Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lakatnik Climbing Region

Lakatnik is the oldest and second biggest climbing region in Bulgaria. Currently it has five crags and around 350 routes. The rock is solid good quality limestone. The routes are mainly steep or vertical but sometimes you can find overhangs and roofs. The best season for climbing in the region of Lakatnik is winter between the months of December and April.

Lakatnik is a village in the western part of Bulgaria. It is located around 60 km away from Sofia and very close to the town of Svoge (15 km), in the Iskar River Gorge, which divides the Balkan Mountain in the north-south direction. The area around Lakatnik is gorgeous. There are cliffs spread around the entire area.

Station Lakatnik , with 400 meters altitude , is located in the Iskar Gorge of   Balkan Mountain, 50 kilometers from Sofia on the railway line toward Mezdra . By train the travel
will be an hour and half, with car the destination can be reached within one hour.

Tourists and mountaineers called vertical walls against the station with the common name Lakatnishki rocks
Furthermore – some undeveloped walls offer conditions for climbing, not worse than others. You could say that  there is more to be done that it have been done in the area of Lakatnik station., although the rocks have attracted attention from the very birth of mountaineering in Bulgaria.

 Beside climbers Lakatnik is visited by cavers .The region has many caves, the most popular of them isTumnata Dupka(Dark Hole), with a total length of 1750m.

Lakatnik is a characteristic with soft microclimate.Sunny days prevail but there  are possible sudden rain.The area is karst and after brief rain the rocks (limestone) are drying quickly.
Practice has shown that you could climb all year round.
In the thick Triassic Limestone  the water has shaped a variety of interesting rock formations , with great relief .
There are all sorts of forms: plates, vents, angles, edges, overhangs, ceilings, niches.
Climbing them requires a comprehensive physical culture, sometimes there is  airy climbing, always requires a precise technique. The rock is compact, with very good adhesion.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Heavenly Rocks

This extremely beautiful  alpine massif is located  in the central part of Balkan Mountain , immediately beneath south-eastern slopes of peak Botev . It is constituted of gigantic rock belt with  rounded  and rolled rocks  traversed by herbal balconies . The height of the massif ranges from 100 to 200 meters  in his different parts.
The waterfall  “Pruskaloto” (Sprinkle)  separates Elysian massive on east and west. The west part of it is situated on the left side of the waterfall. It is characteristic with alternating doorway  an one over another located rocks, with many herbal balconies .

The eastern part is more bluff and monolithic and there is explicitly slatey  character.
The rocks of the massive are built by gneisses and granites, the cardinal saxicolous mass – from thick diabases  and Filithes  stratified on calcareous settlingses. Their surface is flat in most cases and therefore is friable. This makes danger from falling rocks and stones. On the other hand, slits are superficially which limits opportunities for safely knocked  alpine pitons.
The first attempt for climbing the walls around  hut “RAI” (Heaven)  are from 1949, when  Tzanko Bangiev, Ivan Staikov and Blagoi Hristov have attempted  for the first time to climb the eastern part of the array.

The southern slopes of Peak Botev are hard inclined, and in some places cutoff from plumb rocks. Immediately under the peak are located the site Djendema (meaning “the hell”) and hut RAI. These are two huge labyrinths by rock-precipices as well with the falling waters of the mountain streams. They bring beautiful waterfalls, being named at this end “sprinkles”. The Djendem is the most un  accessible abyss in the Kalofer mountain. It is enclosed by bluff southwest slope’s  of the Maluk Kupen and the northeast slope’s of Chafardica called  "Chamluka". Between them with deafening noise had dripped  the river of Kalofer Sprinkle, eastern from the peak of Haidut. The homegrown population name this precipice Елидере (50 rivers).