The ascent from Rudno polje
Hiking in Slovenia
The start of
Across the ski slope
You begin the ascent of Viševnik from Rudno polje, one of the westernmost alps on the Pokljuka plateau, which is reached by an asphalt road from Mrzli studenec across Pokljuka. Back in the times of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy a military barracks was erected on Rudno polje; opposite this is a carpark, which you can use. There are no signposts for Viševnik here, only one directing you to Triglav. Since we know Viševnik is nearer Triglav than Pokljuka is, it is sensible to follow this and take the forest road past the military barracks to the ski grounds on Pokljuka.
The forest road leads you to the right past the ski slope as far as the junction where the road towards Vodnikov dom (and Triglav) branches off to the left, but you continue towards the right, back onto the ski slope, which you cross. At the end of the grassy slope the macadam road turns back into the forest, but a signpost for Viševnik will direct you left, onto a narrow cart-track, which climbs steeply up the ski slope right beneath the ski lift.
After the first few metres of this ascent, it will be clear what lies ahead – the path rises with merciless steepness up the ski slope, while the sun »warms« your back all the time. But every disadvantage also has positive aspects – you gain height quite quickly and soon you'll be able to enjoy the view of the Pokljuka forests far below you while taking short rests. High above you'll also notice the first summit on your route – but don't rejoice too soon, Viševnik is still hidden, and Plesišče, which you're looking at, is a good 250 metres lower.
At the top of the ski slope the cart-track, which is probably used for access to the last ski lift, changes into a footpath which reckons with the limitations of our legs and not only the capacities of four-wheel-drive vehicles – all of a sudden the route which previously went straight uphill begins to rise in serpentine bends, which makes the ascent much pleasanter. In the spring months a veritable exhibition of spring flowers also awaits you on the damp steep meadows above the ski slope – the white blossoms of alpine anemones, golden-yellow globe flowers, light-blue Julian flax and the violet flowers of alpine clematis.
A bare 20 minutes' climb across these meadows brings you to a small alp below the summit of Plesišče. You have now gained a good 350 metres from the starting-point, which means that you're just half-way through – a more than good enough reason for taking a short break.
Translated by Margaret Davis
© www.zaplana.net and Margaret Davis, 2007
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