Paklenica, Croatia
April 2008,   Report by: Bryan Rynne


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For our usual Easter(ish) climbing trip Patrick and I decided to try Paklenica Gorge, in the Paklenica national park on the Adriatic coast in Croatia. We had read various good reports on this, and Francis Winter and Dave Amos went last year and raved about it. We flew to Zagreb airport, which is about 280K from Paklenica, but there is a motorway almost all the way which was virtually empty when we were on it, and so the drive only took about 3 hours (there are nearer airports, but none that combined price and timing so well at that time). Patrick found a very pleasant apartment in Paklenica village, but despite having a kitchen we ate out every night. Although not many places were open at the time of year, the food was good, mainly fish (at least for me, Patrick's vegetarian options were a bit more limited).

The climbing was excellent. We climbed exclusively on the Anica Kuk face, the most spectacular venue in the gorge (see photo 3 for the routes we did), containing some tremendous climbing on tough, steep, 350m routes (if you like that sort of thing). The only drawback was that there were rather too many off-width cracks and corners for my taste - Patrick usually got assigned these to lead, and an excellent job he did with them (my easier' bits the bolts can be a long way apart. We carried a light rack, and used it. To do most of the routes we did you need to be comfortable leading HVS 5a at least, and there are lots of much harder bits than that.