The Peaks of the Balkans trail has been established but it is still alive with new versions popping up adding peaks and attractions while cutting transfers and eventual asphalt hiking. Balkan Natural Adventure as a dynamic and exploratory company is looking at new additions and new seasonal products for hiking in the Accursed Mountains.
In December 2019, me Virtyt Gacaferri, BNA owner, Rinor Kadrijaj a tough mountaineer and the guide Adriatik Gacaferi went to explore the Gacaferi pastures for a new version of the winter Peaks of the Balkans. Additionally the trio explored the possibilities of making a winter season Peaks of the Balkans.
The trip was rough. As our 4X4 went into trouble to spearhead through the heavy snow in a fuly covered road. After pushing the Nissan Terrano to its limits time came for the hike. “Maybe we could push some more meters with the 4X4, but it would cause more harm than good”, said Adriatik Gacaferri who was the driver and the batchitza of the trip.
We organised the accommodation in a basic stone hut with the key hanging at the door. This decision was taken as the situation with the other wooden hut was not good due to damages at the door. The rock walls provide better feel than wood, however they do not warm, so no matter the big fire built only the -20 sleeping bag could provide protection.
We started hiking in the morning stepping on top of the powdery snow. The view the impressive quality of the snow, and the emptiness of the mountains made us dream of the exclusive tours we could run here. Small tough groups who care testing their limits and are able to leave aside some of the human basic enmities, such as shower and toilet.
However until we find those clients we continued climbing toward the lake and the Peak of Ali Aruçi, which will give the open views in the Doberdol Valley. The mission was a success with Virtyt and Rinor climbing the peak and bringing these beautiful photos.
From these peak one can go to Gjeravica and reach Doberdol on one side, while continuing toward Milishevc on the other side. Adding the Gacaferri pastures in the Map of the Peaks of the Balkans would make this trail even more beautiful. However for this there is a need for someone to add the basic enmities in the huts such as shower and toilet.
As for winter tours making this place a destination would prove very difficult also because of the rough road.
As an environmentalist my heart says leave this place alone, as a business owner I think of talking to villagers of my own tribe to open the next guest house. For now I think I will respect my environmental self.