Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 42.11000°N / 23.35000°E
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk-up
Sign the Climber's Log

Route map



Sign for Borovetz on the
Velchevo mostche bridge.
Velchevo bridge accross the Mussalenska bistrica creek

One has to go either by car or by foot up the paved road from Borovetz toward Bistrica village. If walking from Borovetz, pass the Mountain rescue squad base, turn right and uphill, you'll see the road post for "Olymp" hotel (Signed in Cyrillic only, though), walk further until you reach the point where Musalenska Bistrica stream crosses your route.  Look at the left side of the road and you'll notice the beginning of the signed trail.  If going by car, this is where one has to park it and leave it behind.

Route Description

 Water source next to the...
Last water source before the summit
Musala - Ledenoto ezero
View from Mussala down to the Ledenoto ezero cirroe

Now, you are on the unpaved road and in the woods.  Musalenska Bistrica stream is on your right. Walk uphill until the marked trail takes you across the stream.

Now the creek is on your right. And it will remain so as you walk through the wood for the next hour or so, until you see a small and short wooden bridge. That's Velchevo mostche (name of the bridge, that is).

You'll see the water source on the right side of the bridge and a wooden bench and the table on the other side of the bridge. It is a common point for having a short break before continuing the hike.

Having crossed the bridge, the trail leads you by the left side of the creek, shortly you'll going to see the chair lifts on your right, views will open all around and the first hut by name "Musala" will appear right in front of your nose. Next to the hut are 3 lakes, furthest one is, incidentally, the source from which the Musalenska Bistrica stream comes from.

Further on the trail leads from the right side of the hut and takes you to another set of glacier lakes (two of them) lined almost parallel next to each other. From here, the path takes us leftbound and winds a bit steep uphill through the rocks bypassing another 2 lakes, until you reach one large deep blue lake and mountain hut with light blue roof next to it.

Now, you are at Ledenoto ezero (the ice lake) and Ledenoto ezero hut. The hut is also sometimes referred to as "Everest 84" hut. This is in remembrance to Bulgarian alpinist Hristo Prodanov who climbed Mount Everest without oxygen from the west ridge back in 1984 and, sadly, died on his way back from the summit.

The final section of the hike takes you up the W ridge - prepare yourself for some strong wind here - and even more on the Mussala summit - until the Musala hut appears right in front of you, followed by the automated weather forecast station (guarded by dog in summertime) 30 yards further. Overall, it's an easy hike.
If short on time, one may take a gondola lift from Borovetz till Jastrebec peak and save him/herself 3 hours of walking.

There are 3 huts en route:
a) Hiza Musala (food, drinks, overnight stay)
b) Ledenoto Ezero (no food, soft drinks and beer, overrnight stay)
c) Musala hut located right on the peak.
No food, one can buy water in plastic bottles from the metro station employee on duty.

Essential Gear

No special gear required for the high season.

The upper part of the mountain and the summit itself is exposed to very strong winds. Well worth to be kept in mind, especially if you are wearing glasses (the dioptrical one) and/or photo equipment.

Small pieces of stone carried by the wind are sometimes flying all over the place and can easily damage anything that is made of thin glass.

In wintertime, expect a lot of snow and low temperatures. Winter trail is marked with high, yellow-black colored poles. The last section of the climb (Ledenoto ezero-Mussala) goes via the ridge and is secured with iron poles connected with fixed iron rope.

Bring the ice axe and the crampons with you.

It may be well worth noting that areas around the lakes have been hit by heavy avalanches in the past.

Dangerous areas are posted with large yellow-black "lavinoopasna dolina" signs.



main ridge pano


Alternative route

> Deno-Ireèek-Mala Musala-Musala route by tjalfi
Instead of taking the standard red-marked trail described by 'toc', you can gain the summit of Musala by its northern ridge. The route is not marked and most of the way, it is also untrodden, but the predominantly grassy terrain allows quite comfortable hiking with gorgeous views. At the Musala hut, follow the green mark northwards, which leads to a saddle, dividing the unimportant little massif of Groba(The Grave) from the last outpost of the Musala northern spur, Mt. Deno (2790m). Here abandon the mark and head out for the summit of Deno. An easy walk, combined with bumping over isolated boulders. When looking south from the top of Deno, the nearby Ireèek (2852m) and Mala Musala (2902m) dominate the horizon. Plummet down to a high meadow (2650-2700m), pass a rock formation called Sfinksa (Sphinx) and hike on a long crest to the summit of Ireèek. From Ireèek onwards, get ready for a small deal of scrambling between Ireèek and Mala Musala and Mala Musala and Musala, the main summit (2925m). The ridge is crumbled and is made up by a number of rock turrets. One place is therefore even secured with two fix ropes, which had however gone rusty and loose a long time ago - but generally, this route is not very technically demanding (in spite of seeming as such at the first sight). The Musala main peak can be climbed in 5 hours from the Musala hut. You can descend to the Musala hut on the standard trail (2-3 hours) or you can continue via Bliznacite (The Twins), Mariški vrh and Ovèarec to the col D┼żanka above the hut Grnèar (4-5 hours from the Musala peak).



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