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Part II: An Afternoon in Paklenica

Note: I've recently returned from an amazing trip to Slovenia and Croatia. This next series of posts (if I ever finish them) will describe some of the highlights, primarily with a climbing focus.

Ok, you got me. It's almost 100% about climbing. Here's part two, An Afternoon in Paklenica.

Route Summary (out of four stars):
Vaginalna Manipulacija, 6a+ (20m): ★
Gerovit, 6c+/7a (14m): ★★★ (Awesome short route. Probably a fantastic warm-up for its neighbors)
Butter Keks, 5c (18m): ★ (I don't remember this route, but know I climbed it)
Crni Gad, 6b (20m): ★★★★ (So good. Oh, so good).

It's 1 pm, Martin and I are baking in the sun, and we haven't matched any of guidebook topos with walls. We're staring at this small, flat metal triangle drilled into the base of a seemingly blank, overhanging wall. Enscripted on the triangle is a route name and grade: Il Maratoneta, 8b+.

We're not climbing this.

We hike uphill a little farther, and discover another triangle across the…

Part I: Entering Paklenica

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Note: I've recently returned from an amazing trip to Slovenia and Croatia. This next series of posts (if I ever finish them) will describe some of the highlights, primarily with a climbing focus.

Ok, you got me. It's almost 100% about climbing. Here's part one, Entering Paklenica.

The first day we drove into Paklenica was my second day driving our massive (especially for European Standards) Euro-minivan. The one-and-a half lane road quickly snakes through the valley, hugging the North side of the rapidly steeping valley. The sides of the roads are peppered with two types of signs: "Winnetou #N" or "_____ Kuk," the latter being listed with a climbing grade. We (correctly) inferred that the "Kuks" were sign posted multi-pitch routes; I (incorrectly) guessed that the Winnetou placards were Paklenica's unique method of marking parking lots.

We hit the parking lot. Like any able bodied American, I skipped the first open spot to find something a …