Luca Bacer

Bouldering in Istria

Photo @ Luca Bacer bouldering in Črnotiče

We are receiving many questions concerning bouldering in Istria. Istria is world known for its limestone sport climbing areas such as Osp or Mišja peč, areas around Trieste and the new developing mecca of sport climbing around the city of Buzet.

The bouldering in Istria was never prime activity over here, maybe because the rock is limestone and the routes are of such a good quality that you don’t have time neither the energy to think about the blocks.

But hey, there exist as well some pretty nice bouldering areas. There are almost no topos, but the locals are always willing to share all the infos possible. Going from north to the south:

Above Trieste, in the classic Napoleonica, climbers were bouldering and climbing traverses already back in early nineties. There exist a lot of easier as well harder problems till FB8a directly above the panoramic road. Many have eliminations and there are no top outs. It is the best to visit Napoleonica with the family on a sunny winter day.

The center of the hardest boulder problems in Istria is for sure the garage size cave called Črnotiče above the Karst edge. There you can find a lot of very powerful and tricky boulder problems in FB7 and FB8 rangeLink to the video to get some impression of climbing in there!

A bit before (cca 2-3km) this cave on the left side of the road exists one of the Slovenia’s oldest bouldering areas, home to one of the first Slovene FB8a – Klop, bouldering area called Černobil. It has around 40 boulder problems on a slightly to hard overhanging wall full of crimps and sloppers sadly without the topout.
Link to the video of Klemen Kejžar in Klop (FB8a) in Černobil!

The topos for Črnotiče and Černobil you can find in the 3rd number of Slovenian climbing magazine called Beta and in the latest climbing guidebook Karst edge.

In the famous Osp you can find two bouldering areas with boulders up to FB8a. One area is just 5 minutes to the left of Sector above the village called Banje. Take the path going to Socerb and after 100 meters find a small path going up in to the woods. Continue to the left under the wall and soon you will find this small but nice bouldering area. It is a family friendly place with nice landing and perfect top out. There are many easy boulder problems, as well you can find something harder. The rock is not the best, but the place is nice.
The other bouldering area in Osp, with harder and more exposed boulders is just under the big cave of Osp in the stream of the river. There you can find high quality river polished problems, highballs and some extremely hard projects. The only thing is you need to bring a machete with you, because the blocks tend to get surrounded by plants since they are not much visited. The topos can be found in the latest climbing guidebook Karst edge.

In Croatian Istria you can find some bouldering in the big roof of Zarečki krov near Pazin, in always fresh Kanjon Rječine close to Rijeka and in a big overhanging wall in the village of Hum close to the medieval city of Buzet. The topos are in the latest climbing guidebook Istria & Kvarner.

If you are willing to make some more kilometers to reach some good quality bouldering areas, take direction north and try the Vipava valley with Vitovlje, Orlovca, Hubelj, Podrta gora, Yugoblock, Col,…! For information try to find a local climber.

In the summer, the best is to escape a bit more to the north to Trnovo ob Soči, Trenta or high up in the mountains on Mangart’s pass.