The magic of Prenj and Lupoglav (2.102m) summit in winterSummit of Lupoglav is second highest summit on Prenj mountain. Not the highest but definitely the most impressive peak, by reputation, but also by it's pyramidal shape. This March, together with my climbing partner, I climbed it on perfect weather conditions. The mountain was very generous to us.
The Lupoglav in the past fascinated climbers, it is accurately described in the article below, about the first winter ascent on Lupoglav in February of 1970, written by climber Muhamed Sisic. The all three climbers suffered an unfortunate descent and died. Their bodies were found after more than two months of searching.
I'm adding this sad article to my Lupoglav album, as a sign of respect to these three brave climbers.
"We were getting ready for our first ascent on Prenj at July 1968. It was a rainy foggy day, and at the top of Prenj, Zelena Glava (2.155m), a few older climbers, Zijo, myself and a vague wave of his hand, in the fog - "there is a most beautiful top of Prenj - Lupoglav." Is that a finger of fate, I do not know, but from that moment, many of us will be the fate tied to the top. That night in the mountain hut at Jezerce, the first time we hear a story about attempts of Drago Shefer and Jakice Gaona that in February 1936 try to ascend Lupoglav. Despite great wish, fail because it is bound on all sides by steep hard ice. They had a lot of luck, because there were ups and slides on the ice. Distanced, difficult to access, even rare visible peak was the desire of many climbers, but no one has managed to win the winter. I'm leaving the army, and Zijo the whole year climbed and walked. For my New year's absence in 1970, we are back together. We make a couple of ski tours, on 5th of January from the top of Trebevic, down to Širokača we descended on skis all the way to Miljacka. Then we went to the Slatko Ćoše. He mentioned something about Lupoglav, which I, frankly, did not take very seriously. We parted in Bascarsija . It was our last encounter. Zijo died that February at Lupoglav, the day before my return from the army.
The three climbers, Ilija Dilber, Milorad Stipanovic from Zenica and Zijo Jajatović from Sarajevo went in February 1970 to Prenj, intending to conquer Lupoglav. How they did not return on time, it was organized a search for them. The first team of mountain rescue service reported that in the mountain hut on Jezerce they found their stuff but not them. The book has no visitors information wherever they go. Immediately after them, came the second team of rescuers, I was with them. In those days there was a big storm, and it fell a lot of snow. The equipment and food was distributed by helicopter on various locations. Dozens of rescue workers cruised Prenj trying to find any trace of three climbers, but the deep snow on Prenj was hiding the secret.
The very young and inexperienced, we, their friends, without enough knowledge and equipment, for months unsuccessfully tryed to find at least some clue. Action led the most experinced among us Braco (Faruk Zahirović). No matter how difficult and dangerous, Prenj gets somehow under our skin and became part of us. On 5th May 1970, six of us for the first time were climbing toward the top of this monster, by a knife sharp, icy north ridge. And after two and a half months of futile searching, the only bar at the top, we encounter the first traces of the missing friends. Along the southern edge of the ridge we come to the frozen rates related to the peak and it is certainly that. Announced by radio station, but no one believed us. However, for us it was enough. Now looking at shifting the region of Lupoglav, Lucine, Poljice and Barni Do. But it will take more than two and a half months until we found them on the west side of Lupoglav. Zijo's body was transferred to Sarajevo, and Ilijas and Milorads, according to the wishes of their families, were buried in Barni Do, under the Lupoglav, near the place where they were found. We assume that during the descent from the peak they fell or brought down by an avalanche. According to the footage that they shot, we saw that there was bad weather at the top of the footage in the fog and frost on their caps. The Lupoglav was conquered for the first time in winter, but the price was very high. I think the reason for the tragedy, except for inclement weather, primarily inexperience and inadequate equipment.
From next year we established a memorial visitation on Lupoglav. Until the war memorial was organized every year and all the climbers from Bosnia-Herzegovina were at least once in this campaign.
This is now a post-war period, more of our climbers are in the world than in Bosnia. At home, every time the phone rings, from Sydney, Vancouver, Phoenix ... and none of the conversation does not end without question, "Are you visiting Prenj?".
For each of them, I understand how he could leave the house, country, city, family, but I can not see how you can leave Prenj."
Neither can I, after this magical weekend the Prenj gave us!