Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 21, 2013 - 12:15am PT
My wife and I are going to be in Croatia or 9 days in early June and, though it isn't a 'climbing' trip per se as we are hoping to take it all in and enjoy everything the area has to offer, we are bringing our rope and draws and definitely want to do some climbing whilst there.
We are planning to be in the Split/Hvar area from June 2nd-June 9th or so and are hoping to meet up with some locals who are psyched (we will buy beer and food/pay gas etc.) but really would love to have an authentic experience instead of just rocking up at Cliffbase w/o a car and being stuck there (has anyone been there and can give a report?).
Anyhow, also open to suggestions, opinions, overall trip, lodging, food beta etc. - thanks so much!
I spent about a week in Paklenica National Park, somewhat north of Spit (maybe an hours drive, possibly a bit more--close to the city of Zadar), several years ago. It is a beautiful area where the mountains come down very close to the sea. It is the most well-known and popular climbing area in Croatia. Much of the park is a protected area with climbing forbidden, but there are plenty of routes in the one, easily-accessible canyon where climbing is permitted. There are numerous single-pitch sport climbs located above a wide cobbled path just past the main parking area. The routes are located on several buttresses and quite crammed together, While some of them were of reasionable quality it surely wasn't the best sport area that I've visited. However both in this area and a bit further up the valley are many very worthwhile longer climbs of varying grades and up to about 10 piches in length.. The best and most impressive formation, Anica Kuk, is located about a 20-minute walk from the parking lot and has a number of classic routes from about 5.9 up. While a number of these routes are listed as "fully-bolted", the bolts are actually quite spaced and a small rack for intermediate protection is highly recommended. The grading in general is very stiff compared to other European areas, add at least a couple of letter grades to those on the guidebook. There is no camping in the park but there are many campgrounds, hotels, rooms, and restaurants in the nearby town of Starigrad. It will be very hot in June, but the sport climbs are in a narrow canyon so one side or the other will be in the shade for much of the day, and the routes on Anica Kuk are mostly north-facing---and the sea and good beaches are very close by. It is a wonderful place--enjoy.
We looked into it but it just seems too far removed from other areas (we won't have a car), we'll feel it out for the end of the trip but so far we decided to skip it.
Given unlimited time we would go but we aren't flying 1/2 way around the world to go to a 'climbing destination' per se, we've been to siurana/margalef a couple of times, it's amazing but we wanted a bit more of a balanced trip this time (especially due to conditions not being great in June - i.e. mega hot).
So we thought Split/Marjan crag and Hvar might be a good compromise - some north facing crag options etc. but plenty of other stuff to do + rad beaches.I was looking for more specific beta/connections in those areas, but Paklenica does sound awesome - might have to head up there afterwards if we skip Bosnia!
I have been climbing in Croatia for the last week or so. I decided to focus my energy in the Split area. Actually just south of Split is the city of Omiš (pronounced oh-mish) there is a pdf climbing guide online, just google Omis, Croatia climbing guide. The cliffs are literally right in town, this was a big plus for me as I'm on foot. Bulletproof limestone, well featured and razor sharp in some spots. Single pitch, up to big wall, and new routes waiting to be developed. Super cool place though. Accommodations are quite reasonable, and so is the food. The weather is already warming up so expect to follow the shade in June. Bus transport is too easy, just ask any local, and you will do fine.
You can catch a ferry to the island of Hvar (featured in the film Depthcharge) lots of DWS, and well bolted sport climbs. Having a car on Hvar would be helpful but not necessary.
Omis looks awesome, thanks. We are trying to figure out now if, after 2 nights in split and 2-3 nights in Hvar whether we should head up to check out Sarajevo for our last few days or if we should stay in Croatia...if we stay in Croatia I think we'll have to spend at least one day in Omis, place looks mega (what was the town like out of curiosity?)
BTW have we climbed together ever? Just saw you were hailing from SLT (my old home before moving to SF a few years back).