- Niklas Hollsten
Macedonian summit tour with a first decent
Highest peak of both Macedonia and Albania is Golem Korab, 2764m. Late spring conditions in February didn’t stop us to check the view from highest roof in the country.
Adventure started with driving our cars from Mavrovo village to Strezimir, boarder watchtower. Earth slides, rockfalls and meltwater from the mountains flooded over the narrow 7 km mountain road. After many closecalls and intresting passages we made it to Strezimir watchtower, our base for the next 2 days, what is situated 1400 meter
above the sea level and our host was the boarder polices.
First day we skinned up about half way to check the snow situation and stability. The snow was effected a lot of the warm weather but it was
stable springsnow on the upper parts and wet slush in the lower parts.
Second day was summit day. We started early to get up on the before the snow got too soft. The climb was not too steep and skiing up felt good. Few part was little more challenging specially for me with splitboard, cause of a couple traverses over steep frozen snowfields and a few ups and downs where you had to connect the split to snowboard. When we came over the first high ridge, the view changed totally. From mellow mountains to steep summits in high alpine terrain. Many of them hasn’t never been climbed or skied and are still unnamed.
We reached Golem Korab at 12.00 a clock, 5 hours and 1600vertm. later. After lunch and a summit beer ,snow still felt hard and we was good with time. We decided to do one more summit “on the way back” that never been skied. Few hundred meter down from summit of Korab we did a short 300vert ridge climb with crampons to summit of Kepi Bard. The 1000vert NorthEast face we rode was first decent and we named it Langorshila, after teamhollsten huskies.
To ski Golem Korab from Macedonian side is recommended if you like to do a longer tours with ups and downs. From Albanian side the hike is shorter and more in the fall line and seems to be much easier for splitboarders.
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