Mount Korab and Mavrovo

Mount Korab and Mavrovo

                                                                                     Mount Korab Climbing And Mavrovo National Park


-On Monday, December 19, 2016, we departed from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport to reach Skopje Airport. A short trip to Istanbul-Skopje flight. It takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Airline tickets are very cheap because of December. We got a ticket from Pegasus Airlines for a total of 340 TL. We left the Sabiha Gökçen Airport at noon and landed at Skopje Airport at 14.00. You can easily convert the currency in your hand to the Macedonian Dinar when you land at the airport.

1 Euro = 61.3 Macedonian Dinar

-There are two ways to reach Mavrovi Anovi Town from Skopje.
- From the bus terminal;
Skopje (main bus stop) - Mavrovi Anovi (intermediate stop) - Rostushe Town (last stop)
Price = 5 Euro
Bus times = 9.30 - 14.45 - 16.40
Duration = 1 hour 20 min

- A taxi;
Price = 80 Euro
Duration = 1 hour

Mavrovo National Park 

-Mavrovi-Anovi Town is a small town in the Mavrovo National Park. The town is extremely small and unobtrusive. It is on the shore of Mavrovo Lake. In the center there are several restaurants, a small market and a bus stop. Especially in the winter months it is extremely quiet and deserted. The height of Mavrovi Anovi Town is 1276 meters. The most interesting feature of Mavrovi-Anovi Town is the beauty and calm of the lake houses. The beautiful lake houses are in the forest and have a beautiful lake view. As soon as Mavrovi Anovi's town arrived, Dimitar Popov, who was staying with us at the same time as our guide, met us. The 4 days we stayed in the Dimitar Popov’s region showed us a very warm approach. It was very easy to agree that he was a climber and a nature lover himself.

-Mdunt Korab climb we wanted to perform on the first day was postponed to the next day because we could not find a car to reach us. We made this change, but immediately we changed the program and got our Bistra Mountains and Medenica activity in front of the Mount Korab climb.

-Dimitar owns Ski Hut Gorica, a 3-story, cozy lake house. The entrance floor has a kitchen, a fireplace and a small chat room and television. Internet is open 24 hours and includes fiya. There are 2 rooms in the second room. There are 3 bunk beds in the rooms and each room is for 6 people.

-Ski Hut Gorica's price information is as follows;

1 person per day = 12 Euro
Breakfast = 5 Euro (Swedish breakfast, coffee, tea, scrambled eggs, vegetables, fruit, cheese)
Dinner = 8 Euro
Breakfast + Dinner = 10 Euro (Bean casseroles, cucumbers, rice dishes, potato dishes, casseroles)
Guidance = 100 Euro (up to 6 people) -
Car rental and gas = 40 Euro

  • Ski Hut Gorica Address = Bela voda bb, 1256 Mavrovi Anovi
  • Dimitar Popov Phone = 00 389 71 555 185

-Mavrovi Only 6 km from the town of Anovi and the center of Mavrovo. A good walk from the asphalt road in the right weather conditions. Taxi fare between Mavrovi Anovi and Mavrovo is 5 Euro. There are two old and new churches that must be visited and photographed between Mavrovi Anovi and Mavrovo center. The Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church, under the waters of Lake Mavrovo, is an old church built in 1850. In 1953, the church was under the lake waters.

-The new Saint Nicholas Church is a modern Orthodox church built in 1996. Mavrovo Town is a very quiet town, especially during the winter months, except during the skiing seasons. Not many people are seen in the streets. You can find food and drinks in bars and restaurants in the entrance of several hotels. In the Mavrovo Town we saw a total of two shops selling winter ski equipment. There are no stores selling technical mountain goods.

-Mavrovo and Mavrovi In these times of the year, it is not too late to have dinner in the Anovi Towns. Restaurants are open until 10 am.

Bistra Mountains and Mount Medenica 

-We decided to do a training walk to the Bistra Mountains for the preparation of Korab Mountain. Our goal was to climb Mount Medenica in the Bistra Mountains.Medenica is a mountain of 2163 meters in height and not a technical challenge. It is easily accessible from the Galicnik Village. The team consists of Serdar Ayrılmaz, Utku Ayrılmaz, Cenk Ertekin and Ümit Babalık. Our guide and our landlord ascend in the south-west direction from Lake Mavrovo by means of Dimitar, following the forested area and moving towards the village of Galicnik.

-Due to icing on the forest road, the car could not reach us at Galicnik Village and we left the car at the end of the forest road and started the walk at 12.00 noon. As we did not receive guidance from Dimitar during this training climb, Dimitar left to take us from the point where he left.

-The fare for the roundtrip to Dimitar is 20 Euro.

-First we finished the forest road and followed an asphalt road parallel to reach the small village houses which were left in this season in 1 hour. We continued on the asphalt road without stopping and saw the Mount Medenica sign and started to ascend out of the way. Here Ümit exclaimed that he did not want to spend his energy before the climbing of Mount Korab tomorrow, and 3 people continued to climb.

-Our biggest problem here is that we can not predict exactly where Medenica Mountain is. The mountains around us seemed so close together and almost at the same height that we could not decide which one was the Medenica Mountain we wanted to go to. We decided to make a training climb, to be airborne after a few hours, and because of this ambiguity, we showed up at 2,000 meters and decided to do a good workout and decided to go up at 14.30. After 40 minutes of landing on the asphalt road and finding Ümit, we reached a forested area where Dimitar left us at 16.30 am with a heavy tempo and plenty of photographs and we headed for Mavrovi Anovi Town with the same vehicle.

Mount Korab Climbing 

-In the morning, we woke up at 6.00 am for a winter climb, which was quite late, and at breakfast we started the Korab climb. We headed to the Pobeda Region with a van that our guide Dimitar Popov found barely.

-There are 2 directions from Mavrovi Anovi Town to reach the starting point of Korab climbing Pobeda.

1. Recipe: You are moving towards Debar by following the road of R1202 Turn right at the shoreline and continue to 11 km on the gravel road and reach Pobeda.
2. Recipe: Following the asphalt road from Mavrovi Anovi, you arrive at the Radika river, then you reach Pobeda on a 10 km steady road.

-In summer conditions these two routes are quite comfortable and smooth. However, in winter conditions, it is extremely difficult to pass through the roads where the asphalt road is over and where the stabilization road starts, with a normal passenger vehicle and some frosted roads. In the winter it is obligatory to go out with a jeep-type vehicle.The distance from the end of the asphalt to the Pobeda region is 11 kilometers. We entered the wooded valley in the west of Lake Mavrovo before our vehicle stopped at the Stezimir Township police station. Macedonian policemen are strictly controlling climbers because the mountains of Korab are behind Albania. Our guide Dimitar showed his passports to the officers without even having to get out of the car, and after signing a paper that the group took responsibility, we left the police without any problem and continued on our way.

-But the fate of our vehicle did not differ from the Mount Medenica journey the previous day. On the way, our vehicle, which could not pass through the frozen ice surface of the flowing waters, left us at 1220 meters, 2 kilometers from the Pobeda Zone. We both had to go on the road in late one hour, and normally we started 2 kilometers back from our starting route, which loses us a considerable amount of time.

-Our team of 5 people consisting of Serdar Ayrılmaz, Utku Ayrılmaz, Ümit Babalık, Cenk Ertekin and our guide Dimitar Popov started to ascend towards the Pobeda Region from the Stezimir pathway in the wooded valley at 8.45 pm. After a 1 hour walk, we arrived at the Pobeda District, where the Korab climb began at 9.45. Pobeda is a border police station that means for Victory in Turkish.
It's completely empty in winter months. We have been here for 15 minutes and after the final preparations we started to rise at 10.00 am on the classical course of Mount Korab. Luckily the weather is very clear and sunny. The long, curved trail leaves the road, we ascend from a dense forest area and steep trails. We meet a few mountain farms on our way. The past farms are abandoned in the winter months.

-We just keep on top of all the overalls in a 5-minute mall. When the forest zone is over, the mass of Mount Korab comes out, but the summit still does not show itself. A hard but unnecessary track goes up the left side of the back track and reaches the back track. We give our first long mohole here. We start the road after the molar and start a long side pass from the right steep slope of the mountain mass. The snow wears our crampons for this side pass, and we move carefully. When the side pass is over, we continue to climb from a steep snow-ice track towards the main mass of Mount Korab.

-When we approach the top of the summit, the intensity of the wind increases considerably. It's getting so much that I'm starting to feel my hand. I take my suitcase and wear the second Gore-Tex glove immediately. After a while my fingers warmed from cold to cold. At the end of a steep snow-ice route, the summit of Korab Mountain finally becomes clear. With just a ten-step walk I, Utku and our guide Dimitar are going to the summit of 2764 meters Korab Mountain. After a few minutes Serdar and Ümit are reaching the summit. We are reaching the summit at 15.30. Climbing is 5 hours and 45 minutes from Pobeda. It's not a bad performance for winter conditions.

-This summit is also the border of Macedonia and Albania. The mountain of Korab can also be reached by Albania. This mountain is the highest point of both countries. The name of mount Korab in Albania is Maja e Korabit. As the summit is very windy, we start to take a few photos and videos right away. We are going to go to the late road and we will make a part of the landing in the dark because of our early landing. After about 2 hours the weather is getting darker and we continue to grow up with our headlights. Our guide Dimitar Popov is highly experienced and cautious. Besides knowing the route well, we find our route easily even though it is blind darkness with the route information it loads to GPS. I have forgotten my head lamp at the lake house, it makes me very tortured. I do not see my way in many places, but my friends Serdar and Umit come from behind and light me with their head lamps.

-Finally we arrive at the Pobeda border police station at 19.05 at night. After a little rest, we continue on the path of Stezimir path. Because our vehicle will be waiting in the place where we downloaded it. So we have 1 more hour. Our guide Dimitar's biggest concern is the possibility that the car was gone because we were late and in the dark. We can not reach the driver because he did not pick up the phone. At the end of the landing that does not seem to end, we see the vehicle's headlights and we all relax. We ride our car and go back to Mavrovi Anovi Town, we celebrate a climbing trip in a restaurant in the town and have a deep and peaceful sleep at Dimitar's lake house.

Korab Mountain Coordinates 

-DD Coordinates = 41.78749685 20.541331168

-DMS Coordinates = 41°47'14.99" N 20°32'28.79" E

-UTM Coordinates = 34T 461887.97188781 4626284.3368904                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


                                                                                            (Map of Korab and Mavrovo)

2 thoughts on “Mount Korab and Mavrovo

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