Walking in Rila in May

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kevcritch

Walking in Rila in May

Postby kevcritch » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:13 pm

hi
any advice would be appreciated.
Saturday, 8 May 2010 i arrive in Bulgaria for 1 week.
The plan is to watch a football game on the Saturday then go walking in Rila Mountains for three or four days. The places i want to go are:
Mount Musala
Seven Lakes
Rila Monastery

The questions are:
* Is it safe to walk the mountains alone in early May?
* Am i best finding a base/s and treating each journey as a day event in itself, or should i combine Seven Lakes and Monastery, sleeping at a mountain hut overnight?

Advice and suggestions would be great.
cheers
Kev

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Postby scot47 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:35 am

It is more common in Bulgaria to do this in a group. The weather in May - especially at the altitude of Musala and the Seven Lakes can be treacherous.

I was there 16 years ago - the summer when my oldest daughter was born. It was a really marvellous experience. i went with a group from Shumen organised through the local branch of the Bulgarski Turisticheski Soyuz which is similar tro the Rambler's Association (or Youth Hostel Federation)

Bulgaria has a long history of Rambling, dating back over a hundred years.

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Postby gushter » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:14 am

Hi Kev,

There are a number of points to consider here.

It is possible to combine the 3 sites you mention into one journey, but it will take at least 5 days.

Day 1: Gondola lift from Borovets to Yastrebets, then walk over Musala to the 'Granchar' hut.

Day 2: 'Granchar' hut to 'Rilski Ezera' hut

Day 3: 'Rilski Ezera' hut to Rila Monastery

Day 4: Rila Monastery over Razdela saddle to 'Rilski Ezera' Hut

Day 5: 'Rilski Ezera' hut to Govedartsi of Panichishte

However, the big problem is that you want to do it in May. This route is certainly not safe or feasible in a normal May when snow will still be lying. In many places there will still be impassable snow-slopes over the summer paths and the only 'safe' route would be along the winter trails. However, these winter trails involve serious technical difficulties in places, and even then, are not designed for wet spring snow conditions.

So to sum up. if there is still snow on the mountain, which is almost certain in May, then I would not consider this route. I personally wouldnt contemplate such a route until late June at earliest, and even then late lying snow patches may cause problems.

If you are interested in walking in the Bulgarian mountains, then I suggest you take a look at the following book:'Walking in Bulgaria's National Parks':

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walking-Bulgari ... 1852845740

It provides detailed route descriptions and background information on the best hikes in the Rila, Pirin and Central Balkan.

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Postby lyn » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:36 am

If you are restricted to May, the Monastery side of the range should (note -should, not will) be OK. There was very little snow up there last May and last winter was a lot colder than this year. There is very little snow cover so far this season.

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Postby scot47 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:55 am

The Balkans are dangerous. Best to take advice and to go in a group. The tradition of rambling in a group was not a sinister communist invention. Just common sense.

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Postby kevcritch » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:45 pm

hi

thanks for your replies - you make perfect sense and i now realise i will have to reconsider. Maybe this time I'll travel between the major sights and cities, and plan a walking trip some other time, and at a minimum make sure i have a guide or group with me.

Hey, i think you've just saved my life with your advice! Thanks.

Kev

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Postby VickyC » Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:34 am

Gushter,

Thats a great website and I think I'll order the book as it looks really interesting. When is the ideal time to go hill walking in the Rila peaks, as it is something I hope to achieve...would you say July and August?

What are the prices of guided tours there in a group, as I never saw a price on the website?

Thanks

Vicky

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Postby scot47 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:55 am

Bulgarski Turisticheski Soyuz (Bulgarian Tourist Union) Blvd Vassil Levski 75/5. Et., PO Box 427, BG-1000 Sofia, tel +359 (0)2 873409

is worth looking into. This is the Ramblers Association equivalent in Bulgaria. I went to Rila with a group organised by the Shumen Branch. Most towns of any size have one. There is certainly one in Varna - just up from Happy Bar. Provadiya may have one too.

Be prepared to be the only non-Bulgarian in the group and expect intensive usage of spoken Bulgarian. Good for your language skills !
Last edited by scot47 on Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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rila trecking

Postby Balchikgirl78 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:01 am

hi

five of us went trecking in the rila mountains last year.
we headed out of borovets and done a 5 day loop taking in mount mussala on the way,we went the 1st week in september not to hot during the day and only down to about 5degrees at night,loads of hotels to choose in borovets and cheap as summer is over and you can leave your vehicle in their car park,also dont forget to pop into rila mountain rescue headquarters give them your route and expected time schedule,they are on the main street in borovets,all the huts on the treck were still open 10 leva per bed and all done food but dont expect hot water for a shower you will have to wash in a stream,
we loved it so much we are going back this year the 1st week of september, but will start from bansko this time,
i will try and put some pictures on but not great with pcs
all the best
balchikgirl78

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Musala Mountain

Postby Marfan » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:46 pm

My Brother-in-law is hoping to visit Bulgaria in the middle of April; he is an experienced walker and has been to many countries around the world mountain climbing & hiking, he is seeking any advise on hiking and climbing Musala Mountain in the South West of Bulgaria.
Can anyone give advice on hiking or equipment needed.

Also if any one is planning to go hiking in Bulgaria this time of year he wouldn’t mind joining up if they don’t mind.


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