You are thirsty for summer adventures and have long planned to conquer one of the high, beautiful peaks of Pirin. However, you are unsure which of the peaks near Bansko to head to.
If you have not tried to conquer Muratov peak so far, we sincerely advise you to do so.
Why Muratov peak?
Located on the main mountain ridge of Pirin, rising to a height of 2669 m. Muratov peak is one of the most panoramic peaks of Pirin. Once you climb it, you won’t want to go down. Everywhere you look is pure, natural beauty.
Muratovo lake is blue low below the peak, the majestic Vihren rises opposite, on the other side you can see the Banderishka valley and Todorka peak. In the distance you can see the rocky edges of theStrazhite, and a little behind them stands the proudly standing Polezhan peak.
There are many legends about this beautiful Pirin peak. According to one of them, during the Turkish slavery Murat Bey ruled in these places. He heard that a wonderful beautywoman named Radka lived in the nearby villages and wished her for his harem. But Radka realized that soldiers were coming to her to take her as a bey’s wife and ran away.
She ran, ran and finally hid behind one of the Pirin peaks. But Murat followed her and finally managed to catch her. In his rage, the Turk pulled out a scythe and cut off the beautiful girl’s head. Since then, the peak where the beauty lost her life is called Momin peak, and the neighboring – Muratov peak.
You can attack the Pirin giant on several routes – from Vihren hut, from Sinanitsa hut or through Spano field shelter. The route that starts from Vihren hut is the most popular, so we will spend a little more time.
Route hut Vihren – Muratov peak
This route is of medium difficulty and is divided into several stages:
Bansko – Vihren hut
Although the starting point is Vihren hut, the adventure begins a little earlier. Because you have to move from Bansko to the hut. You can do this in several ways. If you do not want to waste time, you can go directly to the hut with your car. From Bansko there is a decent, asphalt road that will take you straight up.
The distance is about 16 km, but it is good to know that the road is open for crossing only on weekdays. If you have time and want to extend your walk, then you can take the hiking trail to Vihren peak. The climb will take you about 4 hours, but you will admire the many beautiful views.
Vihren hut – Muratovo lake
If you reach Vihren hut, you have to look around and find the blue marking that leads to Sinanitsa hut. Follow the path and the markings. If you accidentally lose the blue marking on the road and see it in yellow, keep going – you are in the right direction. The yellow marking leads to Yane Sandanski hut, but it will also take you to the end of the first stage of the climb.
This stage is not particularly difficult, but it is not very easy, because in some places there are quite steep and rocky sections. At the beginning you will not see Muratov peak, but the closer you get to Muratovo lake, the more the peak will open in front of you. After a few more difficult climbs and short breaks, you will reach Muratovo Lake.
The first stage will take you about an hour to overcome. When you reach the shores of your lake, rest well, because this is where the more difficult ascent begins.
Muratovo or Ovanino lake as it is more popular among locals and tourists is an extremely beautiful, relatively shallow mountain lake, which is located at the foot of the eponymous peak. Its area is not very large (about 12, 9 decares), but on the other hand it is one of the most beautiful lakes in the Pirin Mountains.
Muratovo Lake – Banderishka Gate
This stage is much more difficult, as you only climb up, and the path is not only steep, but also has large sections of screes and stones. With a few short or longer breaks, the trail will take you to the Banderishka Gate saddle.
You will find out that you managed to cope when at the end of the climb you see a metal stake with a marking indicating the direction of Yane Sandanski hut and Spano field shelter. If you reach the Banderishka Gate, it is good to rest again and gather strength for the last stage of the climb. The time it will take you to go through this stage is again about an hour.
Banderishka gate – Muratov peak
The last stage is short in duration, but the most difficult. There are no markings on the road, the path is lost in places and most of the time you will climb rocks and screes. The good thing is that you can’t go wrong, because although there are no markings on the road, there are stone pyramids for reference. The climb from Banderishka Porta to Muratov peak will take you about 40 minutes to an hour (maximum).
The length of this route (Vihren hut – Muratov peak) is about 4 hours, the difficulty is medium and the displacement is 285 meters.
Apart from this classic route, the peak can be reached from Sinanitsa hut and Spano field shelter
If you decide to start from Sinanitsa hut, you must first get from Bansko to Vihren hut, then take the Sinanitsa hut. The transition between the two huts will take you between 5 and 6 hours, so it is good to stay overnight in Sinanitsa hut.
The next day you just have to walk along the path blue markings that will take you to Muratovo Lake. Once you get there, you already know the way.
The ascent, which starts from the Spano field shelter, proceeds in an identical way. First you have to reach Spano field, and then continue through Banderishka Gate and up to the peak.
Both routes have a higher degree of difficulty and longer duration, so our advice is, if you do not have enough experience not to take risks, but to climb Muratov peak, following the route starting point Vihren hut.
A few tips for hiking in the mountains
If you don’t have enough experience in the mountains, there are a few things you need to consider before attacking the peak:
Unlike the city, where it is warm, the higher you go up the mountain, the windier and colder it will be. So think about your equipment in advance and prepare:
- A pair of long, comfortable pants
- T-shirt with short sleeves
- Long sleeve blouse
- Warm jacket with a hood
Don’t look at whether your clothes are beautiful or whether they match as colors. In the mountains it doesn’t matter. It is more important that the clothing can protect you from both the strong sun and the cold and strong winds to which you will be exposed up in the mountains.
Under no circumstances go to the peak wearing sneakers, running shoes or slippers. The paths in places are quite steep and the stones are smooth and if your shoes are not suitable you will certainly feel great discomfort. To be well prepared, the shoes you need to put on your feet are hiking boots with a good and deep grip.
Prepare with a sturdy, backpack that has plenty of compartments, pockets and comfortable straps. Put in it:
- Extra pair of pants
- Two pairs of socks
- Fully charged phone
When you start climbing the peak, you will surely congratulate yourself that you have these things in your backpack. Believe me.
The climb is exhausting and you need to have enough water and food to recharge. Make a few sandwiches, put something sweet and at least one bottle of 1.5 water. If you have a tourist jug, pour water into it and hang the jug on the cross.
● Tourist sticks
The tourist sticks will be of great help to you, especially when you have to climb the steep paths of stages 3 and 4. You can not carry two tourist sticks with you, but at least one is good to have on hand. Be sure that you will really need it, especially when you are almost at the end of your strength and it seems that you no longer have the strength to take a step to the peak.
● Quality camera
Yes, we know your phone’s camera takes great pictures. But if you have the opportunity, bring a camera with you. There are so many beautiful views that you will want to photograph everything, everywhere and constantly. And with a camera, photos get much better (and there’s no danger of breaking your new smartphone if you accidentally stumble and fall in your speed to take pictures of everything around you).
● Find out about the forecast
Before going to the peak, check the weather forecast and if rain, fog or cold is expected, postpone the transition. We tell you this because it is dangerous in the mountains during the rain and if you are not experienced enough mountaineers the probability of slipping and getting hurt is not small.
And last. If you are not completely sure that you can handle the climb yourself, the better solution is to join one of the many tourist groups organized by the hotels in Bansko or to hire a guide. That way, you won’t have to worry about getting the wrong direction, or worry about not being able to find your way back. By hiring a guide you can fully enjoy the beauty of the mountain and experience your summer adventure to the max.