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near Borovets, Софийска област (България)
Musala peak 2925m is the highest peak in Rila Mt and the whole Balkan Peninsula ( second is Mt Olympus at 2919m in Greece and Pirin Mt at 2915m in Bulgaria ). This is the shortest route to the summit, starting off from the End of the Yastrebetz Gondola Lift at 2369m. This gondola lift links Borovets village to the upper part of the ski resort. The facts that the route presents small elevation gain, a marked trail and a metal wire at the more technical North Ridge, make it relatively easy from a mountaineering prospective.
However, proper mountaineering knowledge is required in order to complete the route in safety on a winter ascent. This recording regards a Mountaineering ski ascent and descent, which however barely deviates from the marked trail. A ski descent from 2720m all the way down to the Borovets village is possible following the Musala Pathway ski route from 2170m and bellow ( 1500 total vertical meters ski descent ). The route crosses beside many alpine lakes that are not visible in the wintertime (frozen and snow covered).
The marked route starts from the small challets a few meters south from the gondola ( 2360m). The traversing path heads North, crossing many times the Markudjik lifts and pistes. At the last part of the traverse ( 2.8km from the start ) the path crosses a slope that is prone to avalanches ( proper mountaineering knowledge is required to assess the risk ). Reaching flat grounds, the route approaches the Musala Hut plateau, where three buildings are situated. Continuing South, we can pick the metal posts which from this point on, reach all the way to the summit. Continuing on the same baring, we reach a small gully at 2510m and ascent on a Col at 2570m. At this point the recorded route presents a deviation from the marked route with metal posts, and traverses the small ridge from bellow to the the west. This is the appropriate route to follow if ascending on skis. Reaching a small ledge, we head east for a while and reach the marked trail again at 2610m. Heading south, the trail reaches the Everest Hut at 2720m. This the last flat point before the final summit push to the summit via the north ridge. Continuing on ski skins is not possible from this point on. The north ridge is fairly easy and a metal wire helps the inexperienced ( for those with no mountain experience, crampons and a harness with two slings on carabiners in order to self arrest on the wire, is advised ). Ascending the ridge we reach the summit at 2925m. There are two buildings on the summit, a meteorological station and a pollution monitoring post. On good weather conditions the surrounding view to the summit is quite impressive.
Descending on the same route we reach the Everest hut and putting on skis again, we can now ski all the way down to the Borovets village ( a 1500m vertical descent ). For the ski descent, initially we avoid the traversing path that leads at this point and instead descent a nice broad gully to the NW reaching the Col at 2560m again. Continuing, we reach the Musala Hut plateau. From this point on we head N - NE, descending on a sometimes groomed track. Reaching the base of Markudjik lift at 2170m we come across the Musala Pathway start, a ski route of the Borovets resort which leads all the way down to the village ( not presented on the recording ).