Daily Miles: 7
Total Miles: 165
We had a good night of sleep last night. A lot of times the beds in the huts are too small for Beardoh at 6’5”. Sleeping in short beds is something he is used to, but a lot of the beds have a foot board, which prevents him from being able to stretch out. He has to stay curled up at night and it bothers his legs. Last night’s bed had no footboard, so he was able to sleep more comfortably.
We had breakfast at 8am and then packed up our stuff. We were on the trail by 9am. The first stretch of the SMT today was supposed to be technical, so we found an alternate which wouldn’t be technical.
The trail we chose was quite nice at first and then went into a steep downhill through what seemed like a rock slide. There were small switchbacks created in the rocks, but it was still very loose and slippery. The going was very slow, but finally we made it down the steep section.
Shortly after, we came to a hut where there were a lot of day hikers getting drinks and meals. We stopped in and got a cold drink and a piece of apple strudel. We eventually decided to continue walking even though it was really hot and we knew we had a big climb.
The trail we took was quite good, climbing steeply for about forty minutes before leveling out. We headed downhill for a bit before connecting again to the SMT. As the trail started to climb again, it really felt like we were heading into the alpine zone. There were lots of incredible views today as we got higher in elevation.
The mountains we are currently hiking through, the Karavanke range of the Alps, go right along the border between Slovenia and Austria. We even started to see trail signs for the Austrian trail system. The red and white bullseye that is our trail marker, got a green circle added, and we suspect this has something to do with the trail passing into Austria.
Our final climb of the day was up a long steep scree slope. It was not trail that SweetPea was comfortable on. As we got higher and higher on the slope, she got even more uncomfortable. That meant that things really slowed down and the climb took even longer.
Eventually we made it up to the top of the ridge, where the walking was on nice firm grass…quite a treat after the slippery scree. The hut was only a few minutes further, just below the peak of Stohl mountain. This is probably the highest hut that we have stayed at. It is right on the edge of the range, with views out to the flatlands below…we even have a great view of Lake Bled.
It is quite windy here…there is even a windmill right outside our window. There are also sheep grazing around the hut and we can hear their bells and also their bleating right outside our window. Hopefully they’ll be ready to go to sleep when we do.