Aug 11, 2023
An expedition to the highest peak in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Before embarking on the Maglić expedition, located in the Sutjeska National Park, I tried to prepare as thoroughly as I did for other mountains – as well as possible. However, I didn't anticipate that reaching the Prijevor Pass would be such a time-consuming endeavor. Many descriptions had hinted that the road from the M20 highway and the town of Tjentište to the pass would be in poor condition, but I had no idea it would be this bad. Covering just 15 kilometers took us over 2 hours, turning it into a true off-road experience, especially for our low-suspension car. The crucial thing, though, was conserving our energy. We paid 5 euros per person for entry to the park, had our details recorded, including the car's license plate, and were allowed to proceed.

After parking the car at the pass, as is typical at the gateways to Europe's crown, there were many foreign vehicles, especially those from our Czech neighbors. From the parking lot, we could easily spot the summit, and the weather was favorable.

The ascent began quite steeply on a gravel path, initially through a beech forest. Once we reached the treeline, steep rocky ascents commenced, which I could liken to our Orla Perć in the Tatra Mountains. It was a standard hands-and-knees climb. The via ferrata equipment was of very low quality, requiring mountain skills and vigilance. When grabbing onto the steel cable, you weren't always sure if the other end was securely attached. Further on, it was high exposure with breathtaking views.

We reached Misty Mountain after just under a kilometer and seven hundred meters of elevation gain. From this point, you can admire spectacular panoramas: Volujak, Zelengora, Bioč, and Trnovački Durmitor.

At the summit, there's a Serbian flag. This region of the country is predominantly inhabited by Serbs, and it's called the Republika Srpska. The current status of the Republika Srpska is governed by a peace agreement that ended the civil war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As usual, a warm meal at the summit.

For the descent, we choose different paths to make a loop and see more. Just a short distance from the summit, Montenegro begins, and the views strongly resemble Slovakia's Bielske Tatras. The only difference is that in the Balkan mountains, grazing cattle are a common sight, as you'll find below ;-)

The descent to Lake Trnovačko, located at an altitude of 1517 meters above sea level, is very steep and covered with loose pebbles.
It wasn't our most efficient day. The loop itself wasn't long, but the fatigue was quite significant considering the distance covered. A substantial elevation gain, with just under 1200 meters over 12 kilometers. We completed the whole hike in 7 hours and 20 minutes.
A short video below