PSD "Korab" this year organized the 13th international climb on the highest peak in Macedonia Golem Korab (2754m), in behalf of the Mountaineering association of Macedonia. This climb was one of the events that was organized celebrating The Independence day 8th September, the climb took place at September 5th.
Organizational activities started month and half before with talks and arrangements with Ministry of internal affairs and The army of Republic of Macedonia, we have applyed for collective permit for border area movement (that permit is usually issued personally with long procedure and certain payment). After we received positive answers we started to send invitations to mountaineer federations, clubs and it has also an open invitation to citizens of Macedonia, due the reason of organizing this event.
At Friday and Saturday 03.04.09. memebers of our club organized reception of all the participants that was traveling from abroad and nedeed accomadion. Regardnig small capacities the guests was accomodate at 3 refuges, at refuge "Matka" we had more then 40 mountaineers from Serbia and Montenegro, Bulgaria and Poland, at "Tajmiste" was 9 mountaineers from Bulgaria, and at "Smreka" on Popova Shapka (Shar planina) we accomodated 52 mountaineers from Serbia and Montenegro.
In the morning 05.09. at 05h the organized colone was on the move, on the road there was just one stop at "Mavrovi anovi" (national park "Mavrovo") where the last formalitis with the police was finished. For the organized transportation the club has provided 9 buses, one started from Kumanovo, one from Matka, and seven from Skopje ("Drvodekor" near the Grand hotel). There was also many other mountaineers that came with their transportation. The total number of participants was around 1040. there was mountaineers from 14 countries. 65 mountaineer clubs had representatives at the climb, 25 of them was from abroad.
Although the start of the climb is officialy from army border unit "Pobeda" (1454m) buses are going only to place called "Shtirovec" (1281m) and the last 2 km the climbers has to hike. After the short openning the climb started, that was view that was not seen here for a long time, more then thousand was going through the untouch nature of Korab on the first part of the route toward shiphold "Nistrovo". One hour after the start at the shiphold area, the army requested a pause because they spoted a smuglers group at "Kobilino pole" far ahead, the break lasted for about hour and a half, after the successful intervention from the army and clearing the terrain, the column that was in no danger at all during the action, procedeed with the climb.
The start of the climb was at very beautiful weather, but unfortunately at 2200 meters the column entered the fog and clouds and the mountaineers couldn't enjoy the fantastic view from the ridge. Although the break was relatively long more then 500 climbers reached the top passing more then 1650 meters total difference hight (the route through "Kobilino pole" is 2 hours shorter but a less attractive), after reaching the top the climbers get down at the border unit. There was only 3 light injuries, after the help they successfully get down also. The fact that great majority of mountaineers was very satisfied and there was already interest for the next year climb, speaks enough about the successfulness of the climb.
Regarding the number of the participants this is already a bigesst sports manifestation in Macedonia, very afirmative for the mountaineering in Macedonia and for the country itself. We hope that with getting even better organization and better marketing next year we will be even more successful.
Many thanks to all participants for their correct behaviour, we hope for that more climbers will take part next year.
Many thanks to all the media that helped informing the public about the climb
Many thanks to Ministry of internal affairs and esspecially to it's members at station "Mavrovi anovi". Many thanks to Army of Republic of Macedonia and esspecially for the soldiers from border unit at "Pobeda" that helped a lot in organization of this great event.