I think it has taken me longer to write this overview than the guidebook itself! Anyway, I will start from the start.
My name is Ivan Kuvačić and I live in Gata, a village 6 km inland from Omiš. It might seem that, living in a place like Omiš, surrounded by cliffs, climbing would come naturally to me. But the truth is that there are only a few local climbers in the Omiš area.
I, as a climber, was initially influenced by my brother Marin, who also influenced our cousin Vjeko. Subsequently, many other people have shaped me as a climber, eventually leading to me putting together this guidebook.
At the start of my climbing, friends of mine introduced me to bolting. Together with Goran Marušić (Pipa), Ivo Beović and a few of our friends, we started bolting crags in Omiš, such as Babina bara, Vojan and Stomorica.
I was a newbie in this world, but I knew that I wanted to be part of it and that we were making something to be left to future generations of climbers. And that idea stuck in my head. Oh, all those cliffs surrounding Omiš were our playground on which we played with bolts and Hilti drills…the rest of the time looking for anybody willing to help us financially as almost all the bolting materials were purchased with our own money!
When world bouldering champion, Jernej Kruder, came to Omiš he not only became a close friend but also added some gasoline to the fire for bolting. He wanted to find king lines to bolt, and that's how Vrulja and Mimice came to life.
I remember the feeling while bolting the route 'Francuska jaja/One winter in paradise'. Immediately I knew that it would be a gem of a route. On the same day I bolted that route, Jernej bolted 'Gusjenica samoubojica'.
The idea of seeing a wall for the first time, and onto that blank page writing a story with bolts as punctuation, such that the seemingly blank wall now has a sequence required to get to the anchor, feels more like art than physical activity.
I want to thank my friends Nikola Kramarić and Nika Perčić, who helped me in many ways to make this guidebook.
Last but not least, I want to thank my beautiful wife Anamarija; nothing compares with sharing a life with you. I am forever grateful to God for putting us together. She has helped me in so many ways that I don't know how to express it in a sentence.
I also want to thank all the bolters who put their time and energy into putting up climbs in Dalmatia. Some of these lines are genuinely magnificent, as you can see in the route descriptions. Dalmatia has more than 1600 routes, and many people made significant efforts to make those routes available for anybody in the world to enjoy. And we need to make sure that all those routes are adequately maintained.
I hope that people come to Croatia and have a great time, giving feedback about grades and bits of advice to improve the experience of climbers at the crags.
On all crags, you will find recommended routes and info such as sunny hours, approach time, and so on.
By buying this guidebook, you will help us to bolt many new routes, and even more importantly, to maintain existing routes to maximum safety standards.
Dalmatia is a region of Croatia that comprises the central coastal strip and a fringe of islands along the Adriatic Sea. It is located in the south of Croatia and includes hundreds of islands and several National parks.
Dalmatia is home to more than 1600 routes on 60 crags (Paklenica excluded), and the number of climbs is increasing rapidly. What is great for climbing in Dalmatia is that you can climb all year round and almost all crags have short and simple access from the parking. Most crags are modest in terms of the number of routes, but you can easily switch between crags. Apart from climbing, Dalmatia has picturesque beaches, hiking and cycling trails, all within a few minutes from Mediterranean villages, towns and cities with a rich cultural heritage and beautiful architecture.
__Bolting & rebolting__
Environmental and ethical issues must be seriously considered if you plan to contribute to putting up new routes or rebolting existing climbs. Whether you are an experienced bolter or you want to bolt your first route somewhere in Dalmatia, please contact me or the local climbing gym before taking any action.
The local tourism boards in Dalmatia now recognizes the importance of climbers to the economy. This has meant government support and encouragement of climbing activities and of bolting new routes. This support is based on climbers keeping high safety standards when bolting new routes.
Only the best bolting materials should be used when bolting routes, especially for crags exposed to a harsh marine environment. We can advise on the materials to use, and we can ensure that your new routes are included in the guidebook and get the traffic they deserve.
Some of the older fixed gear is slowly becoming dangerously unreliable. If you find such compromised gear, please contact me. Rebolting almost always takes place after consultation with the authors of the routes.
If you put up a new route or start to develop a new crag, or if you find an error in this guidebook or have a suggestion on anything climbing related, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Chipping is often seen as a thing of the past, but unfortunately, it still occurs. I have nothing against climbing chipped routes from the past. To me, they are a part of climbing history and shouldn’t be changed. That said, in line with climbing ethics, the local climbing community in Dalmatia strictly forbids chipping. If a line is too hard, go find another one rather than chipping the route down to your level.
If you see a tag on the first bolt of the route, it means that the route is closed for climbing. There are three reasons for this:
* the route is not finished yet (more bolts are needed and/or it has not yet been cleaned)
* the route is dangerous and needs rebolting
* the person who bolted the route is still working on the first ascent. Recently, there was a discussion in several climbing magazines about this topic. Regardless of your personal opinion on this topic, please respect the amount of work, money and energy necessary to create a new route and keep off those routes.
Some of the crags in Dalmatia are located on private land or access to the crag requires passing through private property (e.g., Sveti Vid - Trogir, sector ‘Mala stina’, Cliffbase, Smrka). If that is the case, it is mentioned in the crag description, but it is on all of us who climb on those crags to maintain a good relationship with landowners. Remember that a lot of people consider climbers to be a bit odd, and that includes the landowners who own the lumps of rock we love so much. Hence, when we go climbing we should be nice to everyone we encounter! OK, so you blew the on-sight and feel like screaming. Remember that the family below won't appreciate you screaming your head off…nor will other climbers for that matter. Be polite! Climbing is a privilege, not a right.
The emergency number is 112. If you get hurt, call the emergency number and, if needed, they will alert the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (CMRS).
The CMRS is a national, voluntary and highly professional, humanitarian and non-partisan association working in the public interest. It is dedicated to preventing accidents and providing rescue and first aid services in the mountains and other areas with difficult access as well as in extraordinary circumstances which require special know-how and equipment for preserving human, material and environmental resources.
The CMRS is a non-profit association that performs services of national interest. There are 25 mountain rescue teams across Croatia.
Although the thought of sleeping under a starry sky while listening to the lapping sea sounds beautiful, wild camping in Croatia is forbidden. Police can fine you 3000 kuna (~400 euros) for this activity. On the other hand, there are many places in Croatia where camping is allowed, but for a fee!
In Dalmatia, most camping areas are located along the coast, with a smaller number along rivers and lakes. Note that sleeping on the beach in a sleeping bag is illegal. But an option that allows you to sleep outdoors in a tent is to ask property owners if they will allow you to spend the night in their backyard. This favor is free of charge as it is considered a friendly act — and you avoid possible penalties!
Another option for traveling around Croatia is caravans and campervans. Note that, unlike some other European countries, in Croatia you cannot park just anywhere and stay the night in a van. It is necessary to reserve a place inside a camp. Camp prices vary but at least you will be safer than parked by the road somewhere!
Weather in Dalmatia offers climbing all year around but if you get caught by rainy days or just want to restore some power for your projects, there are four climbing gyms in Dalmatia, all located in the Split area:
SPK Mosor, https://www.facebook.com/spkmosor
SPK TNT, https://www.facebook.com/climbingtnt/
SPK Lapis, https://spk-lapis.hr/
SPK Marulianus, http://www.marulianus.hr/index.php?option=com_contact&view=contact&id=1&Itemid=6