Extreme sports have, a long time ago, gained full popularity in the sport world, and quite a crowd making a host in love with such feats. Mountain biking, free climbing, paragliding, tracking, orientation cross country running, free diving, all this are extreme sports, calling on the free-thinking and courageous, those in love of real challenge and high enjoyment.
Here, following world fashion, there is more and more lovers of extreme sports, which fans, once having made experience with adrenalin, having tried the challenge, are always coming back for more…
Places in which one can satisfy all the peak challenges of such sports are rare indeed. Durmitor and the surrounding country, all the peaks of the mountain, the lakes, steep and gentle slopes, that means all of the National Park, have all necessary conditions for high-quality extreme sports.
The wonderful mountain faces enabling adrenalin-fans to enjoy free climbing, lakes bordered by dense and very often primeval forests, like made for orientation cross-country running, free diving, the feet of many peaks which you may reach by mountain-bike, wonderful places for para-gliding, all these riches of Durmitor giving you every chance imaginable for taking up the challenges and checking the limits of your capabilities if limits there are…
Those with somewhat less experience, those trying to take up finding their own capabilities and limits – if any – make take up boating on the Crno jezero (Black lake), biking around the Lake, or biking around the ring of Vrazje jezero (Devil’s Lake), Njegovudje, Zabljak, or biking to the restaurant Vjetrena brda on Stuoc, where the road is somewhat more steep. Taking a walk to Tmor, on the very edge of the Tara Canyon, or climbing to Sava kuk, where there is a wonderful look on the surrounding country, maybe visiting the stellas on Vrazje, maybe that is all in the adventure you would like to live through in order to enjoy nature and all its wonders.
The path from the Center of the city right to Crno jezero (Black lake), is a wonderful promenade, where you, maybe with someone dear to your heart, can feel of the quiet and gentleness which Durmitor may bestow upon you.,..
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING ON DURMITOR
The first mountain climbers came to visit Durmitor somewhere around the year 1900. From this date, right to the present day, a host of nature lovers are invading Durmitor every year. The best evidence to this is the fact that there are 2000 kilometers of marked mountain paths and 48 peaks over 2000 meters, five canyons of which the Tara canyon is the deepest and most beautiful in all Europe, eighteen lakes of which we would like to point out Crno jezero (Black lake) as the biggest, and possibly most beautiful. Besides the marked mountaineers paths leading to some of the peaks of Durmitor there is a host of caves, inviting those in love with speleology. All the peaks of Durmitor, all different, not a single one like the other, deep gorges, naked faces, dark slopes, all these are a challenge for mountain climbers, especially those mountaineers in love with climbing spikes and ropes. The number of mountaineers in love with climbing in winter conditions is ever increasing…
Touring skiing is an ever increasing enjoyment in the world, but also in Montenegro. It is not a rare occasion to climb, to ski, and to bathe in the Lake, all in one day, in the period June-September. And for the extreme sport lovers there’s the Komarnica river with it’s canyon.
A part of this canyon, 3.5 kilometers long, named Nevedio, is fantastic for extreme mountain climbing. The visitors to these parts are exceptional, because parts of the canyon ask for superhuman efforts to conquer water and stone in order to pass the narrows.
Preparing ourselves for a Durmitor stay, please do not forget that this is a Mountain, written with a capital M, where extreme weather conditions are more of a rule than an exception. Corresponding gear, clothing and shoes are a must, without which even a walk within the mountain may be a risk. It might be said that mountaineering in these days is possibly the best physical activity imaginable in mother nature’s environment. The term “mountaineering” is possibly only a joint term for all the numerous activities and sports which are a part of mountaineering, like:
Excursions and walks for less experienced to easily conquered peaks, high-mountain climbing, speleology, Mountain Salvage Service, Guiding Service, Orientation Cross-Country Walking/Running, Touring Ski, Mountain Transversal Walking, Alpinism, and Sport Climbing.
According to International Mountaineering Tables, three sport branches have emerged:
– orientational cross-country running,
– sport climbing, and,
– free climbing
Possibly the following sports could be added to the aforementioned listing, because they, in time, emerged from mountaineering:
– mountain biking
– biking on mountains
All of these sports activities have a lot in common, and that’s going to a mountain, in order to make a start. That means that the term “Mountaineering” is only a joint term for a lot of activities and sport branches which are orderly departmentalized, and are very much different in itself.
Alpinism is so to say the King of all mountaineering. If you would like to join the clique, you must have excellent physical and psycho capabilities at all times, great experience, knowledge of a lot of climbing techniques, with emphasis on dry faces and ice, as well as a host of other factors, necessary for successful and secure climb. The Alpinist is taught and instructed to live in the mountain, disregarding the location, on the most inaccessible places ( for example to sleep on the face, bundled in a sleeping bag, or even without), in every part of the world, in every season, and in the most adverse weather conditions (very low temperatures, high altitude etc.)
Accordingly, alpinistic climbing is rated according to certain criteria which are part of the classification of alpinistic climbing. In the framework of sport activities, alpinism is in Serbia an Montenegro rated among top sport activities, because of its complexity. According to international criteria alpinism and Formula 1 car racing are in the twelfth category (sport activities with the greatest risk factor).
There is an alpinism section as a part of activities in the Mountaineering and Skiing Society “Durmitor”. For a long time alpinism is present in the town of Zabljak, but lately it is getting more and more professional, and more and more people are included. The aforementioned section is in close collaboration with other alpinistic societies in Montenegro, but especially with the alpinistic society JAVORAK in Niksic, for which collaboration even in this place due thanks. The greatest impetus for alpinistic activities in Zabljak the society was given by the chief of the mountaineering society Vojinovic, by Zoran-Saco and Grbovic Batric-Banjo, participants in many international expeditions. All members of the alpinistic section are also members of Salvage Sections on Durmitor, which are exceptionally well organized.
Alpinism in its own right is an extreme sport activity, because when you start climbing, you are dependent only on yourself, and all the time the danger of a spike dislodging itself is present, with the danger of you hurting yourself, or your shoe slipping, or you dislodging a stone and hurting the man behind you. Even so, once you surmount your fear, and you really try the face, you will always come for more because of the adrenaline kick and the pulse rate.
The alpinism is very attractive here, because there are many faces, unfortunately many of which are already conquered. Even so, there are many attractive faces for climbing fans, as well as some training faces for salvage team members and alpinists instruction, in winter and in summer conditions. Unfortunately in Zabljak there is no synthetic face which would be very useful for both experienced alpinists and tourists alike in search of the adrenaline kick and adventure. Even so, everybody in want of a go at alpinism, in Durmitor there is always somebody from the mountaineering society who will be helpful in some of the training locations to help the beginner make the first steps for Mountain Everest.
The science of cavities, roughly the translation from the Greek word is the base of the notion (Speleation – cavity, and logos – science). The speleology is in fact the science which as a base has the study of underground cavities in chalk-stone formations, which were formed in natural processes, by a simultaneous activity of many elements. The task of speleology is to unify many sub-disciplines (speleomorphology, speleohydrology…) which within complex scientific procedures will give a realistic and scientific analysis and view of all factors which play a role in the forming of a cavity.
The area of Durmitor is, especially from point of view of geology, climatology and hydrology an area par excellence for the forming of cavities. The chalk formations, and abundant rainfall, were the prime factors in forming erosion forces which is the main factor in the forming of cavities. The erosion forces formed two chalk-formation cavities: cavities with horizontal channels, and cavities with mainly vertical channels.
Man was always curious, and the inside of such formations was always a challenge. Very often veneration and awe are part of such feelings, and various mysterious happenings were connected to them: very often some wizard or a fairy had it’s habitat in some cavity. The very first account of such cavities is to be found in Homer’s epic in old Greece: even so, the first really scientific explorations were started in the second half of seventeenth century. The results of his exploration of the Zerknitz lake was made by A. Kircher in the year 1655, printed as a book in Amsterdam under the title MODUS SUBTERRANEOUS. That is the first really scientific try to explain the cavities as a result of natural forces.
In exploring cavities of Durmitor a very prominent place must be given to speleological societies from Beograd (Proteus, ASAK, SOB), Zagreb (Zeljeznicar, DISKAF), Sarajevo, as well as to teams of explorers from Poland, England and France. In Montenegro the first speleological organization was formed in 1960, from which time an uninterrupted work in cavity exploration was underway. The best results in speleology in Montenegro were obtained in the last twenty years.
The importance of speleology, and the results obtained are manifold. All terrains with chalk-formations are known as dry. As a result, such terrains are very often, because of want of water, without life. The number of inhabitants in such environment is very small, because the environment is not giving even the minimum of life support. In view of that, the detailed results of speleological exploration might give some hints as to where water might be, which on the other hand just might give the chance of returning life to some of these doomed places, by giving them some economic chances. Very good results of speleological explorations were obtained in finding water for supplying water to cities, in finding out were to direct water for accumulation lakes, which on its side are important for town water supplies, producing electrical energy and all-citizen’s defense.
The long nature’s erosion work has formed such cave jewels that are very often unimaginable, and the beauty of which may only be compared to the work of the most renown jewelers. All this jewels are the work of water, and that in twofold way: by way of water dropping, drop by drop ( stalactites, stalagmites, pillars…) and by water flowing (confluences, drapes, tubs…). In the speleological caves of Durmitor, practically all kinds of cave jewels may be found: stalactites, stalagmites, pillars, draperies, confluences, helectites, hieroglyphs, cave milk.
The life in the caves is amazingly plentiful. Basically there are two kinds of animals: troglodytes, which are animals the whole life cycles of which is spent in the caves, usually being endemic forms of life or relicts the organisms of which are perfectly in harmony with the environment, and Troglophyls which are animals that time-share their life between the caves and normal environment on the surface of the earth (bears, dormouses, bats an suchlike). The best known inhabitants of such caves are bats and the so-called human fish.
The aim of mountaineers – speleologists, entering the underworld is making acquaintance with everything unknown until now, overcoming the area in a very specific way because of everlasting darkness, and that means moving with a specific outfit, artificial light (all kinds of lamps), and special technique of movement and orientation, in environment totally different to the environment at the surface of the world so well known to all of us.
THE CAVE ON VJETRENA BRDA
The area of the National Park Durmitor, and the zone gravitating to the National Park Durmitor with every right carries the name “Speleological Eldorado” the name given by it’s explorers. Besides all the nature’s beauties many times described in this and other documents, and endemic to this area, and reachable by practically all people interested. Durmitor has many secret charms in it’s bosom, hidden for many thousands of years deep in its mountains. Only some ten years ago, the International Speleological Expedition (MSE) “Durmitor ‘85” succeeded in taking a peek in its entrails, and to find a long hidden treasure.
In the area mentioned over 300 speleologically interesting objects were found, a great number of which is now well examined. Because of hydrogeological conditions which rules in this area the caves are the most numerous objects. Anyway, the three biggest and deepest objects in this area are caves:
MSE “Durmitor ‘85” gave some results that was very much wanted by speleologists indeed. Some fifty domestic and foreign speleologists were participants in this expedition, doing some very fine work, finding as the result of their endeavor the deepest cave on the Balkans. At the same time it is the greatest, and at the same time the best organized speleological expedition in Montenegro. As aforementioned the expedition had an international character: besides the societies from ancient SFRJ (Niksic, Beograd, Valjevo, Sarajevo, Zagreb, Pazin etc) a certain number of foreign speleologist took part in it (Speleologists from France, England and Poland).
The Vjetrena Brda Cave with a depth – till now known – of 897.5 meters is the deepest cave on the Balkans, with the remark of the speleologist that this depth could be “pierced” with subsequent diving or by mining an siphon which stopped the speleologists at the depth given above.
The conditions for examining this object were severe: because of that the speleologist were obliged, in order to save time energy and money, to dwell in the cave for many days in sequence without going out. On meter 570 from the entrance a provisional bivouac was established in which the speleologists could take a rest during the expedition. To spend a longer time in such an object, in such a depth is very hard indeed, and the maximum stay was estimated for 4 – 5 days. The speleologists sleep in sleeping-bags, or in hammocks, and food is mainly precooked outside the cave, and brought in by those members of the team in charge of menial jobs. The temperature in the cave is 8-10 degrees C, with a practically 100% air humidity making breathing very difficult, and likewise a prolonged stay.
The exploration of this area could for sure be done in winter months when the temperature outside the cave drops sometimes below -200C, freezing water, and thus preventing penetrating water into the cave, this water being one of the “guilty parties” for such a depth of the cave, but on the other hand being an impediment for further exploration.
One of the most popular extreme sports for sure is mountain biking. At the end of the nineties of the past century the first mountain biking club was firmly established in Zabljak, and from that time this sport is making marked progress. Till now three mountain biking clubs were formed, the first being MTB Club “VRH” having the most numerous membership. In 2002 two further clubs were founded, one being named “DURMITORES”, a volunteer biking society, and VZ SPORT.
This club organize sporting events, biking tours in which every tourist may feel all charms of this very popular sport by sightseeing the beauties of nature, especially mentioning the ten mountain lakes which may be reached by bike as well as parts of the Tara canyon.
Zabljak, the mountain center has many excellent biking paths, the proof of thereof being the host of competitions in the area. The best known is the Durmitor Award, which is part of the cup system of Montenegro and Serbia, and from this year is part of the competition calendar. This competition is possibly the most attractive of all in Montenegro and Serbia, and the proof is that this competition is around the Crno jezero (Black lake) the biggest and most beautiful lake of Durmitor. The height difference in this competition is 300 meters. Durmitor has the most beautiful paths for “DOWNHILL”, the most extreme, and the most expensive of all mountain biking, as well as wonderful paths for cross-country mountain biking.
The most attractive adventure is the sightseeing tour of the mountain massive of Durmitor, which popularly is known under the name of “Ring”. This tour is 86 kilometers long, the most impressive part being the canyon of the Susica river. On this “marathon” five mountain passes will be surmounted, a host of peaks will be left right and left, the path in one moment drops to 600 meters above the sea level, and then again mounts to 2100 meters above. Quite special terrains which shall convince you that this is a most attractive extreme sport, and that Durmitor is the place for it.
That’s the best way to make the best acquaintance with yourself and with your capabilities.
That’s the best way to see your being in this world, and your very place.
That’s the best way to see the world with your soul, and to feel the blameless purity of the skies.
That’s the best way to feel all the liberty of a bird, to fly, to feel companionship and to enjoy all pleasures…
Everybody can fly! The important thing is the WILL and all your dreams will come true.
Verily dreams, because paragliding is next to it.
The sight, silence, exaltation, tranquility, peace….
You are high over problems of this world, ready to make all the energy of the skies your own…
Ready to transfer all of your “black” thoughts somewhere else, and to dive into the rainbow…
(Taken from the thoughts of one of the paragliders)
Para glider is an air filled parachute/wing which is started by running on a slope, and grounding also on your feet. The paraglider thanks to its construction makes fast air-dropping impossible. It flies on the kite principle, like a glider or an airplane. Paragliders are constructed for free flight, that being a difference to parachutes which are constructed for dropping, with only a very limited direction possibilities. The construction of a paraglider and a parachute is worlds apart, the construction of a paraglider being made for flight using the upward movement of hot air (thermal air, air movement around slopes). The world record is 350 kilometers as the crow flies.
Flight with a paraglider is exceptionally safe if three conditions are met:
– the wind must be under 8 meters/second
– there must be no rain, snow or suchlike,
– the paraglider must be in perfect technical condition (no damages)
– don’t even try to fly by yourself! Don’t forget you are a beginner!
Paragliding on Durmitor
Paragliding made recently its appearance on Durmitor. The first flights were recorded only a few years ago. The paraglider pilots found out that Durmitor is a very fine place for paragliding indeed, possibly the most beautiful in this country. The paragliding was brought to Zabljak by enthusiasts, but also by club members, first as solo flights, and than, in time, instructors for tourists appeared. Zabljak is “the place” for paraglider camps, and all in unison agreed that Durmitor has great possibilities for this extreme sport. The locals are good, and the founding of a paraglider club is around the corner, opening the chances for many people to enjoy the Mountain. Once you feel the free air of Durmitor you will always come back!
PSD ‘DURMITOR’ – ZABLJAK
PSD “Durmitor” was founded in 1949. It is a mountaineering and skiing club. From its foundation till now its main activity was skiing. The members of the club have some very fine results to be proud of in the union (SFRJ) and international competitions, especially in the Nordic combination. In the last few years, mountaineering is however, taking over, thanks to younger people which are now taking active part in the Society.
The mountaineering commission is now working in four sections:
– the alpinism section,
– the GSS section (The Mountain Salvage Section)
– the section for orientation cross-country running;
– the youth mountaineering section.
The Society has at the moment more than hundred members, mostly young people and school kids. The members are very active. Every year new members are taught the school of alpinism, and old members are taught the art of mountain salvage and the art of mountain guides. The last few years our members are securing the ski paths at Savin kuk. This section is possibly the most active in the Society. Beside normal activities in the club our members take part in mountaineering meetings, and also in climbing in foreign countries. Some of our members have taken part in international expeditions climbing very prestigious peaks in Europe and elsewhere. We are in close cooperation with NP “Durmitor”. Every year some five or six actions take place, like cleaning the mountain from waste, renewing markation signs, securing difficult passes, or making new passes through stone and forest. The youngest generation is always a challenge: we take very good care of them. In the next five years we have a very ambitious plan: to build a new mountain house in Zabljak. We are also planning to make a new GSS station (Mountain Salvage House), and to climb Triglav in Slovenia and Mont Blanc in France.