Middle Velebit - Dabarski kukovi
Middle Velebit - Dabarski kukovi
Stone but warm heart of Velebit
A particular location in the relief of some 143-kilometre-long massif of Velebit is Dabarski Kukovi, situated close to Baške Oštarije. This is a range of sharp rocky peaks, which immerge from the green woods of Dabar and grass sinkholes, and which stretch in parallel with the Adriatic coast. In this range, it is worth particularly mentioning Bačić Kuk, Kukaline, Butinovača, Kiza, Grabar and Ljubičko hill. Along their north-eastern bottom there are a number of vast karst valleys, three of these being the largest and best known as dabri (Crni, Ravni and Došen Dabar) and two other significant ones as dulibe (Bačić Duliba and Crna Duliba). Dabar and duliba are old Slavic names for deep wooded valleys between high cliffs.
Touring Dabarski Kukovi perpendicularly, along their ridge, is almost an impossible climbing venture, although mountain markers exist on the most part of the ridge. Still, it takes a lot of climbing skill to master the ridge vertically, and due to its lacerated feature, passage is not possible at many points.
Irrespective of this, Dabarski Kukovi are quite accessible thanks to their mountain trails leading from Baške Oštarije straight to the bottom of Dabarski Kukovi and to the following ascending trails. From the north-eastern side of the crags, there is a lovely forest trail leading to Crni and Ravni Dabar. Another easier possibility to access Dabarski Kukovi from Baške Oštarije is the Premužić trail, which stretches from Zavižan to Oštarije. An important point in visiting Dabarski Kukovi and dabri is the mountain lodge in Ravni Dabar.
The centre of mountain tourism and the main mountaineering starting point on Velebit are Baške Oštarije. This mountain settlement is located on a significant Velebit saddle between Gospić and Karlobag. On the very saddle of Oštarije, there is a unique square-shaped stone monument erected in 1846 on the occasion of the completion of an important Velebit road. This point offers a wonderful view of the sea but is exposed to strong northern wind bora gushes and therefore the saddle was later skirted by a small tunnel. The monument is known as kubus. At Baške Oštarije there are two mountain lodges and several buildings intended for the accommodation of guests.
Blazed mountain trails allow interesting climbs from Baške Oštarije to some dozen mountaintops in the surroundings. The most beautiful views are offered by the summit Veliki Sadikovac (1286 m) facing the Lika region. From Baške Oštarije it takes an hour and a half to get to the peak. Ljubičko Hill (1320 m) can be seen from Oštarije as a broad green prominence ending in rocks. From the top, there is a splendid view, one of the most beautiful ones on the entire Velebit, covering the top of southern Velebit, the sea, the Lika region, Dabarski Kukovi and the Oštarije field. It takes a total of two hours for the entire ascent. The most picturesque top of Dabarski Kukovi is Kiza (1274 m), located on a limestone ridge in which many vertical and steep basins of various forms intertwine. Although the mountaintop is not particularly high, thanks to its prominent position it is a very good viewpoint. The peak can be reached from Baške Oštarije in an hour and a half. The climb to Bačić Kuk (1304 m), the most prominent peak of Dabarski Kukovi starts in Bačić Duliba, the same as for the ascent to the grassy Budakovo Hill (1317 m). Nearby, there is a habitat of the endemic species of Velebit, Degenia.
If you ever come to Dabarski Kukovi with open heart and if you are lucky with the weather, you will admire extraordinary views, discover many interesting things worth being amazed with and admiring, and the visit to this location will become an indelible memory.