Text and pictures © 2010-2013 Guillaume Dargaud
Last updated on 2012/12/07
"Glava u oblacima." — Croatian proverb.
Left: Fisherman on the harbor during sunset.
Right: The parking lot at the entrance of the canyon, and a rather obvious advertising Zastava.
Left: The beach of the town, with the canyon visible in the background.
Left: The routes start right off the parking lot and the trail that goes into the canyon. Even stranger are the shops and visiting center built right into the cliff, interconnected with tunnels.
Left: Hard 6c+ move at the very end of the 40 meters of Shogooth.
Right: Debeli Kuk (left) and Anica Kuk (right), a cliff with a rich history.
Right: Anica Kuk and the protruding ridge of Stup.
Left: Slab climbing in the canyon, in a style very reminiscent of the Verdon.
Above: Panorama from the beach. The 'Doghead King tower' ruins on the shore.
Left: The car all setup in road trip mode.
Right: Jenny enjoying the sunset, even though the water is far too cold for a bath.
Left: Wine, pasta, beach, sunset and bikini-clad women. Well, under the down jacket.
Right: Crux move of the 1st pitch of Senza Pieta, Debeli Kuk.
Left: Fishermen still at work in the sunset. In the restaurants, don't miss the fresh fish grill, much better than the local sausages.
Right: Crux traverse (6b) of Senza Pieta, Debeli Kuk.
Left: End of the traverse.
Right: A little dyno and the pitch is over. The entrance to the canyon below appears packed with people.
Left: View of Stup which hosts some excellent moderate slab routes.
Right: General view of Anika Kuk from the top of Debeli Kuk.
Left: Rappelling off Debeli Kuk. It's also possible to walk down the other side.
Right: A freaky big earthworm.
Right: Many limestone cliffs in the far back of the canyon still await ascents.
Left: Behind Bulma pass, too much snow to continue in running shoes.
After a few days of climbing we take a rest day and split: Jenny wants to stay on the beach and I head for a walk in the mountains behind the canyon. On the way I get invited for a drink in a mountain hut a good 2 hours from the road. My target was the local high summit, Vaganski vrh (1757m), but there's too much snow for my light shoes.
Above: 360 degree panorama from Buljma pass.
Left: On the trail down I see plenty of tree outlooks. Hunting posts ? Remnants from the war ? The guidebook says to not stray away from the trails because of the land mines, but the people of the valley tell me there aren't any on this side of the mountains. The map tells a scarier story on the other side.
Right: I come down Debelo br sliding on the snow (visible in the middle of the image), then get lost in a burnt forest before finding the trail back to civilization.
Right: Traditional house construction, although that strikes me as requiring concrete for the roof...
Right: Superlative slab climbing on Stup.
Left: One characteristics of the climbing in Paklenica is those vertical ridges of limestone carved by rainwater.
Right: Debeli Kuk visible from the summit of Stup.
Left: Very carved rock far above the trail.
Right: Climber profiled on the slabs of Stup.
Left: Hammock time at the campground.
Right: 2nd pitch of Albatross, Anica Kuk, and a very strange pitch at that, crossing through a 20 meter high growth of Hedera ivy. To pull or not to pull ?
Left: Higher up on the most confusing pitch of the route, with several routes converging in a short area and bolts everywhere.
Right: Near the end of the difficult pitches.
Left: Summit of Albatros. The only regret is the name of the route, which doesn't sound very croatian...
Left: Incredibly carved limestone on the descent from Anica Kuk.
Right: Anica kuk, as seen during the descent.
After a week of unstable weather, we are ready to head for sunnier pastures on the island of Hvar.