Backcountry Skiing in Bulgaria :
Bulgaria, located near Greece and Macedonia, was a member of the Eastern bloc till the early 90's, and became a member of the European Union on 1st January 2007.
It is a country where Nature is predominant: the two mountain groups where this tour takes place, Pirin and Rila, are National Parks with stockings of wolfs and bears. Winter is hard in the Bulgarian mountains, and snow falls are often heavy from December till April. The highest peak of Bulgaria is the Moussala, 9,596 feet.
Bulgarians love hiking in their mountains, but just a very few practise Ski touring (downhill skiing is much more popular). Therefore, you will have the chance to ski in wild mountains, meeting very few other backcountry skiers, far from the classic busy ski tours of the Alps.
This Ski Tour will allow you, during a crossing from North to South, to discover the National Parks and Mountain groups of Pirin and Rila, jewels of Nature, and to visit Rila Monastery, ranked in World Heritage by the UNESCO.
On the last day of this programme, you will have a half day free in Sofia to discover its architectural treasures.
This exclusive tour mixing Ski touring (6 days skiing) and culture (you will visit Rila Monastery, ranked in World Heritage by the UNESCO) is guided by a IFMGA French Mountain Guide + a Bulgarian Ski Instructor / Mountain Guide (Bulgarian Mountain Guide diploma).
Adding a local Bulgarian skilled Mountain Guide to a IFMGA French Mountain Guide gives you the chance to discover sites, peaks and variant routes that only local professionals know, and to discover in depth the local customs and traditions.
7 days programme (including 6 days Ski Touring), level cc and tt, group of 7 or 8 skiers.
Departure 2014 each Sunday from February 2 till March 30,
PRICE 1,466 EUR, including flights from Barcelona, Bruxelles, Geneva, London, Madrid and Paris.
PRICE without flight ticket : 1,166 EUR.
Reduction for early registration : if you register to this programme by more than 6 months before the departure date, you will get a 3 % reduction on the price of the tour (not valid for private groups).
- Technical level : you have a very good control of your skis when going down, whatever the quality of snow may be (you can turn with skis parallel in deep powder snow), or when going up (half turns). You like to ski "off-piste", and you have already practised several ascents in Ski Touring.
You have soon walked with crampons in a ice climbing school, a glacier trek, or on a ski-mountaineering summit.
- Fitness level : you practise twice a week either ski touring, running, biking or swimming. During the two months before this tour, you must either run 30 minutes 3 times a week, bike 3 hours 2 times a week, or practise 6 hours of ski touring each week-end. In the same time, you will practise exercices in a gymnasium to get strong muscles in your legs (quadriceps and calfs mainly). Like this, you will be perfectly prepared for both ascents and descents, and you will appreciate the pleasure of ski touring in Bulgaria. The average pace is 1,150 feet of rise per hour,with a average difference of level climbed each day of 3,100 feet.
- Route : flight arrival in Sofia by early afternoon, private minibus transfer to Rila group, ascent to Rilski Ezera hut / Dodov Vruh peak (8,730 feet) and Maliovitza peak (8,953 feet), Maliovitza hut / Goliam Kupen (8,960 feet), Rila monastery visit, night in lodge close to the monastery / private minibus transfer to Bansko, ski lifts, Polejan (9,350 feet) and Gazei (9,058 feet), Demianitcha hut / Todorka peaks (9,009 feet), Bunderitza hut, night in a lodge by Bansko / Bunderishka Porta (8,205 feet), Iane Sandanski, private minibus transfer to Melnik, visit of Melnik and its pink sand towers, private minibus transfer to Sofia, night in a hotel by Sofia / visit of Sofia, transfer to airport by mid-day, flight taking off in the afternoon.
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