Tuesday 23 August 2016

Climbing Musala, summit of Mount Rila and highest peak in Eastern Europe

I made this video the other day while climbing Musala, the summit of the Rila mountain range and the highest peak between the Alps and the Caucasus and the highest in Eastern Europe bar the Caucasus. It is 2,925 m (9,596 ft) above the sea level.

Climbing this peak, while not the most difficult experience in my life was still pretty hard and this mostly due to the late start and the need to maintain relatively high speed. And the big luck I had this day was to meet a family of experienced climbers who were setting the appropriate pace. Without them I would have had pretty hard time, because at first I started way too fast and probably would have crumbled before reaching the peak and then, I didn't knew really the way and the chances are that I would have gotten lost at some point. So, big thanks to them and the good luck I had this day.

Now, A bit of information how to get to the peak. First, go to Sofia, the Capital of Bulgaria. Then find "Gara Yug", which means South Station and is next to the metro station "Joliot Curie". There can be find busses every hour going to town called Samokov for 5-6 levs (2-3 pounds), then from Samokov to the village Borovets with mini busses for few levs. The distance is 12 km and taxi will cost 12 levs for example. Once you are in Borovets look for the gondola lifts and go for the one for Yastrebets, it should cost 12 levs for 2 way ticket. If you want more hardcore experience you can start climbing from Borovets, but here I am not going to get in details about that option. Mind that if you want to use the public transport and the gondola lifts you should squeeze the whole exercise between 8 and 18 o'clock and check in advance which days the gondola lift works.

So, from Ystrebets there is wide back road to Musala Hut, which can be taken for 40 min. From there starts the steep part through rocks and boulders to Ledenoto Ezero (Icy Lake) Hut, which takes another 50 min. After that point is the last section, which finishes at the summit itself and takes no more then 30 min. This climb took about 2 hours as far as I can see from the time stamps of the photos that I was taking during the ascent.

So, in conclusion Id like to say that despite the bad weather and the lack of any visibility, getting on this summit was great experience and nice notch on the tourist's belt with conquests.

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