As anyone with an increasing birthday count knows, the significance of the day dwindles with each reoccurrence. However, one should never miss an opportunity to celebrate because you never know how many such opportunities you will be lucky enough to have – no point in wasting them. And one of the better things about getting older is that you become very clear about what celebration means to you – what your favourite things are to do. So, celebrate I did – here’s how.
I can’t think of anything I would rather do on my birthday than climb a mountain and, by happy timing, we headed to Triglav (the highest peak in Slovenia at 2854m) on June 30th. Walking uphill for 1500m through forest, then meadows, then mountain basins with wildflowers is about as good as life gets.
And I got to walk uphill with Chris, to meet our Luxembourgish friends Braam and Caroline. We met them earlier on the Slovene Mountain Trail and our timing managed to come together to arrive at Dom Kredarici, high on the slopes of Mt Triglav at 2500m. In fact, we met them at the point where our different trails joined and then walked to the Dom together – how’s that for coincidence.
We spent the afternoon chatting and eating the fresh food Chris had lugged up 1500m – Braam and Caroline had been on the mountain hut stew diet for the last 5 days. We watched the clouds come and go around Triglav and happy people return from the summit.
Then we all got up at 5am to climb the last steep 300m together and even have the top to ourselves as clouds first soared upwards around us and then cleared away. We descended to Kredarici for second breakfast and then descended the 1500m back to the valley.
The confidence of the group that just got to the top of a steep mountain together meant we were all keen to descend a harder route. We had fun climbing down wires and spikes in the rock, on slopes you couldn’t believe were traversable until you reached the assistance in the rock. The views of the steep valley sides and north face of Triglav were incredible.
Over a beer at the hut in the valley we could all hardly believe that 5 hours previously we were together on top of the visible mountain. But we were. How much better could a birthday get?