
A short flat section in the middle gives you a chance to catch up your breath and get ready for the steepest part.
View from the top was very different on this particular day.
The way down leads through a dark forest that has a special atmosphere on a foggy day.
Road leading to Završnica valley.
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