Primož Jakopin, photo diary

Vršič Pass
DZRJL* High Mountain Winter Skills Practice

March 3, 2019, 111 pictures

          Most images are approximately 768 x 1024 pixels in size, numbers in front of the picture descriptions are serial numbers of the original photo files. Full names of persons most visible in the pictures, and related persons: Samo Krmelj, Matic Di Batista - Diba and Špela Borko, Matija Perne, Klemen Kramar, Jure Bevc and Behare Rexhepi - Beki, Jaka Flis, Uroš Kunaver, Andrej Drevenšek - Vrtnar, Mateja Centa, Lojze Blatnik, Aja Zamolo, Tjaša Vitežnik, David Škufca, Nataša Sivec, Vid Naglič and Miha Tomažič.

          Pictures photo and copyright (c) Primož Jakopin - Klok 2019.


Koča na gozdu Mountain Hut, 1,226 m a. s. l.


 


 
43517. It all started here. Parking lot below the hut was covered with ice all over and the snow blanket was also quite thick ...


 

 


 
43518. ... only the nearby stream bed was without snow.


 

 

Vršič Mountain Pass, 1,611 m a. s. l. (and Above)


 


 
43397. A party of 21 attendees (two are not shown) during the first briefing by Samo Krmelj, a mountain guide and climbing instructor.


 

 


 
43398. The first lesson was walking with crampons and ice axe on a moderate slope, changing direction.


 

 


 
43399. We gathered at a side of a frozen avalanche to ...


 

 


 
43400. ... start a new task - a steep slope traverse where proper positioning of the feet during every step, and displacing the third supporting point, the ice axe, only while both feet are well separated, are essential.


 

 


 
43401. Matija during a short rest


 

 


 
43402. The practice took place on a slope just opposite the Mt. Prisojnik (2,547 m) ridge.


 

 


 
43403. Direct ascent on a steeper slope ...


 

 


 
43404. ... and more side traverse practice ...


 

 


 
43405. ... here with David and Matija.


 

 

  
  
  
43406 - 43416. Samo during the demo of ice axe self arrest. A click on any of the small pictures shows it in better resolution - but highlight part of this text with the mouse before the click to be able to return to the same position with <Back> button or use <Alt><←> to return to the report page if in "full screen" mode (<F11>).


 

 


 
43418. Samo, high mileage in high mountains (in English and in Slovenian - with photo), in perfect shape ...


 

 


 
43417. ... here depicted with the (slightly outdated) photographer's ice axe


 

 


 
43420. David at the end of his slide


 

 


 
43421. Špela, watched by Vid and Matic


 

 


 
43419. Northern side of the slope was steeper and so more inviting to more daring ...


 

 

  
  
  
43422 - 43430. ... as demonstrated here by Jaka ...


 

 

  
  
 
43431 - 43438. ... Vid, ...


 

 

  
  
  
43439 - 43448. ... Jure, ...


 

 

  
  
 
43449 - 43456. ... Matija, ...


 

 

  
  
  
43457 - 43468. ... and Klemen.


 

 


 
43469. Andrej and Miha on top of the eastern slide, Miha borrowed a retro ice axe with a long wooden handle and is just about ...


 

 


 
43470. ... to start his downhill run. Very quickly he was already in proper position ...


 

 


 
43471. ... for a complete stop.


 

 


 
43472. Beki during the braking ...


 

 


 
43473. ... until the full stop.


 

 


 
43474. We were not alone on the slope. A smaller group (in the background) gathered on the western side.


 

 


 
43475. Lojze


 

 


 
43476. Špela


 

 


 
43477. Matija


 

 


 
43480. The afternoon session was devoted to the avalanche problem ...


 

 


 
43479. ... as the snow cover comes in various layers ...


 

 


 
43482. ... digging out a snowpack profile at the foot of the slope ...


 

 


 
43483. ... to check for eventual weak layers is the first thing to do ...


 

 


 
43481. ... surely when other basic needs such a proper nutrition are met.


 

 


 
43484. Matija, Špela and Matic after another snowpack profile was made.


 

 


 
43485. Lojze is checking the hardness along the profile height, as it is normally done, with the most sensitive instrument, his finger.


 

 


 
43486. Enthusiastic onlookers: Matic, Tjaša, Andrej, Jaka and Špela


 

 


 
43487. After the snowpack profile was mode to the floor (or 1.5 m deep) David and Samo are slowly cutting the entire slab away with a thin rope.


 

 


 
43488. Samo is tapping the shovel, put on top of the slab, with his fist to see if any horizontal fault lines will develop.


 

 


 
43489. The snowpack is rather compact here and they did not.


 

 


 
43490. Things are getting interesting: Miha, Mateja, Beki, Jure and David


 

 


 
43491. Samo broke off the top slice to show snow graininess just below the surface.


 

 


 
43492. After that he pushed the shovel a little deeper ...


 

 


 
43493. ... and the top 25 cm layer broke off.


 

 


 
43494. The second layer reached to the bottom; avalanche danger can be estimated as small.


 

 


 
43495. Samo showing that the shovel is a true multi-tool ...


 

 


 
43496. Matija ascended the side slope during the lecture and grabbed the opportunity for a speedy descent.


 

 


 
43499. Špela and Samo


 

 


 
43500. Mateja and Uroš with avalanche probes (not counting the shovel)


 

 


 
43502. We split up into four groups - each equipped with the avalanche triplet: transceiver, shovel and probe (in Slovenian lavinski trojček: žolna, lopata in sonda) - to locate and dig out a previously hidden bag with emitting transceiver, posing as a buried avalanche victim. In the picture - locating with the transceiver accomplished, now microlocating with the probe: Jaka, Aja, Lojze and David.


 

 


 
43503. Aja managed ...


 

 


 
43504. ... to dig the decoy out; time: 2 minutes and 30 seconds, excellent though the conditions were set for easy practice. 90 % of people, buried in a powder snow (pršič in Slovenian) and found in 15 minutes or less, survive. In wet snow prognosis is bad from the start on.


 

 


 
43505. Matic, happy with the achievements, on the way to the ...


 

 


 
43506. ... final practice. It consisted of a more real task: 3 victims in the avalanche, two with emitters, one without.


 

 


 
43507. The snow was very avalanche - like


 

 


 
43508. We moved to the top of the slope ...


 

 


 
43509. ... still on the other side of the Mt. Prisojnik ridge ...


 

 


 
43510. ... while Samo hid the three decoys. Here he is seen with Matic who is determining the precise locating of the first victim.


 

 


 
43511. Done, now microlocating with the probe ...


 

 


 
43512. ... and digging it out.


 

 


 
43513. All is well that ends well ... the party below the Mt. Mojstrovka ridge.


 

 


 
43515. During the descent we discovered a hole in the snow and Tjaša decided to explore it.


 

 


 
43516. We finished when the Vršič pass was all in the shadow already, but it was a brilliant day and just a bit to the south, where the road winds down to the Soča river valley, this panorama opened up.


 

 

*DZRJL = Društvo za raziskovanje jam Ljubljana / Ljubljana Cave Exploration Society


  Claluklo Cave, Day 2, February 27     Nova Rutarjeva jama Cave, March 6  




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 4, 2019; date of the last change: March 9, 2019.

URL: http://www.jakopin.net/primoz/slike/2019/PJ20190303_en.php
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