Text and pictures © 2010-2013 Guillaume Dargaud
Last updated on 2012/12/07
"Your singing is very good. Much better than my language." — Pearl Jam in Zagreb, Croatia.
Left: The cliff of Sveta Nedjelja, on the south side of the island of Hvar. The main part of the cliff is very kid friendly at the base.
Right: The right part of the cliff goes above the sea.
After a week in Paklenica, we drove south to Split and took the ferry to the island of Hvar which hosts several sites, the main one being Sveta Nedjelja.
Climbing in Sveta Nedjelja is through reservation only (more info here). The cliff is private and there's no camping in town so you can either stay in one of the many houses for rent, of sleep in the cheap bunkhouse at the base of the cliff.
Left: Great clean Adriatic sea, just a bit too cold at this time of year.
Right: Large blocks into the sea fronting the cliff.
Left: 'Brid Sunca', a great and scenic easy classic on the edge of the freestanding tower.
Right: Jenny on the tower. It's actually only 5c.
Left: The cliff prolongs for more than 200 meters into the sea. There's also some climbing on the other side with a different access.
Right: The freestanding tower above the rotting fishing boats.
Right: Heading for the Great Traverse.
So after a few days climbing at Sveta Nedjelja, you begin to wonder what lies outside of the friendly main cliff. You can start by traversing a little above the sea to start some of the closest routes. There's even a route that you can start by swimming and being belayed from a nearby rock. But the main attraction is the great traverse. Normally done by starting from the main part, traversing towards the right and coming back swimming after you fall off. For 200 meters it's rated 5c, and then something like 8a towards the end before reaching the other shore .
Left: The Great Traverse, seen from the boat.
Right: Most of the traverse is overhanging on very carved rock, but some sections are very smooth and you have to decide how high you wanna go.
These days some companies are given as to big to fail, here it's the water that's too cold to fall in. So we opt for a different method: we take a small boat, head to the other side where the rock seems to get into the 8th degree and hop onto the rock. That is, Andreas and me, while the others paddle nearby in case we need a rescue from the icy water. How's that for motivation ?
Left: Synchronized climbing.
Right: The easier sections of the traverse are covered in white but smelly bird droppings. Nothing as bad as the belays of Riglos standing in vulture shit !
Above: Panoramic view of the traverse, with still a long way to go. It sure looks like a lot more than 200 meters.
Left: Differing strategies, but as they say, the higher the fall...
Right: Still some ways to go. Since the traverse goes to the left, after a while the right arm begins to steam as you lock while trying to find the next hold with the left.
Right: A few times I get waves licking my feet.
Left: OK, so Andreas found a much easier way...
Right: Clean cold green waters near the end of the traverse. We both make it high and dry.
Right: As soon as you discover the site of Cliffbase, you notice the freestanding tower on the edge of the sea. One overhanging side in the shade and two sides over the water.
Left: A small harbor shelters a few boats for fishermen of climbers who want to do the Traverse.
Above: Crazy perspective showing the tower, the harbor and the arrival side of the cliff.
Left: Wide view of the tower.
Right: Climbing above the tiny harbor. While we were in Sveta Nedjeldja, there were lots of constructions in order to enlarge the main harbor. Overall Croatia seemed to be bursting with development activities, like complete highways that didn't even show as projects on year old maps.
Left: Another view of the tower.
Right: Tight finish on Salamun (6b).
Right: Andreas on Miss Jadrana (7a)
Left: Final section of Miss Jadrana, 'keystone style'...
Right: Starting on Kralovka, right under the keystone.
Left: Cactus flowers.
Right: Bee on a cactus flower.
Left: Beetle trying to reach the nectar on the flower.
Right: Green beetle out for dinner.
Above: A general view of the Sveta Nedjelja cliff and the Cliffbase harbor. The village is about 800m to the left.