The rain came down, and we went up!

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The group at the top of the saddle

We finished our first trek! On Thursday morning, we were awakened to the sound of rain on our tents. The mountains were shrouded in a dense fog and the wind whipped through our campsite. Despite the inclement weather, students were in high spirits. We sat down for breakfast (Nutella was present), and loaded our packs in the van. A short drive deposited us at the trailhead above Kamnik. We donned rain jackets and pack covers and hit the trail. 

The going was slow, but we made steady progress. We climbed through a dense forest, the green canopy providing welcomed shelter from the rain. Slovenia’s wildflowers were in full bloom, and we marveled at the variety of colors and blossoms on the trail. The trail left the forest and continued to climb through limestone mountains. The students were challenged by steep switchbacks and loose rock, but they persisted until they reached the hut at the saddle. 

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The steep gully we ascended.

Our efforts were rewarded by a spectacular view and warm lodging. An elderly Slovenian couple welcomed us to the hut and ushered us into a warm common area with a wood-fired stove and plenty of board games. After lunch, many of the students elected to go for a short afternoon hike, and we marveled at the green and blue landscape dotted with the last patches of snow and limestone cliffs. 

After games and a hot dinner of spaghetti and apple streudel, students fell asleep in bunk rooms, listening to the sound of the wind, 3000 feet above the valley floor.

Today, we descended the same trail (again in the rain), and made our way to Triglav National Park. We stopped at a pristine alpine lake at the foot of the mountains and spent the afternoon jumping into the water and bathing in sunshine. We eventually made our way to Erjavceva Koca, a hut near the top of the mountain pass. Students are once again playing Uno and board games as smells of dinner waft from the kitchen, relaxing after an adventure-filled day. 

 

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