Sunday, 23 September 2012

The frontline on Krn

Krn - on right- from Mrzli Vrh

The day was overcast and the tops hidden in the cloud, but it was still mild and no evidence it was going to rain. So, I drove way up past several small villages to a car park at Planina Kuhinja at 990m.
From there it was a matter of following a marked path that traversed back and forth up the hillside mainly through meadows. and over bits of limestone until reaching the cloud level at around 1700m. The path continued to traverse and the going got rougher as the amount of exposed limestone increased. And I resigned myself to a day with no views.

Krn vrh summit 
Suddenly, just a couple of metres below the closed refuge of Gomisckovo zavetisce (2182m) I broke out above the clouds into brilliant sunshine and fabulous views of the summits like Kanin, Jof di Montasio, Mangrt and Triglav poking their heads above the clouds.
The indicator says that is Triglav showing
Tunnel exit
I picked my way up towards the summit of Krn (2244m P605) and as I did so there was increasing evidence that I was on what had been the Isonzo/Soca frontline between the Italians and Austrian-Hungarians in WW1. Lots of evidence - trenches, barbed wire, tunnels, bunkers. The top itself was extensively covered in sheep shit, although there was no sign of the culprits.
I picked my way back down to the refuge by a slightly different route and found an entrance to a human-made cave that went through the hillside and came out on the other side over a very steep face.
Kanin framed by the tunnel exit

WW1 - barbed wire
From the refuge I followed the so-called Walk of Peace path as far as Krnska krbina where there was remains of Italian ordnance including the carriage for a Howitzer gun.

Howitzer for you?
I debated about staying on this path, marked on the map as the Geologischer wanderweg, but decided that it would add a lot more distance, much of which would have been in the clouds. So I took a path down, that shortly met with the ascent route. I must confess though that for quite a distance I ignored the traversing marked path and made a beeline down the steep slope, having checked on the way up that it didn't look like it had any hidden sink-holes.
If you want to know more about the battle front, try Mark Thompson 'The White war' (2009) and, of course, Ernest Hemingway's personal account  'A farewell to arms' (1929). It is chilling and sobering to learn about the carnage that took place.

1 comment:

  1. Just walked up Krn two weeks ago. Beautiful photos of all your hikes that I looked at. You've obviously a good eye and good legs to match. Cheers.