Altitude 251m a.s.l
Paklenica Gorge, Croatia © Kev Little
Paklenica National Park is a large area in the south of Velebit mountain range where two large canyons cut across the Velebit mountain from the land to the Adriatic sea. The area of the park designated for climbing is the bigger (western) of the two canyons, called Velika Paklenica. Here there are literally hundreds of bolted single-pitch routes as well as hundreds of multi-pitch routes (mostly bolted) up to 400m high. Brilliant, awesome and yet suitable for all from beginners to aspiring Adam Ondras and a great holiday destination for sun loving families too!
The rock is karstic limestone which offers excellent friction, where not polished. Generally the climbs feel quite hard at the grade, especially those in Anica kuk!
Access to the park is signposted just at the south end of the town of Starigrad. Admission fee (can be payed at the entrance) and is either valid:
- for 1 entrance: costs between £3 and £7 (depending on the season)
- for 3 entrances within 5 days (30 days period is usually tolerated): costs between £5 and £14 (depending on the season)
- for 5 entrances within 7 days (30 days period is usually tolerated): costs between £7 and £21 (depending on the season)
It's well worth the money! Additionally a vehicle entrance is charged between £1 and £2.5 daily (higher price for a large camper, for instance).
Very easy approach to the Klanci area (single-pitch sport routes), complete with a souvenir, food and drinks shop as well as a very nice indoor/outdoor coffee bar which are all set in the live rock of the crag (renovated WW2 tunnels of Josip Broz Tito HQ). The tunnels themselves are well worth a visit (at no extra charge) and they even feature a nice bouldering gym surrounding an educational multimedia centre.
Approach times to multi-pitch routes vary from 1 - 45mins as the routes themselves cover a huge area. Beginings of some more popular routes are marked by triangular plates (name of the route, grade) fixed to the rock. Unfortunately some markings are placed in the wrong place so if something looks wrong please trust the guidebook and your instincts. Some descents can be tricky and taxing if you're not well informed. You should again trust the guidebook and sometimes using a map can be a confidence booster when you eventually find yourself thinking "this can't be it".
|I find the grading in Paklenica is notably lower than most other places I've climbed. I estimate the difference to about 1 step on average, i.e. most routes graded 5c in Paklenica would be graded 6a elsewhere. This becomes particularly notable on popular low-mid grade routes that are also severely polished.
jfms - 17/Apr/22
|over 45min walk from the cars park following signs to the "Manita-pec" cave to look at this 80meter pinnacle just below the park cave attraction.
steve2006 - 22/Sep/10