Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Cascades in Soteska Pekel pri Borovnici / Hell Gorge at Borovnica
Ice Draperies in Snow

February 28 and March 4, 2018, 35 pictures

          Most images are approximately 683 x 1024 pixels in size, numbers in front of the picture descriptions are serial numbers of the original photo files.

          Pictures photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin - Klok 2018.

February 28


39196. Upstream view of the Borovniščica river which flows through the Pekel valley, at the valley entrance ...



39174. ... and a bit higher, where the gorge gets narrower.



39175. Frozen cascades below ...



39176. ... the Waterfall No. 1



39177. Waterfall No. 2, at the side of a mighty rock wall, was frozen from top to bottom, no water to be seen, just heard flowing below the ice.



39178. Heart-shaped opening in the ice below the ...



39179. ... Waterfall No. 3 with an even wider wall of frozen draperies



39180. The trail up from the bottom of the waterfall is steep, composed of several staircase sections like the one depicted here. They were tricky because of uneven hard snow cover.



39187. A hanging bridge on the trail to Waterfall No. 4



39181. Towards Waterfall No. 4 many sections are an easily passable moderate trail in the snow.



39182. A symbiosis of white and green



39184. Closer to the waterfall there are steeper stretches along the western wall.



39185. The nastier part of the trail, a descent in the ice with a snow-covered hand support wire



39186. View of the eastern wall of the valley with icicles along the wall fissures



39183. Waterfall No. 4, just ice and snow



39188. It took much more time than anticipated to get to the Waterfall No. 4 and there were also some unknown variables connected to the return. Considerable climbing is involved to get to the top of Waterfall No. 3 and when the photographer met just two other visitors, in winter mountain gear including crampons who both wondered not only how he managed to climb so far up but even more what are his plans for return (climbing down is way more difficult than climbing up) it made him think twice. The simplest solution was to climb all the way up, past the Waterfall No. 5, less than one hour walk, and from there to the village Pokojišče using the forest road (about 3 km). From Pokojišče to Borovnica there is 4 km of a steep road and from Borovnica to Pekel parking lot where he left the car there is another 4 km. So about 4 hours to go. The only other choice was an alternative trail which forks off the standard trail on top of steeper part of the access to Waterfall No. 4, which uses the eastern slope of the valley and brings the visitor directly to the end of the road at the Pekel entrance. It would take less than one hour but the condition of the trail was not known. There were some footsteps in the snow at the beginning but it was unsure how far they would reach, all the way down or was it just an overoptimistic experiment which returned to the standard trail a short stretch later. Nevertheless, it was worth giving a try and in the picture there is a view of the footsteps (right) at the point where the trail is passing the first ridge, against the sun.



39189. In places the footsteps did not follow the original trail, still partly blocked by fallen trees after the February 2014 sleet disaster, but made steep shortcuts. It took considerable time and attention to overcome such places.



39190. View of the standard trail on the western side of the valley with its two steep staircases (lower center and upper center)



39191. The photographer used a long stick he brought with him (180 cm, right) and a shorter one, obtained on the way, to make the descent slower and more controllable. His predecessor who made the footsteps was certainly younger and would just glide down in the new snow.



39192. As expected he did not use the standard eastern trail all the way but made a shortcut down to the stream, somewhere between Waterfalls No. 1 and 2. There is no footbridge there, however, so it was necessary to cross the stream. To go into the icy water and make an easy crossing was not especially inviting so jumping from a heap of snow (which covered rocks in the stream) to another and in the end crossing the final stretch over two fallen tree logs plus a long swing to a young tree on the western side. From there just a short climb to the trail and - mission accomplished, no casualties.



39193. An ice wall climber on his way to some of the upper waterfalls



39195. A snow covered side footbridge close to the valley entrance



March 4, Waterfall Number 5


39275. The winter cold stayed for a few days longer and the addition of the Waterfall No. 5 was therefore possible, some time later. New snow also fell and the road from Pokojišče plateau to Cerknica could not be plowed any more. High snow required the use of a truck with snow cutter and blower head.



39274. The first attempt to go by car close to top of the Pekel valley failed, half an hour of snow shovelling was necessary to turn the car and get it back on track. Here, about 1 km closer to Pokojišče, it was all much easier - just the way for the car front had to be cleaned so that the room for eventual car passing was wide enough.



39257. The last stretch of the road was not plowed.



39258. Access road to the cottage on top of the valley with footstep trail in it



39273. A young spruce with a large snow cap



39272. Frost and snow patterns on thin tree branches



39269. Snow covered bridge on top of the valley ...



39259. ... and an upstream view from it



39260. Cascades along the fissure above the Waterfall No. 5 with a pool at their bottom



39263. Waterfall No. 5, landscape view



39264. At the bottom stretch the stream was so fast that it had no ice cover.



39265. The weather warmed up a bit and a tiny jet of water made this narrow belt in the ice pillar.



39268. Near-perfect rectangle of rock strata above and to the right of the waterfall, emphasized by the snow envelope



  Lanski vrh, February 21     Radošca / Radoshitza Cave, Day 72, March 1  

This page, text and photos by Primož Jakopin; send inquiries and comments to primoz jakopin guest arnes si (insert dots and at sign as appropriate). Page initiated on March 6, 2017; date of the last change: March 12, 2018.