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  • Skiing above Bansko

    Posted on January 6, 2015 by in blog

    Skiing above Bansko

    Vihren and Kutelo

    Vihren and Kutelo

    The Mountain on the right is the one that interests me at the moment. At 2908m and with a pointy top she is a proper mountain, towering above Bansko town and ski area. The idea of skiing above Bansko has grown and grown on me this winter. To be wooshing down untouched faces with the town and ski area down below me in the distance. Removed from all the trappings of lifts and pistes but still being able to see them, it appeals!

    Vihren with his broad rugged shoulders and square top is a truly manly peak.  Winter mountaineering on his north face is a daunting and dangers task. His whole presence says come on if you think you are hard enough! Kutelo (that’s her name) is only 6m shorter than Vihren. Kutelo, right next door and only a few hundreds of meters away. Kutelo is a totally different proposition, she is a curvaceous beast, long sinuous ridge lines, voluptuous rolling sides, her come hither faces, distinctly feminine in their allure, whispering, come on baby you know you want to.

    Unsurprisingly it is Kutelo that has caught my attention. The hike up from Bunderitsa polyana (top of the gondola) follows the old deserted ski lift on cherno mogila. After a while you break left and start up the broad shoulder that eventually becomes the easterly ridge line to the summit. The north east face is the line I plan to descend. From below it looks near vertical but I have been assured that from above it is a more manageable 40 degrees. 40 degrees of wide open untracked snow, 1000m of pristine face plunging towards the tree line, it should make an epic run!

    So I started training two weeks ago and I’m thinking 1 more week of training and I will be ready.

    Watch this space…..

    Well the week of training has passed and the route is becoming clearer and clearer. I have found the way up through the woods from the top of the gondola to Academica and from Academica up to the ridge in the forest. The next step is to find the way through the last bit of forest but as the trees start to thin out up there it should be easier!

    Tales  of wolves and bears are being batted around but I think it is mostly just to scare me rather than there being any truth in it! Either way I now have my pen knife close at hand.

    The initial time of 1 or two weeks looks like it will be more like 3 or 4 but slowly slowly I will get there! The Altitude difference between Bansko and the top is nearly 2000m so I allowing 7 hours for the ascent. I imagine the descent will be closer to 45 minutes than the 4 hours it takes in the summer. A friend did point out that it might be interesting trying to ski down with legs that have just done 7 hours of up. Jelly legs and skiing??? Probably not the best combo!

    When it comes to the final attempt for the top I am planning to try and get back from the summit by mid day so I’ll probably have to do the first few hours in the dark when the snow is at its safest, head torch it is then!

    Watch this space…..


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