Thursday, October 5, 2023

Two Days in Pirin. Mt. Vihren

We spent the night at Bunderitza hut and early in the morning left the room, took our luggage back to the car at the Bunderitza parking lot and started on the 2.5 km trail to Vihren hut. There we had our breakfast and prepared for the real climb ahead.

This was my second climb of Vihren after our first hike there in 2015. In the meanwhile I've climbed many other peaks, plenty of them even more than once, but Vihren was and still is the most difficult peak I have climbed. The elevation gain is massive - 1120 m along a very rugged rocky terrain. The trail is steep all the time and the tricky rocky paths make the descent from the peak also tiring and difficult. The gradient of the last slope reaches 45 degrees and the last km of the track is a true trial for the tired legs. However, the euphoria from the climb of the peak and the gorgeous views all around not only make it worth it, but in the end force you to want to repeat the adventure.

It would have been better, from a tactical point of view, to climb Vihren the first day, with fresh legs, and leave the lakes for the second day. However, the weather conditions the first day were not the best for Vihren and I think we made the right decision to leave the big hike for the sunny and warm Saturday. The weather just couldn't have been more perfect for the high mountains.

Vlachini lakes, most of the trail is behind us. Here we had a small break with some power snacks in preparation for the final climb.
The last slope is a true beast - there are only stones, no clear path and a killer gradient. The chain of Pirin's marble giants and the famous saddle Koncheto between Banski Suhodol and Kutelo.
Tired but happy on the peak

Hike info:

Destination: Mt. Vihren 2914 m
Mountain: Pirin
Total length: 17 km
Elevation gain: 1120 m
Total duration (plus picnic and rests): 6:30 hours
Average difficulty: 8 / 10

A view to many of Pirin's peaks and two of the lakes - the Fish lake and the Long lake, that we had hiked the previous day
The return is along the same track
Early in the afternoon the biggest of the Vlahini lakes was beautifully sparkling in the sun

Me-made items, worn on this hike:

Husband: boxer shorts, Knitpick cargo pants
I: lingerie, raglan Burda blouse

Peak Todorka and Vihren hut down at its skirts

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