Paklenica, Croatia

This is where I ended up 8 hours after I landed in Milan this July. This was where the weather was dry (and a bit warm) but the climbing was awesome. This climbing and hiking park is located on the coast of Croatia next to Starigrad. The beach is at the head of the canyon and boasts tons of bolted and partial gear climbs.

Details: you have to pay a parking fee and a personal user fee each day that you enter the park. I think that to park a car is 10 dollars a day and a individual persons pass was 5 dollars a day. (Remember I am talking about the Croatian Kuna which at the time was 1 : 6.3 when compared to the US dollar (which means that your dollar goes far)). Anyway, the climbing is worth it. You can go to the restroom in the canyon (in very nice well kept tunnels) built into the canyon walls. If you need a guidebook just buy it in the canyon while you are walking in past the initial climbs. There is a plethora of beginner and intermediate climbs from single pitch to multipitch spread from 1 minute from your car to about an hour. The trails are well marked and many of the most popular climbs have labels to make it easier to find what you are looking for. The walls are labeled as are the trails and you have routes in the shade all day depending on what side of the canyon that you are climbing.

We chose to climb a few the 300 meter routes (which would be a great practice) for the hopefully dry conditions in the Dolomites that we were hoping for later in our trip. Each of the routes required plenty of quick draws and a single set of cams to supplement spaces between a few of the bolts. The grey limestone was incredible to climb and we got to experience some wild runnel grips made from water carving through the rock.

My partner Mike and I were here waiting out the Alp rain that we encountered upon arrival. You may ask why we drove this far south? The answer is that I have climbed at many of the other drier options closer to the Dolomites and I didn’t fly to Europe to sport climb(not that it isn’t great here), I just wanted to climb long routes. Paklenica has both with dry weather so it was a good choice.


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