Sator (1872m) is sweet little mountain in western Bosnia, some say the most beautiful. It is part of long Dinaric Alps chain. Dimensions of the mountain are some 15km in W – E direction and 10km in N – S direction. Sator is more suitable for nice family trip than for serious mountaineering thanks to mountain road that reaches Satorsko Jezero Lake at 1488m. It is mountain to relax and lay on grassy slopes amidst carpet of flowers.
Sator rises some 1000m above high plains and enormous fields which surround it. On the south is Livanjsko Polje field (around 700m), which is over 50km long. Sator rises above its NW end. On the SE are Staretina (1675m) and Golija (1890m) mountains. They divide Livanjsko from Glamocko Polje fields. On the east is huge grassy plain, which is around 1000m high. On the north is deeper valley where is source of Unac river and nice Zupica lake. On the NW is also high lying grassy plateau (1100m), which connects Sator with Jadovnik (1656m) mountain. On those plains are mountain villages of Crnac, Ticevo, Preodac and Rore. Finally on the west is large and grassy Grahovsko Polje field (around 800-900m). Around the mid part of the field is Bosansko Grahovo (861m), a small town, which is main starting point for Sator. On the other side of Grahovsko & Livanjsko Polje fields rises Dinara, border mountain with Croatia.
5 main peaks of Sator rise above a sort of plateau where dense beech, fir and spruce forests end (at 1500-1600m). Those 5 peaks have a shape like pyramid and form a 10km long string in W-E direction. That is almost perpendicular to most of Dinaric Alps Mountains, which stretch in NW-SE direction. From the distance whole mountain gives the impression of pyramid or tent and that is how it got its name (sator = tent). South slopes of peaks and plateau are grassy, in spring covered with carpets of flowers. On the contrary, north slopes are steep and contain cliffs and scree slopes and basins with lot of dwarf pine. Highest peak, on the western end, is Veliki Sator (1872m), while somewhat isolated, on the eastern end, is Mali Sator (1768m). 2 of the rest 3 peaks exceed 1750m, while the 3rd, neighbor of Mali Sator, exceeds 1800m. Sator and area around the mountain were enormous pastures for thousands of cattle, which was driven here even from Dalmatia. Today you will hardly meet anyone on the mountain.
Below the northern cliffs and scree slopes, at the edge of grassy plateau, stands Satorsko Jezero lake (1488m). It has glacial origin and is 250m long and 120m wide. Depth is 6m. Summer temperature is 17c while the source on the shore, which feeds it, has 6c. Few hundred meters to the north is Bulino Vrelo source, which is believed to have healing power. On the shore of the lake is a private small motel. Mate, the man who guards the motel, will issue a room if it not occupied presently by owners.
View from the main or other 4 summits is wide and beautiful. In the foreground is Satorsko Jezero lake, undulating grassy slopes, cliffs on the north side and deep forests bellow. Around the mountain are huge open fields and plains. Behind them are many mountains of Bosnia and some in Croatia including: Klekovaca (1961m), Osjecenica (1796m), Licka Pljesivica (1657m), Velebit (1757m), with Sveto Brdo (1751m). On the west and southwest is long Dinara mountain, with Dinara (1830m), Troglav (1913m), its highest peak, and Kamesnica (1855m). On the southeast are Staretina (1675m), Golija (1890m) and Cincar (2005m).
Getting ThereAround Sator there is a ring of forest roads. One of them reaches the motel at the shore of Satorsko Jezero lake. You can get there from 3 directions.
From Rore village, that is on the Drvar (33km) – Glamoc (28km) road. From Rore village, over Rore pass (1283m) you join main access road from Bosansko Grahovo (20km). From the junction it is 17km to the lake.
From Gornje Peulje village, that is on the very NW corner of Livanjsko Polje field (56km from Livno, 18km from Bosansko Grahovo). After 11km is junction with road from Bosansko Grahovo. From here it is 7km more to the lake.
At the main junction in Bosansko Grahovo follow Livno direction. At the bottom of around kilometer long descent turn left. Road gradually ascends along the edge of the field, going around Obljaj (1198m). After 10km it ascends in sharp bends to the pass at the edge of high plains between Jadovnik and Sator mountains (5km). From the pass road turns right, going shortly through the forest and onto grassy plains. This is very beautiful area, surrounded with beech, fir and spruce forest, straight in front is Sator. After some 5km asphalt ends but good macadam continues. From this point it is 2 km to the junction where it is right towards Sator and left towards Rore. Road now goes through beautiful forest and meadows till it reaches foothills of Sator. At the beginning of ascent some spots on the road are not in great condition but after is good again. It is 10km to the junction with road from Peulje. From here is 7km to the lake.
Bosansko Grahovo is on the junction of roads from 3 directions. To the NW Bihac city is 116km away. To the SE Livno is 75km away. Knin in Croatia, over Derala pass (965m), is 36km away in SW direction. More on how to reach Knin you can find on Dinara mountain page.
More info on Bosnia Herzegovina find on virtualtourist, lonelyplanet and B&H tourism web pages.
Distances between Bosnian Cities and Places
When To ClimbFrom June to October Sator is free of snow, so most will find that period the best to visit. Best months would be June, when there is lot of flowers or October when autumn colors take over. Snow will begin to melt in May and can completely disappear but road to Satorsko Jezero lake can be closed because of remaining drifts till beginning of June. In that case you will have to walk few hours more. Winter is cold on Sator. Temperatures around -20c are not rare. There is plenty of snow, up to 2 meters is to be expected each winter, sometimes even more. Then you have to walk the roads, which are in the forest and therefore snow is soft and dry. That makes winter ascent very tough and long. Crampons you’ll need above the forest line. Ice ax is also good to have. Mate, the guard of the motel, is up there whole year so you can find shelter there.
Mountain ConditionsThere is no meteo station on Sator and no larger city around the mountain to provide meteo data or forecast. Closest place that has current weather and forecast info on the net is Knin in Croatia or Bihac in Bosnia. Air distance to Knin only around 30km, so that forecast is most accurate. For higher altitude information you can use Zavizan station on Velebit mountain, in Croatia, or Bjelasnica mountain, in Bosnia. Also on the site of Croatian Meteo Association, in the 7 day forecast section, there is 7 day forecast for Bosnian city of Bihac (Eastern Europe section).
Bosnia and Herzegovina Meteo Institute (FMZBiH):
FMZBiH home page
B&H current weather and forecast page at FMZBiH
WeatherOnline home page
Croatia at WeatherOnline
Bosnia Herzegovina at WeatherOnline
Zavizan, Velebit at WeatherOnline
Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Association (DHMZ):
DHMZ home page
DHMZ Forecast page
DHMZ 7 Day Forecast for Croatian and World wide cities and places, including Knin and Bihac
Zavizan, Velebit page on DHMZ site
Current Weather Conditions in Croatia, including Knin and Zavizan
Knin forecast page
Bihac forecast page