Albanië / Macedonië: Golem Korab




 (2751 m)



 




Korab as seen from the
Albanian side (from the village
of Radomirë
).
The peak is to the right below the
mark at the top of the picture.


 



Maja e Korabit /Golem Korab summit as seen from the west (Albanian) side


 


Maja e
Korabit (albanian) or Golem Korab (macedonian) both reffer to the same, 2763m
high mountain right on the border between Albania and (Former Yugoslav Republic
Of) Macedonia. It is a highest mountain peek in both countries and 12th highest
point in Europe. Name “Korab” is of a Slav origin, it was considered
to be a god of sea by various Slavic tribes ,before they have switched to
christianity. Korab may be considered an off the beaten track mountain resort,
at least by European standards. Not many people go there. Nothing strange, if
one bears in mind that Albania and FYRO Macedonia both rank as off the beaten
track destinations themselves.





Climbing on the Korab peak from the
Macedonian side


 



Panorama from the summit


 


Getting There – part one


For the
sake of convinience and accesibility by road, we`ll stick with the Macedonian
route, and our main goal is to reach the trailhead at Stezimir watchtower on
the Macedonian side of the mountain. In order to achieve that, we`ll going to
hit the Skopje -Tetovo motorway (around 40 km of that one). From Tetovo – no need to go
into the town – another 30 km
of surfaced roadleading SW takes us till town Gostivar where we catch with the
Gostivar-Debar road. Another 20
km
or so up the Gostivar-Debar road takes us to Mavrovi
Anovi. Mavrovi Anovi is rather small town a common point for short trip break
with several food shops, restaurants, and one Hotel. This is where we are going
to refill our supplies with all the neccessary food and liquid. Only in case we
didn’t mind to carry those all the way from Skopje, that is.



Getting there – the saga continues


From Mavrovi Anovi ,
we`ll drive further till village Trnovo, 8 km or so from Mavrovi Anovi. At Trnovo, we`ll
turn right and off the main Gostivar-Debar road wave goodbye to the asphalt and
say hello to the macadam road and progress southwestbound toward the village of
Nicpur. From Trnovo via Nicpur it takes around 19 km of solid macadam road
till sharp leftbound curve beneath Stezimir (watchtower, remember?). This is
where visitors are supposed to leave their vehicles. After leaving your car behind,
1 mile
of footwork uphill the beforementioned curve takes you to the Strezimir
watchtower.


 


Once you
reach Stezimir you are inside the Macedonian-Albanian boundary area and to do
that special permit is required from the FYROM Ministry
of internal affairs. Othervise, there are no summit fees, nor a parking pass or
fees.



Topo map of Golem Korab with route based
on GPS data.


 


No real climbing here, its rather a
walk-up from the boundary watchtower by name Strezimir.


Strezimir watchtower is a fully
featured building, it was recently refurbished and from the distance it looks
more like mountain lodge rather then a military object,

wooden benches around and similaria. Staff inside are Macedonians, sometimes
enforced by international peacekeeping observers. Unless something will change
significantly in the years to come, as you hike up, you`re going to have
military escort by them. Its mandatory.


From Strezimir, walk uphill the macadam road – youll gonna see it left and
above Strezimir- walk next to the small creek till you reach the old watchtower
( out of function now).

Next to the old watchtower there is a drinkable water source and it is a last
one before the summit. From there on, follow the marked trail (white circles
with red borders), it cuts through the meadows at an early stage and catches
the main ridge later, untill you see the boundary stone with emblazed red and
black Albanian coat of arms. Well, thats the peak.


 


 


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