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skijanje bjelolasica

Bjelolasica is the highest mountain in the Velika Kapela massif in Gorski Kotar, and its highest peak is at 1,534 m above sea level. Its shape is very particular, rising exactly as a 5-6 km long ridge with very steep sides from Jasenačko to Mrkopaljsko fields. Its top is in fact a small plateau 1 km long, some hundred metres wide and 1,500 m high on average. The snow lasts on its north-eastern side until May. It is here that the Croatian Olympic Centre “Bjelolasica” (white weasel) was built. There is a unique view from the top of this ski piste as far as the sea – the Bay of Kvarner and Gorski Kotar.

It came by its name because of a narrow, bright crest, or spine, visible above the forested belt, particularly when covered in snow in winter and the people associated this with the weasel and its white winter coat.

The first recorded climb to Bjelolasica dates from 1862. August Šenoa, a famous Croatian writer, wrote about the beauty of climbing Bjelolasica. He described it in his travel book Preko Jasenka (Over Jasenka) in 1880.

A shelter was built just under the very top, at 1,460 metres above sea level, under Kula. The first skiers appeared on Bjelolasica in 1913.

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