Baška was always attractive to people that love rocks and climbers are sure one of those, but despite that sport climbing reached Baška quite late.
BEAUTIFUL VALLEY, MADE FOR CLIMBING!
The first bolted route on island of Krk was opened at a small crag of Bunculuka, during summer 1996, by Tomaž Košir. All together 5 routes were bolted in a week, but there was not a lot of potential for further development and fun, so Tomaž started to look for a bigger crag. He soon found the walls of Portafortuna, clearly visible from the road, 10 km from Baška towards Punat, and at the end of Spring 1997, 6 new beautiful and long routes were opened in a crag that was promising to be the playground for many more. Unfortunately others didn’t follow this lead and despite the fact that both crags were included in the first climbing guidebook for Croatia, only three additional routes were opened there during next 10 years! Beside that, equipment used in 1996 and 1997 was not stainless steel, so some gear corroded quite bad, due to humid and salty environment, what happen to be just another drawback for already unpopular crag. But things changed!
In 2007 Tomaž visited the crag again, after a long time, and decided to change equipment in his old routes with new stainless steel gear. He didn’t stop just by that and soon he invested more than 1000 EUR into the box of new inox bolts, hangers and belays, what resulted in 20 new routes during the following winter in a Portafortuna crag. Routes, base of the crag and approach paths were cleaned at the same time by help of Daša Novak, Sandra Jerčinovič and Žarko Seršič and they, together with Tomaž, decided to keep with systematic development of climbing crags around Baška. This organized, strictly voluntary approach and already increasing popularity of the Portafortuna crag, made Municipal Tourists Association of Baška recognize the perspective in what “CIB crew” was doing. The first box of bolts and belays was soon financed by them and additionally Alpine climbing club from Rijeka (RAK) participated around 200 bolt hangers. What followed first, was a complete rebolting of old corroded Bunculuka routes, which in June 2008 got all new INOX glue-in bolts, top anchors and new routes. Portafortuna crag was extended to all sides and became very popular, while the crags development in Baška valley is still in the progress …
You will find several different types of limestone here, from the most frequent, compact gray and white, full of pockmarks, flakes and edges, over smooth, yellowish with crimps, to sometimes thin and slightly crumbly with dusty pockets. Big overhangs and caves are not so common around Baška. There are many vertical or steep, also overhanged walls and very good slabs. As the rock is very rich with iron, you will see many brown stripes on the gray faces of the crags. This is in fact a thin layer of corrosion that occurred there over many years. If you see stainless steel bolts with some traces of corrosion at the surface, this is due to the iron particles from the rock, dripping around with water when raining. It can make no harm to the route gear itself and can only stick to the surface of it. Another thing you can sometimes spot on the rock around Baška, is salt being deposited to the surface, also 10km away from the sea. This is quite usual after days of strong Bora winds, with no rain and happens due to the fact, that Bora is blowing from the sea towards the island here. This winds are than very salty and while being very strong, can bring salt very far. Rain will eventually wash it away, but winds and salt together are the main reason why rock in Baška is very sharp in places. Yes, here you should choose long pants, over your knees, for climbing
We use only stainless steel bolts, hangers and anchors from manufacturers such as Raumer, Petzl, Fixe … Our standards are set high and we want to secure as safe climbing as possible. Our philosophy is that all routes must offer the same standard of safety no matter the grade, what means that people climbing 5a at their top limit should feel just as safe as those climbing 8a! Author of the route should never place bolts too far apart just because a route is an easy climb for him or her! Top anchors are mainly the most common, INOX, two bolts belay setups, linked with a chain and a karabiner or ring to take the rope.
As most of the Europe, we use French system. To convert this into any other system, please see the grade comparison table.
Correct grading can be a difficult task! Especially when you have to grade a route that is not close to your limits. It would also depend on the type of rock that you fancy, climbing technique that suits you best, how many times did you climb the route, did you find the easiest combination of moves, etc … The best way to give a route as correct grade as possible is a discussion among those that climbed it and to collect as many opinions as possible. Therefore we prepared a form that enables you to send us your opinion on any route from CIB portfolio in order to express your idea on the specific grade. Click here for the form … But please, try to avoid focusing on grades too much! Let’s climb to have fun and enjoy the nature first!
Approaches to the crags are described in a TOPO and include GPS coordinates of a parking places. Footpaths are marked with small stone towers or with discreet signs painted on the rocks along the paths. On the areas and approaches to the crags it is common to see sheep. Please do not disturb animals and always close any fence doors you will pass through. Sometimes shepherds are moving their stock and would put some cut bushes on the path to make a temporary fence. If possible don’t remove these bushes or at least remove only to pass and than move back. What makes us climbers different to sheep is that usually we can easy find the way around or over it
Climbing is also a great family sport, therefore many people would come to the crags with children. Please see more info on how suitable the crags are for children on our crags specific pages and in the topo.
The closest climbing shop is in Rijeka (ca. 70km), therefore bring enough magnesium and finger tape with you
Baška is not a big climbing area where you would easy find a climbing partner in a local pub or a camping place. The best way to connect with someone would be to use our Facebook page discussion board.
Good climatic conditions allow climbing also during high summer, what makes the area perfect for combined summer seaside vacations, though best period is still spring and autumn (beginning of March to mid June and mid September to mid November). During this pre/off season periods Baška still offers a lot of touristic facilities and climbers are very welcome. Especially in November and March there are almost no other tourists in town, what can be ideal for those seeking for peaceful times by the sea. In November, rainy days can can be quite frequent, but there are also seasons with almost summer periods lasting till mid of December. During winter time it is possible to climb on nice sunny days, but you should avoid windy or foggy days which are quite frequent from December till February.
Please never leave any litter behind you! Always carry it back with you and throw away where acceptable … If you see that someone left something behind, please be a good example and pick it up. Smokers be very careful!!!! Your cigarette butts are a huge fire hazard and thrown away also very unsightly! The bases of the crags should not become a giant ashtray!!!
BOLTING NEW ROUTES
PLEASE, ALWAYS CONTACT US BEFORE AND AFTER YOU BOLT A NEW ROUTE IN BAŠKA VALLEY!
Many of the terrains we are using to approach the crags and also where the crags are located, are private and we need to follow the wishes of the owners. We can’t just bolt anywhere we want! TheRe are also the standards we have promised to the local Tourist Association and gain their full support, which we would like to keep for many years to come. Therefore please, check with us first whether your potential lines are available and acceptable for bolting. We are also sure you wouldn’t want to work hard and bolt some great routes, to later find out that nobody will be allowed to go climbing there, including you.
CRAGS HISTORY LOG:
1996 – Tomaž Košir bolted first sport climbing route on island of Krk and named it “Oda blesavim”. He bolted and climbed 4 more routes during the same summer season, with the hardest one graded 7a.
1997 - Tomaž Košir bolted first 6 routes in Portafortuna crag, 10 km from Baška, up to 30 meters long and in a perfect limestone. The hardest one remained the project.
1998 - Both small areas in Baška valley were included in new climbing guide for Croatia.
2001 - Krešimir Klasan and Dubravko Balaško opened a new route at Portafortuna, called Bašćanska ploča (4c, 30m).
2004 - Marko Lukič visited Portafortuna and climbed 30m open project bolted in 1997. He named it Cojones and graded it 7b+. He also bolted two new routes right and left from Cojones (7c & 7a+).
2007 - Tomaž Košir, Daša Novak, Sandra Jerčinović & Žarko Seršič (CIB crew) started with systematic development of climbing crags in Baška / Tomaž changed heavily corroded top anchors of old routes in Portafortuna to new INOX equipment and bolted 6 new routes at the slabs on the right of the crag. During the same time Daša, Sandra and Žarko started with cleaning of the approach path and area below the crag.
2008 - The website Climbinbaska.Com was launched to serve with all up-to-date information. / CIB crew with help of friends Nadan and Sašo finished cleaning of the Portafortuna area and Tomaž Košir bolted 20 new routes at the same crag. / CIB crew received the first big box of new INOX bolts and top anchors from Municipal Tourists Association of Baška and more than 100 hangers from RAK (alpine climbing club from Rijeka). / Bunculuka crag with surrounding area was completely cleaned by Sandra, Daša and Žarko. Tomaž rebolted all old routes with INOX glue-in bolts and opened 5 new short lines.
2009 – New climbing guide for Croatia is introduced with recent updates from Portafortuna and Bunculuka crags (up to the end of 2008). Unfortunately author didn’t mention this website as the source of all updates in it at all. / Betka Galičič bolted 5 new routes and projects in Portafortuna crag C sector while Trpimir Jakovina and Daniel Faber bolted their (one each) new&short routes in sector A. / CIB team received a new box of bolts and top anchors from Municipal Tourists Association of Baška. / New, very promising crag is discovered by CIB crew. Waiting for approval of local authorities to mark the access path. A lot of cleaning is done at the bases of the future sectors. Tomaž Košir bolts 5 new routes in future sector B.
2010 - In April Thomas and Sandra Jekel bolted 4 new routes in Portafortuna, sector D, while Thomas Eberl and Martin Aubauer opened 1 route in sector C. / In May Tomaž Košir replaced corroded bolts and anchor in 4 old routes at Portafortuna, sector C. / During summer months Betka Galičič with friends opened several new routes over the steepest (and sometimes crumbly), yellowish part of Portafortuna sector C. / During autumn new crag was being further developed while we could not publish it jet officially, due to open approach issue. Tomaž Košir bolted 15 new routes in sectors A, C and E, while a lot of cleaning was done by other crew members.
2011 – During winter 10-11 access path to the new crag was cleaned. The name of the crag is now Belove Stene. / In March and April CIB team was working hard to remove Ivy from the walls at Belove Stene, as it was covering big part of sector E lower wall. That was followed by 12 new routes, opened by Tomaž Košir, with marking of the path and official opening of the crag. / At the end of April Hans Weninger and friends bolted 6 new routes in sector A and E of Belove Stene. / At the end of April Thomas Jekel, Sandra Jekel, Hannes Hoffmann & Martin Birle opened 8 new routes at Portafortuna sectors B and D. / In May, Tomaž Košir exchanged old corroded bolts in route Cojones in Portafortuna with INOX equipment. He also placed a new belay 2m higher and extended the route (7b+) for 2 meters (=32m).