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Climbing in Paklenicia, Croatia
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May 19, 2003, 6:23 AM
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Registered: Apr 13, 2003
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Climbing in Paklenicia, Croatia  (Europe: Croatia: Dalmatia: Paklenica)
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Has any one ever gone climbing in Paklenicia park in Croatia? can you give any advice on where to go and stay? How about getting guides? What range of climbing is available? Is it a good place to go?


Ian Graham


May 19, 2003, 8:45 AM
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Registered: Feb 25, 2003
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Re: Climbing in Paklenicia, Croatia [In reply to]
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Paklenica is great place! It's National Park.
You won't regret if you go. It was our favourite (May 1st) rock climbing camp. There you can meet all famous climbers from whole Europe.
Great place!
There is everything you can imagine to climb. From 5.4 to 5.14. It's a canyon, starting with very short walls and finishing in small valley with Anica Kuk wall (over 1000 ft). Most of the multipitch routes in Anica Kuk are over 5.11 and 5.12. It's a limestone. Very compact and exposed. If you are used to crack climbing you have to just spend few day to adjust your climbing.
It's very hot there and we usually climbed in May or in November. In mid summer is Hell. Paklenica means "Hell" in English.
You don't need a guide. Just go there and look for people from Slovenia, Slovakia, Germany etc. I am positive you will find a partner. Camp sites or chep beds are available in Starigrad 10 km from entrance. I don't think they allow camping in National Park anymore. please, check that option.
Please, make report for us latter.



May 31, 2003, 5:56 PM
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Registered: Nov 10, 2002
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Re: Climbing in Paklenicia, Croatia [In reply to]
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Great place!!!
Cheap (good food, many campsites or some hotels), many many routes (long, short, easy, hard), astounding nature inside the valley... If you go during summer avoid the crags sunshine burnt... stay in shade!
Beautiful sea, good fish too. :wink:

It is reccomended to buy a guide: Climbing in Paklenica by Boris Cujic, ed. Astroida, written ion croatian, german, italian and english: you can easily find it there.



Aug 3, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Registered: Jul 27, 2009
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Re: [iangraham] Climbing in Paklenicia, Croatia [In reply to]
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This place is absolutely amazing. We rented a car in Zagreb and drove the 2.5 hours to the dalmatian coast and found a B&B at the mouth of the park (Hotel Rajna....HIGHLY recommend).

Paklenica looks like any national park in the U.S. Ranger station at the entrace where they sell guide books with detailed route information, and a gift shop halfway through the canyon with drinks, magnets, gear, etc.

We went in the summer (July) and it was hot. However, the canyon is very deep, so you climb the Easterly wall in the am, take a couple of hours for lunch, and come back to climb the West wall in the evening. Some of the rock is very exposed on the West, but a lot of the Eastern rock is well shaded with tall trees.

The rock is fantastic. Great footwork and excellent handholds. There are more routes here than you could do in 2 weeks, especially if you are interested in multipitch on the northern portion of the canyon. The histogram of difficulty ratings here would definitely be favoring the right end of the curve, but there are a handful of 5.7/5.8s then it kicks up with a ton of 5.9/10s. Most of the climbs in the canyon are in the 11/12 range but you can certainly find climbers of all skill levels there. My girlfriend did her first lead ever here (5.7).

I can't say enough about this place. Email me if you have questions or need help getting there...


Sep 19, 2010, 9:09 AM
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Registered: Aug 20, 2007
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Re: [iangraham] Climbing in Paklenicia, Croatia [In reply to]
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I've been there once before the war for trad climbing and just returned from a 2 weeks visit - here's my impression:

We stayed at one of the new apartments managed by, very close to the park entrance. Apartments I think are most convenient in late season with occasional storms and rain. Nevertheless the legendary camp sites (e.g. and Dinkos restaurant on the other side of the street to the park are still there. The sea is about 1km from the park entrance, 200m from the Vesna campsite.

September is a good choice: not too hot, not too windy, mostly hiking/climbing tourists visit the area - but its still busy all week which means you'll experience the soundscape of a shopping mall even 300m up a wall - better find a non-verbal way of communication with your partner.

Paklenica is famous for its solid, sharp, well accentuated limestone formed by water erosion which makes it perfect for all kinds of clean protection.

There is sport climbing at the valley ground which will keep the average climber busy for at least 2 weeks.
However, if you are interested in climbing french 7b and above there is not very much to do.

Since I visited Paklenica nearly 20 years ago many new bolts have been set - even on long routes.
Unfortunately security provided by these seems to be illusory as some or most of them have been put in place by Cujic and Matkovic.
Whatever your assessment of their practices - bolts range from homemade junk with small hanger holes and sharp edges to nice looking pieces (Raumer A2) that haven't been properly set. Glued-ins are (mostly) Austrian origin, over 20 years old and do not anymore comply with european standards (EN 959).

Boris Cujic is also the author of the 2007 climbing guide for Paklenica. The way Cujic structures the sectors is something you'll need to get used to. Relying on the guidebook as sole information for long routes is dangerous: some topos seem to be very loosely connected to the real world, especially on Veliki Cuk or generally routes of low and medium difficulty. Always take your trad kit with you - even if the book says its all bolted. I remember there was an italian guide book by Pezzolato too, but don't know where to get it.

Paklenica reminds me of climbing in Europe during the 1980ties: poor bolting and inconsistent grading: average difficulties are ridiculously downgraded, e.g. a 4b could easily go as 5b/c else where. Whereas grading up from french 7 is ok.

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