Mt Borovnik (from Zurim side) 
Saturday, November 19, 2016, 6:04 pm
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Ice on the road to Zagoricki katun prevented us from driving up to the foot of Zurim, so we decided to head towards Borovnik, which I still have not climbed right to the top. There was some snow on the ground and the rivulets that crisscross the Lukavica valley were apparently in full flow. We had to cross on stepping stones on many occasions, until unexpectedly we came to a beautiful hidden waterfall. I managed to divine a way up this side of Borovnik, up a grassy strip cutting through boulders and pine trees. This side was relatively free of snow, facing towards the sun, but once we got to the top, there was enough snow to hide the crevasses and cracks in the rock, and made traversing the top ridge quite hazardous. But the weather was excellent and the descent was relatively danger-free. Borovnik is a wide massif, and the three times I have tried to climb it, there has not been enough time to get from the foot right to the summit.
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Autumn walk in the (national) park - Biogradska gora 
Saturday, October 22, 2016, 6:00 pm
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This is not strictly a hike, more like a long drive and mini-walk. But autumn in this national park is spectacular because of the diversity of trees and the colours of the leaves. Every day gives you a different combination of sunlight, clouds and foliage, and I was on this occasion treated to strong winds which suddenly blew a cloud of leaves over the lake, as if caught in a locust swarm. The entrance fee to the national park is €3 and it is accessible from the main Podgorica-Bijelo Polje road, north of Kolasin. Construction is ongoing on a restaurant (if was ongoing last year at the same time) by the lake, and the souvenir shop was closed.
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Bandijerna Peak (2,409m) 
Friday, October 14, 2016, 10:00 am
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Four weeks after the last attempt was thwarted by rain, I finally returned to this peak, close to Durmitor's highest (Bobotov kuk) and right in between the jagged edge of Zupci and Sljeme. Despite being higher than Prutas, the walk to this peak is relatively short from the parking area at Sedlo, on the Virak-Trsa road. There was still snow on the north-facing and shaded spots, but nothing too concerning. The path was very muddy and slippery from the thawing snow, but once we got off the path onto the rocks the going was easier. There is no marked path except the path to Zeleni Vir and Bobotov kuk, but, as visibility was good this time, we were able to veer off and head towards Trojni prevoj (Three-way Pass). It seems there are piled stones on some of the rocks to indicate roughly the right way, but it was no problem just heading towards where I knew we had to go. From Trojni prevoj we headed straight up the mountain from where we were rewarded with a beautiful 360 degree panorama. It took us around 2.20 hours to get up and 1.30 to get down, which made it a very short day's hiking. Then we had the usual guilty pleasure of Turkish coffee and blueberry liqueur at the log cabin/cafe below Stozina, and playing with Bosko the Rottweiler.
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Šarena Lastva (nr. Mt. Maglić) 2228m 
Saturday, October 8, 2016, 6:00 am
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I had been planning for the whole year, and in fact for the last 13 years to do a hike to Lake Trnovac in the Piva region. It seemed like the days were getting too short to be able to do such an epic hike, but we set off from Nikšić early in the morning towards the village of Mratinje. Despite my usually trusty car temporarily conking out on the way, we made it as far as we could go along the macadam road past Mratinje to a village I think is called Čair or Ćalasani. After some helpful advice from a friendly local, we followed the clear trail markers from the low cloud and autumnal colours, eventually through the mist and above the clouds and into snow, which had fallen the previous day. With frequent digging to find the buried markers, we made our way ever upwards, mindful of the need to get back before dusk. At one point we realised that uncovering the trail markers was using up valuable time, so we headed towards what seemed to be a promising peak through 20cm of snow, and through the occasional 50cm drift. The view from the peak was breathtaking, as were almost all the views above the clouds. The conditions were perfect and we had climbed well over 1,200m from the start point. Definitely this hike was one of the top-two hikes I have done, the other being Međedi in Durmitor. The view over Lake Trnovac extended deep into Herzegovina on one side, then the other way towards Ljubišnje, over a sea of cloud that covered the Piva Canyon and Tara Canyon. The climb up took around 5.5 hours, and the descent about 3.5 hours. Admittedly, my limbs have been aching for several days afterwards, but the effort was well worth it and we were privileged to have some unique weather conditions, blending autumn and winter, but with gorgeous sun.
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Mrtvica Canyon (slightly amended route) 
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 9:00 am
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Firstly, just to say that I haven't included a picture of the more famous parts of the actual canyon, because this is about my tenth time to hike it and so I didn't take many photos. What was different this time is that we took a route that went on the left side of the river, rather than the more usual right bank. The starting point is about 40 minutes north of Podgorica on the main road to Kolasin. There is one asphalt road with signposts for Mrtvica Canyon and the village of Mrtvo Duboko, but we took the road leading to the village of Velje Duboko and parked almost immediately. One path leads across an iron bridge where we joined the asphalt road towards the village of Mrtvo Duboko, past several beautifully constructed houses, then down to a bridge made of thin planks, and further on to the bridge pictured above. Then we joined the familiar path along the canyon itself. For those reading who have never seen the canyon, it is breathtaking in its proportions. It is narrow (maybe 200m wide) by maybe 700m tall, with the River Mrtvica roaring in places below, but sometimes disappearing underground in other sections. In places the flow is interrupted by massive boulders that have fallen from the canyon wall. One part features a path carved into a sheer rock cliff about 100m above the river. This is an ideal hike for beginners, we travelled a little under three hours in one direction before returning. On the way back we took the more familiar, shorter route, which now bypasses private property where at one time we were charged several euros per person to cross a field. However, some slightly hilarious, but also potentially sinister, signs warn of needing to pay to cross this gentleman's land still remain visible.
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