Borovnik hike (1,930m) 
Friday, January 29, 2016, 7:00 pm
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The road from Nikšić to Bare Bojovića, the area in front of Mts. Žurim, is notoriously blocked by snowdrifts until April most years. However, one can often get as far as the start of the Konjsko plateau (which is also accessible by foot from Vučje ski centre). As the winter had been very mild, we managed to get to this point (although we spent about an hour digging the jeep out of snow) and set off on snowshoes for Mt. Borovnik. The snow was very deep and even with snowshoes it was quite tough going, especially on the steeper sections. We ultimately didn’t have enough time to reach the main peak (because of getting the car stuck in snow) and were able to descend without snowshoes, by clambering over exposed rock and wading through the areas of snow where we had climbed up.

The vista from the top was beautiful, as it contained the plateau that we had crossed, the Krnovo plain across which we had views towards Mt. Vojnik, with the peaks of Durmitor glistening in the distance. The view towards Žurim was obscured by the unconquered peak of Borovnik, which gives us something to look forward to when we hike it again, perhaps this time from Vučje. The hike was not physically so difficult, but because of the possibility of falling through the snow into holes in the rock, we had to be very careful.

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Šljeme (East summit) 2,445 m - last hike before winter 
Friday, November 6, 2015, 7:00 pm
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The weather afforded us one last sunny weekend before the snow was due to hit Žabljak, although it was blustery and cold. Parking at the ski centre at Savin kuk, we took a gently rising path around the foothills westwards through woodland, past Šupljika in the direction of the road to Sedlo. Then we found a protected steep grassy slope going up to the ridge Zupci.

This ridge gradually rose all the way to Šljeme. We calculated that we would not have enough time to reach the highest peak, so settled for the eastern summit, which affords a view towards Međed northwards and to Bobotov kuk north-eastwards.

It was bitingly cold with a stiff breeze here, so after a brief stay at the summit, we headed back towards Čista strana and then back to the ski centre. This was a physically challenging climb, but very satisfying because of the excellent views over most of the main peaks and features of Durmitor. At 2,445 m the eastern summit is still one of the highest peaks, with the main peak being 10 metres higher. However, we returned to the car just as the sun was setting, around 4.30pm, vindicating our decision not to press on for the higher summit. The car park is located at 1,533 m, making this hike a good work-out for the calves and knees.

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Stožac hike (2,141 m) 
Saturday, October 31, 2015, 9:00 pm
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During the summer the macadam/dirt track to Lake Kapetanovo is accessible, although a car with high clearance is recommended because of rocks on the road. The walk from the start of this road, if one decides to park there, to the lake across the valley (not along the road which snakes through the mountains) is about 1 hr 20 min and is a pleasant enough walk. The path from Lake Kapetanovo at the south-west side of the lake rises steeply to a rocky and stony pass, from where a goat trail up to the right leads over another pass to a mass of rock, intercut with deep cracks some of which contain snow. Following the line of the ridge on the left brings you to a grassy area where the peak of Stozac comes into sight, as does the more interesting rocky outcrop, Ilin vrh (Elijah’s peak) which is slightly lower.

There are some other peaks further on which afford a great view of Lake Manito and Lake Kapetanovo and a steep descent, although tricky with slippery grass down to Lake Manito, can be made so as not to cover the same terrain on the way back to Lake Kapetanovo. If you park by the asphalt road, count on a full day of hiking. During the summer a small café operates by Lake Kapetanovo, and there is also a spring there where you can fill up on water.

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Mali Žurim climb (1,965 m) 
Friday, August 21, 2015, 8:00 pm
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Of the two peaks called Žurim – the shorter, Mali Žurim, is the more interesting to look at and climb. The taller, more massive Veliki Žurim is less dramatic, easier to climb, but the benefit is that from its peak you have an excellent view of its little brother.

Mali Žurim consists of a steep, flattened cone with three distinct sharp peaks which separate just below the summits. The easiest way to climb is to the right-hand side, as you approach from the road from Bare Bojovića, going up a stony, zigzagging path to a pass which leads towards Ilin vrh, a peak further to the right. From this point just before the pass, looking up high to the left, there is a red arrow painted onto a rock near the top of the mountain, although this is very hard to spot unless you know it is there. The slope has a lot of movable material, but there are grassy parts which provide more stable footing. The rocky peak requires some clambering, but is not dangerous on that side. We decided to climb from the other side, from in between the two Žurims, and it was a very steep climb up a grassy slope, zigzagging all the way to the middle peak, which did not take very long, but was exhausting. From the middle peak, the climb to the highest peak was awkward and potentially dangerous because of two or so metres of vertical rock that needed to be scrambled up before starting a slightly more gentle grassy slope for the last ten or so metres to the top.

View of Veliki Žurim from the top of Mali Žurim
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Climb up Maganik (2,001 m) 
Saturday, July 18, 2015, 8:00 pm
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One of the greatest barriers to climbing this mountain was access along the roads beyond the quarries, and working out which of many unmarked roads to take to get to the start of the walk, a shepherds’ settlement called Rekočica katun, although it would have been a better choice to continue another couple of kilometres to the katun of Maganik, which has a more clearly marked trail. Needless to say we lost any semblance of a trail and oriented ourselves by means of compass and instinct, arriving at a pass with a large rocky pavement with deep cuts between the flat karst “paving slabs”.

In front of us the valley where the village of Velje Duboko lies was just about visible in the distance, with the Mrtvica Canyon leading off to the right side.

View towards the Mrtvica Canyon
We turned right along the ridge which appeared to lead to Babin Zub (the location of a plane crash in the seventies). The going was difficult because the rock had so many crevasses, which required climbed down and up again, or changing route to avoid wider cracks. It happened to be the hottest weekend of the year, and we had rather too little water for those conditions, and we decided to stop short of the highest peak, settling for the near-by Kokotov peak, a still respectable 2,001 m above sea level, a total climb of around 500 m (the highest peak, Međedi vrh is 2,138 m).

Babin zub peak
The descent along a marked trail was a much easier route than the one we had conjured on the way up, and we were soon in Maganik katun, where fortunately we were able to get some water from shepherds. This mountain is significantly different from the other massifs visible from the top, much more like Orjen in terms of sharp karst rocks with lots of cracks, little water and only sparse vegetation on the exposed higher areas.
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