The region of Paklenica National Park represents one of the most attractive natural-science and tourist resorts in northeast Mediterranean. The grandiose gorge surrounded by harsh mountain cliffs, distant peaks of Velebit and old pine and beech forests is a challenge for each and every nature lover, scientist and climber.
The very entrance to the park where harsh mountain cliffs almost menacingly overarch a visitor, makes it clear why the biggest, the most famous, and the most beautiful Croatian climbing site is located right at this spot. This is the place where anyone can find something for themselves. There's both short and long sport routes sports, and Paklenica satisfies even those who like adventure routes.
The big range in grades serves both absolute beginners as well as the experienced climbers. As more and more climbers discover Paklenica, it has has seen a steady increase in climbers from all over the Europe.
In Paklenica the rock is mainly limestone of karstic origin. It is very firm although sometimes quite sharp. The greatest number of short sports climbing routes is opened in the narrowest part of the gorge, Klanac. Klanac is also easily accessible is suitable for small children. Recently new sectors with oblique, athletic routes on the reddish rock face covered with stalactites have been developed. Some of them, like Crljenica and Tarajlije, are also suitable for climbing in the winter period.
The most famous rock face in Paklenica is Anića kuk. It has routes with different characteristics ranging from those with no in situ gear on the routes, aided routes to modern long sports climbing routes. The latter ones are lately becoming sort of a “specialty” that Paklenica has to offer.
Routes in Paklenica vary when it comes to how well are they equipped. The old routes are equipped with pegs and the newer ones with bolts. A lot of classic routes have already been re-equipped, and a lot of them are about to be re-equipped. It is strongly recommended that you take a set of nuts and friends and few slings with you, except when it comes to some new routes that are fully equipped.
Considering the fact that the Paklenica region is a national park, there are strict regulations here concerning the protection of environment and all visitors, and that means climbers as well must obey those regulations. Any kind of damage to the flora and fauna will be penalised.
Despite the above mentioned the National Park authorities show understanding for climbers. It's also good to know that climbing is not allowed everywhere in the national park. For example in the entire region of Mala Paklenica climbing is not allowed. In Velika Paklenica gorge climbing is banned on Debeli kuk from the lower to the upper parking lot (to the bunker). This ban includes routes over 50 m in hight. In the remaining parts of Debeli kuk, climbing above 200m is not allowed.
Climbing is also banned on rocks on the left hand side from Manita peć to the upper part of Velika Paklenica. Rocks of Jurasova glavica and further on up to the upper part of the gorge on the right hand side are also banned. These bans are made to protect the nature, but also for safety reasons (rocks falling!).
The most favourable time of the year is from April to the late October. In winter strong winds pose quite a problem. Recently the section Crljenica has been developed and considering its sunny position it is suitable for climbing even during the colder parts of the year.
In the spring period it's good to be aware of the frequent showers, but luckily the karstic terrain rocks dries very quickly. In summer it can be hot, but you can always find a face in shade (e.g. Anića kuk – all throughout the morning). In the summer there is an increase in the number of visitors partly because during summer there is a possibility of combining this kind of vacation with swimming in the sea and classic summer vacation.
These topos are made by Astroida team, Boris Čujić and Tomislav Nežmah, who are the authors of the official climbing guides of Croatia and Paklenica. Both of these printed guidebooks you can bought from http://www.paklenica-croatia.com/.