Monday, October 9, 2023

Ruen 2023

Last week was my birthday and we decided to celebrate it at Osogovo hut, after climbing peak Ruen in the Osogovo mountains. Osogovo is the fourth highest mountain in Bulgaria, after Rila, Pirin and Vitosha, nevertheless it is very different from the first three. The landscape of the first above the 2000 m altitude mark is typical alpine - bare granite and marble slopes, rocky and rugged, with dwarf pine trees, lots of rivers and lakes. Osogovo is soft, mild and round, with dirt tracks and grassy slopes. The elevation gain to the top is decent, but spread over many kilometers, so it feels more like a very long walk, rather than mountain climbing.

The path is almost entirely in the open and we prefer to hike it on a sunny autumn day, when the air is still warm, but the sun is not so hot and unforgiving, as in the summer. The day we chose for our hike was forecast as ideal, with some sporadic clouds and very mild winds. In truth, as the day progressed, the clouds gathered over the highest peaks and stayed compacted there for hours, so it was a bit chilly at the top of the mountain.

Hike info:

Destination: Peak Ruen (2225 m)
Mountain: Osogovo
Total length: 27 km
Elevation gain: 580 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 8 hours
Average difficulty: 7 / 10

The blueberries were at the end of the season, but we found a few places with plenty of them, small but ripe and even gathered a couple of handfuls for a pie.

The now traditional picture on this mark stone. It started with a picture of Gaby I took during our first hike on Ruen. Then, when we revisited the peak a few years later I noticed the stone and imitated her pose on it and then I've been photographing myself in the same pose during every climb of Ruen (now fourth). I hope the stone stays there at least for the duration of our lifetime :)

I really can't get enough of these soft grassy valleys!

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxers, Knipmode cargo pants, raglan blouse
I: lingerie, Burda T-shirt

On peak Mali Ruen. Here we put on everything we had in the backpacks.

At the first (last on the way back) of the chain of peaks. The trail is not round, but as the place is huge, one can vary the tracks a little and chose to climb a peak or go around it.

And back to the hut. Compared to Bunderitza hut in Pirin, Osogovo hut is like a luxury hotel, with large two-person bedrooms, central heating, hot water and probably the most delicious food I've eaten in a mountain hut restaurant in years. It was a great birthday!

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