Two Steps Towards Others
Two Steps Towards Others

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Deux Pas Vers L'Autre

Deep Snow, Whiteouts and the Highest Peak in the Balkan Mountains

Date: January 26, 2020
Approximate GPS Location: (42.71°N, 24.91°E)

It has been a cold, white start to 2020 for Marie and Nil. The pair have been hiking the Kom Emine, a long-distance hiking trail that follows the ridgeline of the Balkan Mountains from Serbia to the Black Sea. The weather has been brutal as they cross Bulgaria; deep snow, icy trails, and even complete whiteouts. On the worst whiteout days, it has been impossible to even discern the horizon and they have been thankful for GPS.

Despite the conditions, they have climbed Mount Amabritsa and Botev Peak. On Ambaritsa they thought they had spotted a shelter, only to find it snowed in and barely a meter in height! Botev Peak marked two milestones for the pair: it is the highest peak in Balkan Mountains, but it is also the last section of 2,000m (6,560ft) elevation on their route. “It is impossible to cross this place without thinking of all the summits we have traversed in the past two years,” they explained on their Instagram.

Soon after Botev Peak, Nil’s Achilles tendon flared up. They have decided that the best course of action is to rest it for a few days before he does any serious damage. They will now head down into the valley and hope for some warmer weather.




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