Lifestyle

Two Croatian Mountaineers to Hike from Slovenia to Albania

May 5, 2018 - The Via Dinarica trail will take the two mountaineers on a 1.300 km long journey

Kristijan Karlušić is a 29-year-old active member of the Mountaineering Society 'Glas Istre' and the Mountaineering Society Elektroistra. He's also a member of an association dedicated to promotion of mountain tourism, called Via Dinarica. In line with his obvious love for hiking and mountaineering, he's about to set off on an ambitious quest: a walking journey of 1.300 kilometres across the Dinaric Alps, Glas Istre reports.

Karlušić will attempt a feat that hasn't yet been pulled off by any other Croat or other mountaineer from the region. In the next two months, he'll be walking the White Trail of Via Dinarica, a long distance hiking trail that spans from Slovenia to Albania.

There are three distinctive routes to Via Dinarica: the Blue Trail loosely follows the outline of the Adriatic coast, passing over hills and mountains in the hinterland and closer to the shore. The Green Trail stretches through forests in some of the lower mountains of the Dinaric Alps, featuring hundreds of kilometres of well-maintained bike trails for "two-wheeled trail blazers". (Learn more here.) The two trails are still 'under construction', so to speak, but their White counterpart - the most challenging of them all - is walkable in its entirety.

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Via Dinarica / screenshot

Together with his colleague, the 30-year old mountaineer Ante Romac from Sinj, Karlušić will walk his way through five countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania. They'll be hiking the Dinaric Alps at a pace of some 20 kilometres a day, but seeing that they know some parts of the terrain are much harder to conquer, they plan to walk more than average on some days, and less on others. At some stops along the trail, they'll be able to sleep in mountaineer lodges; for the rest of the journey, they're bringing along a tent.

Karlušić has been preparing for this challenging feat for the last month. He's been an active mountaineer since 2011, and decided to set off on the Dinaric quest to help promote rural and mountain tourism. But most of all, he says, he is driven by the challenge the trail represents, and the joy he can experience only on unspoilt mountain paths and peaks. The Dinaric Alps house some of the most exceptional sights in all of Croatia, an outstanding beauty accessible only to rare individuals. This is why Karlušić sees his long distance hike as an opportunity to share said beauty with others, people who otherwise wouldn't get to see the highest parts of Croatian mountains.

The mountaineer is an employee of Uljanik Shipyard in Pula which has granted him a two-month leave for his undertaking. Apart from being physically demanding, the trip also calls for detailed organisation and considerable expenses; the entire adventure will cost the two mountaineers some 2.000 euro each. Luckily, their drive and spirit has been recognised by several sponsors, including Bim Sport, Regata, Kibuba, Alpina and Decathlon Split.

They departed on Friday, May 4, with Postojna Cave in Slovenia as their starting point. They'll be updating the public as they go along - good luck!

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