Veliki Zurim in fog 
Friday, December 2, 2016, 6:00 pm
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We set out on a cloudy day, hoping that the road would not be covered in snow or ice, and we were fortunately able to get to the katun at the foot of Mali Zurim. A view from Borovnik a week earlier had revealed another way up Veliki Zurim, and it was decided to explore this, even though the entire mountain was engulfed in low cloud and we could not see where our path was taking us to. When we found an animal trail, we followed it up a snaking route to a pass, but given the limited visibility, headed straight up to where we knew the summit to be, which was marked by a canister containing a log book and pen. The way down was potentially dangerous, given that we could not see that far in front, but I trusted to my memory of climbing it before, and we managed to descend without problem, if a little tentatively.
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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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