A year ago I tore the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in my left knee. Six months ago, I had an operation. For the half-year anniversary I wanted to do something special, so I did. I climbed the highest Slovenian mountain.
I wrote about my knee and my struggles before here. A torn ACL is a really bad thing to go through if you’re an active person. Walking is basically the only thing you can safely do. Sure, you can run, jump, or play any sport with a ball, but one wrong move and you’ll suffer agonizing pain. It’s just not worth it. That was why I opted for surgery, and just after six months the new ligament, which was placed in the knee, had fully re-grown. And what better way to celebrate than to do something really special. I decided to climb the highest Slovenian mountain.
There is a saying in my country that goes, you’re a true Slovenian only if you climb the highest mountain called Triglav. Triglav means “three heads” because, well, it has three tops. It’s 2,864 meters tall. Nothing special if you compare it to Mt. Everest, Mt. Kilimanjaro, or even Mt. Blanc, but it has a special meaning to us Slovenians. We are extremely proud of it. We have it on our coat of arms, and numerous poems and songs mention it.
Many different celebrations also happen there. When Anže Kopitar won the Stanley Cup for the second time with the LA Kings, he wanted to carry the cup up to Triglav. Every year a hundred women go up there. There was a man who walked barefoot, a guy who hikes up there every day, and another who had just broken a record after hiking up four times in 24 hours. That’s how special this mountain is. You just want to be a part of it.
So many people climbed the mountain before me that I though it can’t be that hard. Well, in the last month, three people fell off of it. You just can’t take on any mountain easily. When you’re reckless, bad things happen. We have a saying that goes: the mountain is not crazy, but the person climbing it. Well, we decided to take the easiest route.
We decided to sleep in one of the cottages just near the summit. We had two hours more before reaching the top. The morning was so beautiful and windy. We were all really excited and a little scared.
The climb to the summit was actually quite demanding. There were wires and in some parts we really had to pull ourselves up. We started in sunshine but after half an hour, it became foggy and the wind became really strong.
We all reached the summit safely. It was foggy so we didn’t see any view, but we were so happy, anyway. Triglav, you’re mine!
The descent was a different story. The wires and rocks were wet, and it was really tiring. We were so happy when we got down, we could cry.
I conquered Triglav. Kilimanjaro, prepare yourself; you’re my next target!