The Davies peak bagging in National Park Pirin
The Davies is a game. Please remember it is just a game! Some people have taken it all waaaay too seriously. There is a small prize when you complete it but more than that it is a wonderful adventure.
My friend and Mentor Di Davies have been pottering around Pirin for the best part of 17 years. As new arrivals in Bulgaria we knew little or nothing about Pirin and the information about the peaks in the park was very limited.
We spent our first few years here climbing and hiking trying to find climbing routes and generally exploring the national Park.
After a few more years we started to think we had climbed most of the mountains in Pirin and there started the discussion. What is a mountain? In Scotland the peaks were first written up by a man named Sir Hugh Thomas Munro in 1891. A peak was defined as being over 3000 feet high. Ever since that first list was produced people have been “Bagging Munros” and arguing about what constitutes a mountain.
There are 92 peaks in Pirin over 2500m that we call The Davies. I have named the game and the peaks after Di as a kind of thank you for all the wonderful trips we have taken together in Pirin and for all the tireless support he has given me in climbing, mapping and exploring them.
The Davies peak bagging in National Park Pirin !
I’ve had a lot of hate about the list and very little opportunity to defend our definition of what constitutes a Davies so I am going to do that here.
1)A Davies must be over 2500m.
2)A Davies must appear as a marked peak or spot height on at least one of the recognized maps of Nation Park Pirin.
3)A Davies is included if it has a name and is over 2500m.
This definition has led to a few strange inclusions. Peak number 63 is more a bump than a peak but is marked on every map as a spot height. Peak number 89 “Blaguncho” is commonly know as such in Dobrinishtay but isn’t really a mountain.
Then there are the Strazhite, are there 3 of them? 4, 6, 9 or 12 the gods know but I’m not sure so we included the ones we thought were about right.
Remember this is a game and a bit of an adventure!
Tourism is both the life blood and poison of National Park Pirin. The idea behind The Davies is not just about fun. We have worked closely with the national park every step of the way. Encouraging tourists to explore areas other than the main trails reduces the burden of mass tourism on those main trails. Tourists in remote parts of the Pirin also discourage poachers. Win Win!
Two Big Targets!
The Davies peak bagging in National Park Pirin 14 days or 12 years!
As far as I am aware only 2 people have managed to stand on every peak on the list . This is not because it is impossibly hard or that locals can’t do it. The reason only 2 people have completed The Davies is because the game has only been around for a few years and that lots of the locals just haven’t been interested in some of the more obscure peaks.
The fastest time to stand on them all is 14 mountain days, yes, he is a lunatic! For myself it took 12 years. The fastest time was spent running frantically between peaks my time was spent exploring every possible route up each peak to make sure they were all ok for normal people. There were also a few lazy days just loving the view!
Can you do it?
Yes, you can! The Davies are all walking peaks except two (kind of two) The first difficult one is number 49 Mozgovishki Chukar. This peak is at the end of a ridge of 4 Davies and there is a little section in the middle that involves a little bit of scrambling. Nothing scary but a little scary!!!
The second on is a climbing peak. Number 73, Golema Strazja. Yes, you can climb it without ropes I know. Yes, you know a guy who did Blah Blah Blah. But I couldn’t and didn’t. We took a light weight bit of climbing string and a sling. Di, my son Dylan and I climbed it easily and safely. Dylan climbed it twice! Having some climbing string on Strazhite is also nice as there are a few exposed sections that are on gravel.
Hire a guide, take some extra kit do whatever it takes to allow you to enjoy yourself to the max!
I have published a map of The Davies with a list of all the peaks on the back and each peak numbered on the front. These maps are free! You can find them at: –
-National Park pirin office https://goo.gl/maps/z3d4BTjPzRt2yhyEA
-Bansko Tourist Information office https://goo.gl/maps/7xVgFbqGQjKEBpki7
-Mountain Rescue Bansko https://goo.gl/maps/3f1pMwBatbMdsFFx5
-The Hotel Avalon https://goo.gl/maps/eAt1NjkU1Ws3XKD9A
-Alt space Bansko https://g.page/altspacecoworking?share
-Co-Working Bansko https://goo.gl/maps/68ZHauf7baqoBtPM8