Driving down along the Croatian coast line, there are many idyllic places inviting you to stop for a swim and a traditional village meal.
But there is a certain place along the coast we are aiming for. Where a deep gorge extends from the sea to the mountains, lined with grey limestone walls up to 350m high…
We set up camp 1km from the gorge entrance, at a welcoming hotel and campsite in Starigrad. We can literally dive into the warm sea straight from our tent (and so we do about every 10 min).
First day in Paklenica National Park we climb the route Mosoraski, 5c, 350m, on Anica Kuk – the biggest wall in the gorge.
It is the easiest long route on Anica Kuk, following the not so steep ridge. A big classic possible for not so strong climbers. Yet technical and challenging all the way.
Both the style of climbing and the grades are old-school, but the quality of rock is perfect. Super fun route!
Then it is time to cool our feet in the big blue agin.
The beach is made of even sharper rocks than the climbing walls.
We also try out the sport climbing and a 4-pitch route up the famous water runnels on the Stup wall. Very technical!
…and Zadar, where we catch some fish in the middle of the large city harbor together with a local fisherman.
and after a few hard, old aid pitches, that now free climbs under the discussible grade of 6a+, we reach easier ground again.
Coming down to the gorge the cooling water of the river is reviving in the 30 degree afternoon air temperature.
When sport climbing in the Paklenica gorge you can keep your feet in this river while belaying!
Looking back up at Anica Kuk we have climbed two nice lines this week. To the left Velebitanski and Mosoraski to the right.
A week of lots of swimming, fun climbing, 100% sunshine and bikini temperatures, we are ready to go home to the snowy mountains in Chamonix.
To get to Paklenica National park, we drove south from Austria, through Slovenia, then followed the scenic road along the Croatian coast. It is not a hip destination for modern climbers, but was big in the 80’s and 90’s. For technical climbing on the compact, grey limestone the place it perfect. Definitively worth a visit!
More info about Paklenica climbing at Climb-Europe
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