To be honest, I have never been a fan or a supporter of climbing mountains! But only when you climb a peak and admire the breathtaking views that it offers, you can find out that you could like mountaineering.
One Friday, after a long and exhausting day at work, I went to the gym and one of the boys whom I was training with said that he was about to mountaineering. Initially, I looked a bit skeptical, because so far I had only climbed Mount Musala (and I must admit that I liked doing that), but while we were training we discussed the possible options that our beautiful nature offers and we chose to go to Mount Kom. During the long summer days the mountain is hospitable and offers not the chance to hike among its trails but also coolness from the hot summer heat, good mood and a lot of emotions all this while being part of a pleasant company!
On the following day, along with another two friends from the gym, а couple and a dog, we went to Petrohan. We left the car on the road, had a quick coffee break and drove to the new Kom hut. The terrain we were hiking on was easy and not so full of challenges. Given that it was an August afternoon, it wasn’t so warm. In a few hours we managed to reach the hut as we had spent them telling jokes and hiking in the shade and we couldn’t tell when the time had passed.
The hut itself is a massive two-storey building and there are many bungalows and caravans around it. When you enter the hut, you feel that strange smell of stagnant mold and you have the feeling that time has stopped. In the restaurant we ate a few kebabs and drank some beer, and as time was slowly creeping on, we literally hiked to the top at a fast pace, together with two of the boys and the dog named Bella. One piece of advice from me – if you eat 5-6 kebabs along with a few beers – don’t do same as we did! Although the ascent is not particularly difficult, the peak itself is located at 2,016 m and is the highest point of the Berkovitsa Mountain, which is part of the Western Stara Planina.
There are a lot of signs around the hut, and the ascent to Kom peak takes no more than 2 hours. Оn the way to the top there are signs with red markings and here and there metal pegs can be found that seem to have been painted in yellow and black. Initially, the terrain is quite steep, and passes by the old hut Kom, and after it the path seems slightly difficult to climb. In a while it slips into a forest of large spruces. Here, after eating in the restaurant, we got a little refreshed, but after about an hour of hiking on the path we went out on the ridge to Mount Kom, which was already visible, and behind it the sun was preparing to set. After we got out of the woods and the open sky showed above our heads once again we continuted on a flat path and it was extremely pleasant to walk on it. Finally, right before the top the path gets steep again and takes about 30 minutes to take it.
And so, somewhere around 8 P.M we were at the very top оf Mount Ko and a very icy wind was blowing as the sun was setting! The view is as great and unique and cannot be described in words. Berkovitsa could be seen at the foot and in the distance – Montana and Ogosta Dam. Also, the rocky slopes of the Vratsa Mountain also stretched out and a bit far in the distance the lights of Sofia could be seen. At the top there is a stone slab with a bas-relief of Ivan Vazov and excerpts from his poem “On Kom”. It was just the three of us and the dog Bella, which gave a feeling of calmness and we could enjoy the views and nature as much as we wanted to.
It was getting dark, and the wind was getting stronger and stronger. Now is the time to share that I was definitely not properly dressed as I was wearing shorts and T-shirt. As you can guess these clothes are absolutely not suitable for such a climb but on the other hand at least I managed to take very good pictures of this vantage. Good thing I had taken 2 thicker sweatshirts in my backpack, and I gave one to one of my companions, аs he just like me was not properly dressed for this occasion me and had frozen too.
On the other hand, our other friend was a professional mountaineer, and he was carrying a 20 kg backpack with everything you needed for such a climb. He took out a gas stove and made us Mursal tea, which warmed us up a bit. We sat there for about an hour, not ceasing to admire the view and the atmosphere! They cannot be described in words as I said earlier but now I would like to add up that even if you take photos they cannot be that breath-taking as seeing and experiencing the emotion of this whole thing in person.
After admiring the views and gathering a dose of cold, it was time to go back down. It was already dark and good that the others had taken headlights to light the path. The sky was extremely clear, and the stars shone just like little diamonds! We were also able to see The Milky Way.
If you haven’t been to Kom, I’m sorry to tell you that you missed a lot! It offers beautiful panoramas wherever you look. For me, this climbing was an amazing experience, filled with a lot of emotions, laughter, beautiful views and brought me a very positive mood, thanks to the people that I went there with!
This post is also available in: Български (Bulgarian)