Daily Miles: 5
Total Miles: 96
We had a really good night in the container. Leah showed up about 5pm, but we never saw the hiker from France that we were expecting (we got an email from him today that he continued on to the next hut, so we won’t end up meeting him). We slept pretty good and we woke up to blue skies and pretty warm temperatures.
We had a bit to eat, packed up our bags, swept out the container and then headed up the trail. We had a good climb up to a ridge, where we expected to come to a trail junction and then do a dog-leg off to a high peak called Ojstrica. Somehow we missed the junction and didn’t realize it for a bit. Once we realized we had passed the junction, we decided to just skip it instead of backtracking.
As we stopped to take a break and try to understand where we were, two girls passed up going up to the peak. It turns out they were the only other people we saw on the trail all day.
The views today were pretty epic. It seemed like every way you turned at each point on the trail, there was an incredible view. We took a lot of photos and a lot of panoramic photos to try and capture just how beautiful it was.
The trail had several stretches of “very difficult” trail today. The sections felt a bit more sketchy than yesterday, mostly because there were very few rebar posts and almost no via feratta until the end of the day. It just felt like we wanted more reinforcements in areas which felt very exposed. With this kind of walking, we feel like we need to be very focused and alert to each step, which can be mentally exhausting in addition to the physical exhaustion of the trail.
We took more breaks today than normal. Since it was a short day, we stopped for breaks to give ourselves a rest from the exertion and to eat more snacks to keep our energy level up. We did start to notice some dark clouds coming in during late morning, so we kept it in our minds that we wanted to get to the hut before any rain started.
In the early afternoon, we came to a pass and could see our hut, Kaminska Koča, nestled down in a saddle. It looked pretty amazing with the hut just sitting in the middle of nowhere. Yesterday was our first hut that we have passed that is not car accessible, so we are still getting used to seeing a hut in such a remote location. Even though the hut seemed so close, it took us awhile to get down to it, as the trail got very difficult.
We finally got to the stretch of trail with quite a bit of cables and rebar posts. We both put on our harnesses and via feratta kits (we had already been wearing our helmets and leather gloves most of the day). This was Beardoh’s first time hooking into the cables and it was the first time for both of us going downhill with the cables.
It was pretty slow going and a bit sketchy in places between cables if there wasn’t a rebar post. Usually SweetPea tends to get nervous on difficult trail much more than Beardoh, but today the via ferrata felt very much outside of Beardoh’s comfort zone. The via ferrata at the end of the day was going down what felt like a sheet rock face where we only had a very narrow foothold to walk down. Definitely enough to give anyone shaky legs.
We finally made it down to the hut and breathed a huge sigh of relief. We checked in with the hut manager and then sat down and enjoyed a drink. We made it to the hut by 2:15pm and were completely content to relax at the hut for the rest of the afternoon.
We washed up a bit in the sink (there are no showers here since they are in a bit of a drought) and then headed to the dining room. Leah arrived at the hut and we had dinner with her (cabbage and bean soup for SweetPea and pasta with zucchini and tomatoes for Beardoh). We both also had chocolate cake which was delicious.
It looks like tomorrow will be a bit longer distance-wise, but with fewer stretches of “very difficult” trail, so hopefully it will feel a bit easier.