Winter Wonderland in the High Mountains

Winter Wonderland in the High Mountains

Winter Wonderland in the High Mountains

Winter Wonderland in the High Mountains

Winter Wonderland in the High Mountains

Photographer Marjan Pfeifer Sr. visited the Vršič Pass in January 1948 and captured the snowy high mountain landscape. The focal point of the photograph is a snow-covered larch grove on a small hill beneath the Vršič Pass, where the Erjavčeva Koča stands.

This hut, erected by members of the German-Austrian Alpine Club in 1901 and initially named Vosshütte, came under the management of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association after World War I. It was renamed Erjavčeva Koča after the Slovenian naturalist and storyteller Fran Erjavec. In the background of the hut, the photographer captured a view of the mountain range known as the Martuljek Group, dominated by Špik.

The example of the Erjavčeva Koča illustrates the significant role that mountain huts played in the transition from the 19th to the 20th century. With the establishment of the Slovenian Mountaineering Association (SPD) in 1893, Slovenian mountain huts were rapidly constructed, primarily motivated by nationalism. Slovenian mountain huts served as a counterbalance to German huts, with Slovenes believing that by building and Slovenizing mountain huts, they could protect Slovenian land from Germanization.

Marjan Pfeifer Sr., Erjavčeva Koča, and the snow-covered Martuljek Group in the background, Vršič, January 11, 1948. Collection of Foto Slovenia, black-and-white negative, Leica, inv. no.: FS4216/7.

Dolenc, Ervin. “Turizem v slovenskih hribih in gorah.” In: Razvoj turizma v Sloveniji, edited by Franc Rozman and Žarko Lazarević, 136-147. Ljubljana: Zveza zgodovinskih društev Slovenije, 1996.


Winter Wonderland in the High Mountains

Winter Wonderland in the High Mountains

Winter in the high mountains presents a majestic yet formidable landscape, where snow blankets the peaks and valleys, transforming the familiar terrain into a serene wonderland. Mountain huts, nestled amidst the snow-capped summits, are crucial in facilitating human interaction with this pristine environment during winter.

These mountain refuges serve as beacons of warmth and shelter, offering respite to weary travellers and adventurers seeking solace in the heart of nature’s icy embrace. In the depths of winter, when the world outside seems bleak and unforgiving, these huts stand as bastions of safety and camaraderie, fostering a sense of community among those who brave the elements.

Winter in the high mountains demands respect and preparation. The cold is biting, the winds unforgiving, and the snow drifts deep. Yet, the rewards are boundless for those who dare to venture forth. The crisp air invigorates the senses, while the snow-covered peaks offer unparalleled vistas of breathtaking beauty.

Inside the mountain huts, the atmosphere is friendliness and shared experiences. Travellers from all walks of life gather around crackling fires, swapping tales of their adventures on the slopes and revelling in the simple pleasures of hot meals and warm company. Here, friendships are forged, memories are made, and bonds are strengthened in the crucible of winter’s embrace.

But winter in the high mountains is not without its challenges. The weather can be erratic, with sudden storms and whiteouts posing constant threats to the unprepared. Survival depends on vigilance, resourcefulness, and a deep respect for the forces of nature that reign supreme in these rugged landscapes.

Yet, despite the dangers, the allure of the high mountains in winter remains irresistible to those who yearn for adventure and seek to test their mettle against the elements. For them, the mountain huts serve as sanctuaries of the soul, offering refuge from the storm and a glimpse into the untamed beauty of the natural world.

Ultimately, winter in the high mountains is a testament to humanity’s indomitable spirit, a reminder of our capacity to adapt, endure, and thrive in even the most inhospitable environments. In the warmth of the mountain huts, amidst the snow and the silence, we discover the true essence of our shared humanity.

Accommodation in a mountain hut

Trips and Hikes around the hut

Trips and Hikes on the map

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Erjavceva mountain hut at Vrsic pass in summer

Erjavčeva mountain hut is open the whole year. Reserve your stay and spend some time in the natural paradise of Triglav National Park (UNESCO) near Kranjska Gora on Vršič mountain pass in the heart of Triglav National Park.

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