The Mala Mojstrovka via Ferrata (Hanzova Pot)

The Hanzova Pot via ferrata is a fun climb in the Julian Alps, and even better with a ridge traverse of Velika Mojstovka and Zadnja Mojstrovka.

In my last weekend in Slovenia, I really wanted to explore the Julian Alps and Triglav National Park. I based myself out of nearby Kranjska Gora, which is a small town right at the edge of Triglav. Unfortunately the weather was looking a bit suspect for the weekend so I planned something that I thought I could do quickly in the morning before storms rolled in.

Mala Mojstrovka is a popular hike accessed from Virsic Pass. The south trail is a steep but standard hike up to the summit. However, there is a via ferratta on the north side that provides a more exciting way to ascend this popular peak. I've been traveling with my via ferrata gear, so this was the perfect opportunity to put it to use!

Getting to the trailhead

There is a hiker bus that runs about every hour starting at 8:30. It starts in Kranjska Gora and goes over the pass to the nearby town of Bovec. It's only a few euros.

The Mala Mojstrovka via ferrata

The hike starts at Virsic Pass, ascending towards a small saddle on the north side of the pass. You'll continue from here, following signage and blazes for the Hanzova Pot route. The trail traverses along the north face of Mala Mojstrovka for a bit, keep an eye out for the short cut off that leads to the beginning of the via ferrata. You'll probably want to gear up here (helmet + harness + via ferrata gear). The initial section is quite easy, and I moved quickly through it. There are a few steeper sections but nothing too hair-raising. The route is well marked and well protected (maybe too well protected for more advanced climbers). I found myself deciding not to clip in to many parts of the route, just because I felt secure and the clipping in/out was taking so long.

The approach

You'll eventually crest a flat part of the ridge, with a commanding view of the surrounding mountains. From here, the trail continues directly up the ridge to the summit of Mala Mojstrovka, but with less protection. It's more of a challenging scramble, rather than a via ferrata the rest of the way. I personally found this top section to be a bit more challenging (although still straightforward) than the via ferrata section. It's well marked with blazes the entire way to the summit.

The 'plateau' section. The route continues up the ridgeline towards the summit in top left

Once you reach the summit, you can descend back to the pass via the standard south route, or tack on some extra fun. I chose to continue traversing the ridgeline towards Velika Mojstovka and Zadnja Mojstrovka. This ended up being a super fun route, not too technical or scrambly but with some exposure in places. From the top of Zadnja Mojstrovka there is a steep scree descent route that eventually traverses below the ridge line and back towards the south route descent of Mojstrovka. From here it's a short hike back down to the pass where you can catch the bus.

On the Mala Mojstrovka summit
Looking back at Mala Mojstrovka from further down the ridge

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