After the last year semi successfulness this year we decide to try out once again. But this year we had more luck and we did completely. Three of us, Jovica Jovancev, Aleksandar Simjanoski and me, started from Staro Selo early in morning, around 4:30. We climbed Ljuboten for about 2 hours and 10 minutes. To Piribeg we caught the small single track below the ridge. When the track disappeared we started to climb the saddle below Piribeg.
The biggest obstacle on this mini Sarplanina traverse are the places that don’t allow fast crossing like stones around Ezerski Vrv and places without track. The end of this obstacles is coming after Crn Vrv from where there is a beautiful single track until Karanikolica Lake and it’s very possible to run except some climbs. We were more motivated than rested so ran big part of it.
The air temperature was about 20-25o C but we were under high sun exposure so the water reserves were spent quickly. We used the springs that we were passing by and even filled the bottles with snow. On Karanikolica Lake we stopped for pause and cool down our legs.
From the saddle of Sheremetica you can witness on of the most scenic views to Gorna Lesnica, Sreden Kamen and Plat. From there we descend to the shipfold near the dirt road wich leading to Dolna Lesnica and spings of Pena. There we parted with Aleksandar who took the dirt road to Popova Sapka. Together with Jovica we tried to find the track to Gorna Lesnica and after we searched left and right from the river we followed the GPS recording wich took us into thick forest. After we lost lots of time and energy finally we got out from the forest and saw that the path is on left side of the river. That was the price that we paid for not knowing this section. The rest of the route we knew very well mostly for the difficulty than the beauty. Than we followed the markings from Middle Rock Vertical from last year and when we reached the saddle instead of going up we were holding constant height and because of that we lost additional time and energy.
We climbed Titov Vrv right before the dark. At the start of this traverse there was option to get to Popova Sapka via Bakardan and Anteni but because of the fatigue we decided to do that via Vakuf. We almost all the way to Popova Sapka and got there before midnight. There were Aleksandar, who got to P. Sapka before dark, and Sandra waiting for us.
This was really nice adventure which I hope will attract more runners/hikers from year to year. Sar Planina is one of the most beautiful place to do things like this. After this successful attempt in the years that are following I hope we can do the complete Big Western Traverse.