Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Behind the Slovenian Curtain

Many American mountaineers have wondered how it's possible that so many climbers from Slovenia, with a population of just 2 million and no mountain higher than 9,400 feet, have gotten so good. (Think Silvo Karo, Andrej Stremfelj, Marko Prezelj, Janez Jeglic, Pavle Kozjek, and Tomaz Humar, just for some better-known names.) Surprisingly few Americans, however, have traveled to Slovenia to check out the climbing that produced these greats. Steve House is a notable exception: A year-long student exchange in Slovenia launched his sterling alpine career.

This winter American Fabrizio Zangrilli has spent more than two months in Slovenia, trying to come to figure out their secrets. Zangrilli's blog offers a rare glimpse into the Slovenian world of hard training, bad weather, and scrappy limestone mixed climbs. Great reading for armchair alpinists—or for genuine aspirants.

1 comment:

Graham said...

Slovenia is pretty much my favorite place on the planet...I almost never left.