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The “Let’s Clean Up Our Mountains” campaign into its 13th season with the “Best Hiking Trail 2022” competition

The “Let’s Clean Up Our Mountains” campaign turns its attention this time round to making hiking trails and mountain lodges safer

In this new “Let’s Clean Up Our Mountains” season, hiking lovers will have a chance to cast their vote for Slovenia’s Best Hiking Trail, something they have been doing for the last five years. Votes can be cast for one of the seven candidate trails, which will attract some valuable extra funding, on the Vse bo v redu plus website. Voting is open until 26 June. In addition to ensuring that hiking trails are safe and clean, Zavarovalnica Triglav, as the organiser of the campaign with the Alpine Association of Slovenia (PZS), is this year focusing particular attention on improving the fire safety of mountain lodges.

Seven hiking trails are on this year’s shortlist. All of them have, because of natural events such as rockfalls and extreme weather, been damaged and therefore require some sort of repair; they also have worn-out safety railings and markings, making them hazardous to walkers. This year’s shortlist of trails, several of which have been closed for some years, comprises:

• the Jubilee Mountain Trail from Vršič to Zadnji Prisojnik via Zadnje Plate and through Zadnje Okno
• Iška–Veliki Ločnik
• Kamniška Bistrica–Presedljaj–Korošica
• Tamar–Visoka Ponca
• Krvavec–Zvoh–Vrh Korena–Kalška Gora
• the Silvo Koren Trail on Krn
• the Hanza Trail (Koča na Gozdu lodge–Prisojnik)

Mountain lovers have until 26 June to vote for their favourite trail at  As part of its by-now-traditional “Let’s Clean Up Our Mountains” campaign, Zavarovalnica Triglav will contribute funds to the renovation of the trail with the highest number of votes, thereby also supporting the selfless work of Slovenia’s mountain trailblazers.

Three past winners have already been fully renovated, with the fourth ready to receive visitors this summer.
Trailblazers have, in the five years since the competition began, already renovated three of the winning trails, with the fourth being open to hikers from this summer. These are:

• the circular trail that starts on the Blato mountain pasture and passes through the Pri Jezeru and Dedno Polje mountain pastures, Vrata (below Zelnarica), Prehodavci, Dvojno Jezero Lake, Štapce, Ovčarija and Pri Jezeru mountain pasture again, before ending back on Blato mountain pasture
• the Rečica circular trail
• the Bamberg Trail from Luknja via Plemenice to Triglav.

Even before the main hiking season starts, these three renovated trails will be joined by last year’s winner, which leads from Kranj Lodge on the Ledine Plateau to the slopes of Koroška Rinka. The trailblazers of the Kranj Alpine Association already began basic maintenance work last summer, which involved cleaning and marking what is one of the most demanding trails in the Grintovec mountain group. Difficult weather conditions prevented the PZS technical trailblazers’ group from safely replacing the worn-out railings in exposed areas, forcing the postponement of the renovation work until this season. Renovation and repair work will therefore be completed on last year’s Best Hiking Trail by the start of July.

Improving safety at mountain lodges
Zavarovalnica Triglav, whose “Let’s Clean Up Our Mountains” campaign is aimed at maintaining Slovenia’s hiking trails in a clean and safe state, is also continuing to focus on improving safety at mountain lodges. Working closely with the Alpine Association of Slovenia, the company’s thoughts have again turned to the issue of fire safety in particular. “The main problem when it comes to fire risk in mountain lodges is the fact that chimney systems can be unfit for purpose and electrical supply systems old and worn out. Many do not suffice to meet the actual burdens placed upon them, which can lead to fire,” explains PZS general secretary Damjan Omerzu.

In the last two years, Zavarovalnica Triglav and the PZS have equipped 82 mountain lodges and huts with systems to stop fire from spreading. “Together we are also engaged in drawing alpine organisations’ attention to the dangers and guiding them towards carrying out key fire prevention measures. It is extremely important for the heads of associations and lodge managers to be ready to do everything they can to keep the risk of fire to a minimum. This was the theme of a very successful workshop and fire safety exercise for lodge managers in October 2021. Last but not least, lodge managers should have adequate insurance in order to put themselves on a stable financial footing,” added Omerzu. The owners or caretakers of mountain lodges can apply for fire safety equipment this year as well. The call for applications, which is a joint “Let’s Clean Up Our Mountains” and Alpine Association of Slovenia project, is open until 20 May.

All of us have a part to play in ensuring that Slovenia’s hiking trails are clean and safe
The campaign, which has been a sign of Triglav’s commitment to sustainability for the last 13 years, has more recently turned the spotlight on mountain safety. But as campaign head Ana Cergolj Kebler points out, every single visitor to the mountains has a part to play in ensuring that trails remain pristine and mountain lodges safe: “Through the Best Hiking Trail awards, we’ve been raising awareness for several years of the tireless work of the country’s more than 800 trailblazers, who are responsible for over 10,000 km of hiking paths, and encouraged nature lovers to join them in their noble mission. However, we should never forget that every visitor to the mountains is responsible for keeping trails clean and preserving nature for future generations. For 13 years we’ve been encouraging all hikers to ensure that their unforgettable mountain experiences take place in a clean, tidy and safe environment, which helps trailblazers, mountain rescue teams and lodge managers in their own efforts to increase mountain safety.”

To encourage hikers to be more responsible, the organisers of the “Let’s Clean Up Our Mountains” campaign, in cooperation with the Alpine Association of Slovenia and the Slovenian Mountain Rescue Association, will be organising a large number of activities this season to raise awareness of the importance of keeping trails clean and safe and preparing properly for any trip into the mountains.

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