The big cave was calling for me.

I’ve heard about climbing on Hvar already a long time ago, and it has been on my wish list ever since Dani Piccini first send me the photos of the amazing cave in Lučišče canyon. Many years have passed, and others were kept reminding me about this island and its neighbor Brač.

This year, while on a Balkan trip, we finally got a chance to stop there on our way. Well, basically, we were stuck in Istria and didn’t have an exact plan of what to do, and then Roko sent me the picture of this cool wall and invited us to bolt some routes with him. He didn’t have to ask twice; we were already sitting in our big white van and driving down south.

Our base camp was in Jelsa, situated in the middle of the island, and is perfect for visiting all the climbing areas.

Small but nice deep water solo spot

1st day, to recover from driving, we decided to do some Deepwater soloing. It looked like a small crag from the boat, but when I was somewhere in the middle of the wall, my chicken brain took over, and I had to jump down. Even though it was already November, the water was still warm enough for swimming. They say the sea doesn’t get much colder, so it is not the best place for practicing the Wim Hof method :).

Day 2. Finally, we walked up to the big Lučišče crag. The closer we got, the bigger it looked. Even before I cached my breath, I was already searching for new lines I wanted to open. One particular stood out immediately in the center of the wall, over the huge roof with big holes and into grey holdless headwall. I decided the best way to start working on it is to get to the top by doing a big traverse from the side, over some loose ledges, and finally to the final part of the beautiful headwall of the route. Just when we reached the top, stronger than strong Jugo wind started and was trying to blow us off the wall. Then the rain started. But luckily, that was not a big problem for continuing working on a big roof. The quality of the rock was amazing, and I knew I had a great week of bolting ahead of me.

Day 3. Winds calmed down, and living on the ledge below the wall was pleasant again. I finished working on the 70m monster route and was happy to see it’s theoretically possible to climb it. Just in case, I added another anchor at the jug just before the hard holdless section starts for those who already get pumped after 35 meters of roof climbing :).

Following days, we were mostly hanging on a wall like “Pršut” while drying on the wind. It took us almost a week before we were dry enough and started trying all the routes that we had done. It was worth it. I can’t remember when I enjoyed climbing so much. It is special to put all the work into developing a new climbing area and then enjoy climbing in it. You don’t want to leave the island when you see the result and how fun climbing on newly bolted routes.

Sector Ruža Vjetrova has 23 brand new routes, and 18 are still waiting for the first ascent. I don’t believe in closed projects, so if anyone feels like getting the extra points for FA, feel free to go for it. After all, I did not make routes; they were carefully sculpted by nature to give us these amazing challenges. I just put the bolts in to make it safe 😉

Thanks so much to the organizations that helped finance this: Hive Climbing Gym ZagrebTZ Jelsa and TZ Starigrad.

Topo of Lučišče
Previous reading
Climbing on Hvar
Next reading
How is the climbing in Istria, and what is the HC-Hardcore sector?