Some describe Triglav as the king of the Slovenian Alps, and Skrlatica is the queen. So which is harder to climb? Here are my thoughts about this issue.
I wish to stress that this is about normal routes. So I would start with Skrlatica (note, in Slovenian the name is written as Škrlatica) because there is only one normal route that leads to the summit. But it should be added that there are several different starting points, and routes from these places all converge to one that goes to the summit.
On the other hand, in the case of Triglav there are far more routes from the surrounding valleys. But here too many of the routes merge at some points under the summit, and there are just a few that lead to the summit.
A convenient way of making this comparison is to start from the Vrata valley where you have a large parking close to the Aljaz hut. The reason is that the most popular routes to both mountains start there, and this is the closest spot to both summits.
From there you can go to Skrlatica by following its shortest approach route. Note also that you can go to Skrlatica from the Pogacnikov dom (hut) side. This implies several different starting points, and all those routes eventually join the shortest route from the Aljaz hut start point.
You can also go to Triglav from the same place, but the main difference is that for Triglav you have no less than three routes. Two of them, the Tominsek and Prag routes eventually converge below Kredarica hut and from there you can continue to the summit. The third is the Plemenice or Bamberg route. I have walked all three of them in one direction or another, or in both directions.
Here is the Google Map of the area. If you zoom in you will be able to see the routes to both Skrlatica and Triglav:
So it is not so easy to compare when you have so many options. This is why I shall focus only on some major factors, or those that I find important, that may help in deciding which mountain is harder to climb. They are summarized in the table below.
choose your plan
Huts with food
Water on the route
One day climb
I shall try to explain a bit this table and the elements used for the comparison.
In the case of Skrlatica, you have moderate to hard ferrata sections only under the summit. There are just a few of them.
On the other hand, you have them far more on Triglav, no matter from which side you approach the mountain, but they are less demanding. This was my first bigger mountain I climbed, and I did it solo as a stupid beginner, and I did not use any ferrata equipment. However, I would rather not go to Skrlatica without this stuff.
Are they doable solo?
The answer is yes. This is how I climbed both mountains. But bear in mind, I am not saying this is the wisest way. It is best to have somebody with you.
However, for normal routes here you do not need a rope, at exposed sections you will attach yourself to cables in any case.
Hut(s) with food
The highest place with food is Kredarica hut under Triglav final section. This is the highest hut in the Slovenian Alps in general. There are several other huts around and on the other sides of this mountain.
If you go to Skrlatica, the only hut is Pogacnikov dom. But this is not the shortest route to this mountain. This is why in the table I mark that it is without a hut on the route.
Water on the route
If you go to Skrlatica from Vrata valley, you will not have water sources on the way up, except perhaps early in season.
On the other hand, there was a water source on the route to Triglav when I climbed it long ago. It is above the end of the Tominsek route, in the area where it has already merged the Prag route.
Refuge or shelter
There is the Bivak na Rusju (or Bivak IV) on the route to Skrlatica. It is free and it is always open, make sure you have your own sleeping bag. You do not have such shelters on the Triglav routes. But as mentioned, you have several huts.
Can they be climbed in one day?
In the table, I put the mark that this cannot be done in the case of Triglav. However, long ago I have climbed Triglav in one day and this was by following the hardest of the three Vrata routes, the Bamberg route, and I descended by Tominsek route.
So strictly speaking it is possible but very difficult, you will need 12 hours or so for the whole tour. The height difference is big and the routes are hard. It is best to do this in two days.
On the other hand, I have climbed Skrlatica after staying the night in the Bivak IV. So my mark for ‘yes’ in the table may look contradictory. But it can be done in one day, and I personally know people who did it that way. So it is doable.
Which is higher?
This is easy, Triglav is the king, you remember? It is 2864 meters high, as compared to 2740 meters in the case of Skrlatica.
So this is 124 meters of difference, it may not look much but this may be important if you have to decide to do it in one or two days. My guess is these 124 meters are one of the reasons why Skrlatica is far less visited, people naturally want to book the highest mountain.
Which is more popular?
When I climbed Skrlatica, I had a feeling that the queen was a bit forgotten mountain. So if you want to avoid crowd, this is it.
Triglav routes are full of people. This is why there are so many huts around it, or perhaps these huts are just the consequence of those 124 meters difference.
So which is harder?
If you would climb the mountains in one day, this would be Triglav, no doubt about this. It is higher, there are more exposed sections, more ferrata passages that make the progress slow. I think also that all three Triglav routes from the Vrata valley are physically longer that the normal shortest route to Skrlatica.
On the other hand, I do not think that many people climb Triglav in one day. If you do the tour in two days, then Triglav is more comfortable because you have an excellent Kredarica hut with food, and it is quite close to the summit.
You might want to read some more texts about mountains in the Slovenian Alps. They are magnificent. Thank you for reading. Do you think I have missed mentioning something important? If so, let me know, there is a comment box below.