Marko Posavec Photography

Kalnik Under Cumulus Skies

Kalnik is a mountain in northwestern Croatia, overlooking the eponymous village near Križevci. Its prominent limestone ridge is an unusual sight in the surrounding landscape, rising abruptly like a wall from the plain and low hills. While not impressive in altitude – its highest peak is only 643 meters above sea level – the cliff truly stands out, as it looks like something that would belong to mountainous karst regions of Croatia.

As this Sunday was a beautiful and calm day, I climbed up there and took some photos. This is the view from the highest peak, Vranilac, over the region known as Prigorje.

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There’s been a lot of rain so everything is green.

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Geodetic mark of Vranilac peak and the TV tower.

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Textbook example of cumulus humilis, fair-weather cumulus clouds.

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Panorama stitched from six individual frames, spanning about 180°.

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Kalnik is also a popular paragliding spot. The prominence of its ridge above the surrounding terrain makes a great take-off point.

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Gliding over low, wavy hills of Prigorje.

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After several low passes, he caught a thermal and soared way up.

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The city of Čakovec, about 30 kilometers away. Visibility was excellent.

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A friendly reptile. Being a small oasis of karst in the middle of much more hospitable terrain, Kalnik is infamous for its population of horned vipers (Vipera ammodytes). People are rarely bitten, but it’s a small place with lots of those unsettling creatures so climbers must pay attention to their presence.

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And a butterfly.

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The fields of Prigorje with cloud shadows.

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This is Varaždin, once a capital of Croatia until a fire devastated it in 1776. Range: 22 kilometers.

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Ivanščica mountain, 26 kilometers away. This one is much higher than Kalnik (1.061 meters a.s.l.), but generally lacks karst features.

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One more painting-like photo to end this post. As Kalnik is near my place and easily accessible, I climb it a couple of times a year, which means that there will be more photos from this place in the future.

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