Summer Hikes in Bulgaria

 

Hi, There’S no more planned hikes on Our 2018 Summer programme. We’Re planning on running them again next year, so here’S the page to give you an idea of wHat we do…

Although we do work privately, over the years we’ve come to recognise that some people like to join a group. It’s a great way to meet like minded folk and enjoy a day in the mountains at the same time.  Last years “peaks and ridges” programme proved popular, so for this summer we’ve put together another series of hikes in July and August. They are of various levels of ability and include some old favourites, as well as some exciting new routes.

Our idea is to lead a small group of between 4 and 8 people on each hike. The cost is £15 p/p (33Lv p/p), this includes transport from and back to Bansko, but  excludes any chairlifts we may use.

NB The costs for the Musala hike (1/8) and the Sinanitsa overnighter (13/8 & 14/8) are priced separately

July Hikes 

11/7 – Vihren Summit  Our favourite route up the highest peak in the range begins at the Vihren hut. We then contour  Vihren’s Eastern flanks to the Golyam Kazan cirque. From there it’s up to the summit via the Northern face. This route requires the use of your hands. In places there are fixed chains to help if needed and there are some areas of moderate exposure. This walk starts at 1950m and the summit is 2914m.  Grade Hard

18/7 –  Muratov Peak  We ascend this peak via Muratovo Ezero (Lake). There is a short section to the summit which may require the use of your hands. From the summit we can descend, either back to the lake or over the summit to the preval (pass) before returning to the lake for a rest stop. This walk starts at 1950m and we climb to 2669m.  Grade Moderate 

23/7 – Hvoinati Peak  From Vihren hut we walk to Vihrenski preslap and then on to the summit. This walk starts at 1950m and we climb to 2635m.  Grade Moderate

25/7 – Vasilashki Ridge Walk  This is a route we discovered a couple of years ago and its become one of our favourites. Starting from Vihren hut, we walk along the alpine valley to Todorina porta, from there it’s along the Vasilashki ridge to Vazela peak. In places there are short periods of exposure and you may need to use your hands to get over small rocky steps. This hike starts at 1950m and we climb to 2620m.  Grade Moderate to Hard

30/7 –  Bezbog Peak   We’ll take the chairlift from Gotse Delchev Hut nr Dobrinishte to Bezbog Hut  then walk to Bezbog summit. We start walking around 2240m and climb to 2645m.  This a great introductory hike to the Pirin mountain summits, with beautiful views from Bezbog summit. Grade Easy 

NB: You’ll need 18Lv p/p for the chairlift, which is paid locally

August Hikes 

1/8 – Musala  Summit  Standing at 2925m and being the highest peak in the entire Balkan peninsula, Musala is a must do peak for any mountaineer in Bulgaria. We will drive from Bansko to Borovets and take the gondola before staring our walk to the summit. Our route takes us past mountain lakes and meadows before meeting the rocky path to the summit. En route, there is the opportunity to rest and refuel at one of the mountain huts we’ll pass. After the walk we can have something to eat before returning to Bansko.  Grade Moderate to Hard

 The cost for this trip is £40 p/p (90Lv) and includes guiding, transport (Bansko -Borovets – Bansko) and the Gondola

3/8 – Pirin Balcony Hike This is a beautiful, scenic walk. We start at the Banderitsa Hut (1810m) and climb steeply through the tees to an alpine meadow, which sits in a cirque at around 2400m.  We then gain the footpath to Vihren and traverse along it to the Vihren Hut. From there we return to Banderitsa via the valley.  NB we’re doing this walk again on the 16/8   Grade Easy +

This walk is being run by us in support of Trailsystem and Sunflower; two not for profit organisations here in Bulgaria. Trailsystem works in conjunction with the National Park to promote mountain activities. Sunflower supports elderly, disabled and disadvantaged people living in the Razlog valley. All our proceeds from this walk go equally to them. 

6/8 – Djamdjiev Ridge to Vihren Summit  We start from either the Banderitsa (1810m) or Vihren (1950m) huts and walk up to the beginning of the ridge. From here on, expect plenty of hands on scrambling and exposure as you gain the summit of Vihren (2917m). On the way, you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views of the Pirin and won’t meet many more people. We return to the hut via Vihrens’ southern flank. This route is for experienced mountain walkers who have preferably completed a route such Tryfan or Striding Edge  Grade Hard+

16/8 – Pirin Balcony Hike  This is an extra date we’ve added to the programme. See the walk details above on the 3/8  Grade Easy +

17/8 – Polejan Peak  We’ll take the chairlift from the Gotse Delchev hut, near Dobrinishte, to Bezbog hut. From there, it’s on to the summit via the Bezbojki Preval. This is an iconic hike in the range, and one we consider to be a stunner.  We start walking from around 2240m and climb to 2851m.  Grade Easy+ 

NB: You’ll need 18Lv p/p for the chairlift which is paid locally

22/8 – Vasilashki Ridge Walk  This is a route we discovered a couple of years ago and its become one of our favourites. Starting from Vihren hut, we walk along the alpine valley to Todorina porta, from there it’s along the Vasilashki ridge to Vazela peak. In places there are short periods of exposure and you may need to use your hands to get over small rocky steps. This hike starts at 1950m and we climb to 2620m.  Grade Moderate to Hard

The grades explained

Easy – Suitable for most regular walkers in good health. These are generally between 5 to 7hrs of walking, which is predominantly on clear paths, although the terrain can be rocky underfoot. (UK example; English Lake District, Wainwright fell e.g Skiddaw ).

Moderate – Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers, they are generally on good paths and tracks, but can include  stretches on boulder fields/broken ground and or exposed areas. Usually 7 – 10hrs walking. (UK example, Welsh 3000ft peak e.g Snowdon ).

Hard –  Challenging days. Walks at this grade are suitable for regular hill walkers who are used to extended days and can involve difficult broken terrain, as well as periods of exposure. (UK example, Scottish Munro or ridge walk e.g Ben Nevis, via the Carn Mor Dearg arête).

There are many factors that contribute to the difficulty, such as length of day, the terrain and weather .  Since some of these  can change, our grades can only provide a general indication. They can’t take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions or are just unsure, please contact us.

What do you definitely need to bring/wear?

  • Walking boots or approach shoes. not trainers.
  • Suitable trousers, leggings or shorts. not jeans.
  • A fleece top or similar.
  • Waterproof jacket.
  • Drink minimum of 1ltr
  • Food and trail snacks for each day of your walk.
  • Personal first aid kit. suitable for bumps, bites, headaches and small cuts and any personal meds   
  • Sun hat, sun glasses and sun screen.
  • A  rucksack to put it all in.

Extra stuff for overnight trips

  • A change of underwear and socks
  • A warm down or synthetic fill jacket. Even in the summer we also take a hat and a pair of gloves
  • Trainers, sandals or slippers, suitable to wear in and around the hut
  • A head torch or hand torch
  • Wash kit and toiletries. Don’t forget contact lens stuff, if you use them of course…
  • Some loo roll never goes a miss
  • A bigger rucksack to put it all in.

How to book on any of the walks

Step 1: Contact us using this drop us a line  link. Remember to include:

  • The names and ages of all those wanting to come along.
  • The walk(s) you’re interested in joining. Please be realistic with your capabilities.
  • If you require transport.

Step 2: We’ll reply and confirm the availability. Your place(s) are then reserved for 3 days to give you time to pay.

Step 3: Pay the invoice that we’ll have sent you. There’s an option for both, Paypal or Bank transfer.  Once this is done your place is secured.

If you are in Bansko and want to pay by cash, let us know and we’ll arrange this, but places are limited, so your place(s) can’t be secured until you’ve paid.

The small print

As much as we like to work on an informal basis, we have to let you know of the following:

  1. Our participation statement, “Uhuru Trekking recognises that any mountain based activity has a level of danger of personal injury or death. Participants should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement”
  2. If we cancel the walk, you get all your money back, no quibble. I will try to rearrange, but there’s no obligation on you.
  3. If you cancel, with more than 14 days to go, you get all your money back, 0-13 days 50%
  4. Your safety is of paramount importance to us, but in the unlikely event we need it, Mountain rescue is not free in Bulgaria. Please check that your insurance covers you for both this and personal injury. (If you’re not covered, our friends at Bansko Tourist Information have put together a deal for Bulgarian mountain insurance. Here’s a link ).