The start of the 2016 hiking season with Black Rock peak 2536m, Brezovica, February 21st 2016

Dear hikers and fans of Hiking Njeri !

On Sunday, February 21st 2016 our Association organized the first hike in 2016. Considering that this winter is mild and there are fewer snow showers, our Association decided that the hikes this year could start much earlier. Since the beginning of our excursions in 2004, this is the first time that the hiking trips start in February. 

The Sundays hike took place in the highest peak of the ski center of Brezovica, the Black Rock 2536m. This peak is one of the three highest in the ski center and as all the peaks of Sharr, it’s situated in the border with Macedonia. Two other peaks are The Meadow peak 2497m and Piribreg 2524m. At the end of 2015, along with 150 hikers we hiked to the top of Piribreg. That day the weather was great but with much more snow. After we hiked to the top we saw the Black Rock peak under the powerful rays of the sun. Most of our members from the organizing stuff decided that we will hike the Black Rock as soon as possible in the wintery situation.

This is what we did. The first hike of 2016 took place there. Considering that Brezovica has ski lifts, we decided to use one of them in order to buy time. The Black Rock is situated in the far right of Brezovica so to get there, more time is needed compared to the 2 other peaks (Piribreg and Meadow peak).

We started from Pristina by bus at 0615 and arrived in Ferizaj in order to pick up the hikers from this city at 0700. We were 58 people in a bus and 12 more came by 4 cars, so in total we were 70.

As soon as we arrived at the ski centers parking lot we saw snow flying on top of Brezovica. It was due to a powerful wind but the weather was sunny. We regrouped at the Che Fox bar in Brezovica and got ready to be lifted to the top. Before we were going to a lift, 5 people decided to stay. As we arrived at the top of the lift we felt the strong winds on a sunny day. After a brief introduction by the organizer, Benny Islami, the group consisting of 65 hikers kicked off for the summit. During the hike the snow depth was shallow and very dry. The view of the horizon was amazing seeing the big front of clouds approaching Sharr range. The movement of clouds made the view even more attractive for photography. Also, the flying snow due to harsh weather conditions made our photos even more dramatic.

Around 11am we arrived at the bottom of Piribreg summit, the place where we had to turn right towards the peak of Black Rock. The main difficulty of this part was that from there we had to descend in order to hike again towards the target. We witnessed the extreme winds of 100 km/h. There the beginners without any proper equipment decided to turn back. They were escorted back to the top of the lift by one of our guides. The rest continued but upon arrival at the midsection where the winds exceeded 100 km/h with frosty temps, another 20 of the hikers decided to return.

Thirty of the remaining hikers continued to the top and interestingly, as we approached the peak, the winds died with temperatures rising. The group stayed at the top for about 20 minutes to take pictures and started descending. As we went down, winds started to become stronger and the visibility to shrink. The descent was much harder considering the deterioration of the weather but thankfully, everybody arrived at the top of the lift safely. On the arrival, we started the further descend with the ski lift which looked as another planet. People were skiing, there were 0 winds and others were having fun with music played by a DJ. On the arrival at the bottom of Brezovica ski center, we gave ourselves couple of hours to refill, eat and rest. The first hike of 2016 finished successfully and all of the hikers were satisfied, including the beginners.

Until the next trip, Live to the Maxx!