In search of a lake / Mt Lola 
Friday, September 23, 2016, 11:00 am
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The previous time I had walked to the "Third Ridge" my idea had been firstly to see how far we could get in a day, and secondly to try to find a small lake I had espied from an Air Serbia plane flying overhead from Podgorica to Belgrade.
Although I had my usual morning work until 10.30, we arrived at Zagoricki katun by Zurim at around 11.30 and picked a slightly different route over the first two ridges. This involved picking the most dangerous, but doable routes up the cliff face. We got to the point we had ended up before and decided to press on further to see what was over the next horizon. It was then that we stumbled across a couple of natural arches eroded out of the mountainside, and from there we could also see the "lake" far below us (although it was hard to determine whether there was actually any water in it). On the way back we tried another new route straight up the second ridge, but I was starting to suffer from heatstroke and couldn't wait to get back to the car. In all we walked about 8 hours and it was a good workout for a Friday.
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Zupci in the rain 
Saturday, September 17, 2016, 10:00 am
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Usually, the weather is fairly predictable and as such we usually skip rainy weekends. However, I was desperate to get out into the mountains on a day which was supposed to be OK in Durmitor, but terrible anywhere more south. As it turned out, we weren't quite north enough and so the highlands were engulfed in cloud and rain. The idea was to go from Sedlo to the peak of Bandijerna, but the lack of visibility made it unwise to stray from the clearly signposted path to Bobotov kuk. So we ended up at Zeleni vir and nowhere along the walk did we get any view of the surrounding mountains, except for 10 seconds on the way back when the clouds momentarily parted. Of course, as soon as we got back to the car, it was beautifully sunny.
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Mt. Borovnik, from Vucje 
Saturday, September 3, 2016, 11:00 am
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Despite making a couple of attempts in the snow to reach the top of Borovnik, and despite never quite seeing it as a pretty enough mountain to climb when other options are available, I decided to find out how long it would take to climb it from the ski centre at Vucje. Since the road to Vucje is regularly cleared of snow in the winter, the ski centre is an ideal place to start hikes when nowhere else is accessible. The walk from the top of Vucje to the foot of Borovnik is quite flat, although in order to avoid private property we had to divert over some rocky outcrops, which slowed us down. It took over two hours to get to under Borovnik, but then the climb was interesting, not least because of the mix of karst crisscrossed with fractures and trees/bushes. We didn't manage to get to the very top, as we wouldn't have had time, but the descent was interesting, as I chose a 'route' down which from a distance looked like a sheer drop, and was not for the fainthearted. There are no hiking paths, but we did find an animal trail on the descent which brought us more quickly to the foot of the mountain. The two-plus-hour walk back was a killer, but at least we could stop at the ski centre for a coffee and breather before driving down to Niksic. The view from the 'top' included the new windfarm on Krnovo, Zurim and a rather featureless landscape in the direction of Niksic. Anyone wishing to pick wild pomegranate, rosehip and juniper should be advised that there was an abundance of these plants all over the area at the time that we went, although the former two are best picked as late as possible in the autumn.
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Ranisava, Durmitor 
Friday, August 12, 2016, 6:00 pm
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This was another hike borne out of the sentiment "That mountain looks interesting, I wonder how we could climb it". We parked along the road to Trsa, where there is signpost for walks to Modro jezero. The mountain itself has no hiking trails, but there are cattle trails up the first part. It had rained just before we attempted this climb, and with thick ground vegetation, our lower legs and feet got soaked very quickly. It was also misty when we started climbing, and it wasn't until we were half-way up that the cloud lifted. The views were amazing, and finding a route was an interesting exercise, but we made it to the first peak, and despite some precarious crawling along the top of a ridge (which eventually becomes Sedlena greda) we made it to the highest peak of Ranisava. Coming down, we decided to take a short cut, which as it usually does, turned out to be not as easy as it looked. We had to navigate our way down over movable rock, where any dislodged material would roll and clatter for twenty-odd seconds right down to the bottom of the slope. But it was fun, and we were rewarded with a lovely sunset.
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Mt Lola, or 'the Third Ridge' 
Saturday, August 6, 2016, 11:58 am
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I had one last hiking opportunity before going back to the UK for a family holiday. In a desire to further explore the Moraca Mountains, and to find a body of water I had spotted when flying over the area en route to Belgrade, we decided to attempt to reach the third ridge from Zurim. The second ridge is called Stit, and we had climbed this a few months back. We had walked along the foot of this ridge on our way to the Kapa Moracka waterfall. This was to be an endurance test to see just how far we could get in one day. It turned out to be less demanding than the Kapa Moracka hike (because of the extreme ascent), but gave us great views towards Sinjajevina and the rest of Mt Lola, which I had hiked over a year before.
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