Golem Krchin (2341m)Krchin
Mountain is a mountain situated on the border between Macedonia and Albania, near the city of Debar (Macedonia). Just under the Krchin are few villages (Vele Brdo, Rostushe, Bitushe) and famous monastery st. Jovan Bigorski. This is the area populated mostly by Macedonian Muslims (torbeshi), but also Macedonian and Albanians.
On north - practically connected with Krchin is Deshat Mountain with highest peek Velibar (2373m). More on north is Korab Mountain. On the south is artificial Debar Lake which collects water from Crni Drim River (river which flows in and out from Ohrid Lake - more on south). On the east is Bistra Mountain (Mavrovo National Park) and famous Galichnik and Mavrovo villages. On the west is Valley of Crni Drim River in Albania with Magellare city.
Golem Krchin (2341m)
is the highest peek on this mountain. Other three peeks above 2000m are Rudina (2238m), Deli Senica (2174m) and Crvena plocha (2107m). All peaks are rocks, some of them very steep.
Rudina peek (2238m) Valley with small church
From Skopje you follow west highway - Tetovo, Gostivar. After you should turn right to Mavrovo and continue until you see road sign Rostushe (just after st. Jovan Bigirski monastery).
If weather permits you can go by car to Bitushe village, and even higher to Draga place (1100m) where asphalt road ends. There is abandoned army watchtower - small house and big football field. We left our cars there and from that point (Draga) start our trip to Golem Krchin. If you go on the right (north) you can go to Deshat mountain and climb Velivar or visit some of beautiful mountain lakes.
Path goes first by the Bitushka River, and some hundreds meters later there is not so well marked path on south-west. Path goes under big rocks structure. You will find few small creeks on your way. When you climb to approx. 1900m you will see Golem Krchin. From there you can choose harder steep way from north side of the peek, or you can pass small valley on the left and climb the peek from south side (easier).
View from Golem Krchin is magnificent. If it is a good day you can see many peeks in Macedonia (Korab, whole Shar Planina, Solunska Glava, Karadzica, Pelister, Kajmakchalan, even Olympus in Greece). I think you can see Adriatic Sea too.
On the peek you will find remaining of small church (st. Metamorphosis - sv.Preobrazenie). New church was build around 1950 year lower on valley between Golem Krchin and Rudina peeks (where easier path goes). Every year there on August 19 there are celebration on st. Metamorphosis. People come from surrounding places (from Macedonia and from Albania too) and there is all-night celebration.
There is mountaineering club "Krchin" with Mr. Mojso Fidanoski as president. He is in Bitushe on weekdays and is very helpful. He can suggest different paths and places to see. We have initiative to mark (refresh with new color) most important paths on Krchin and Deshat Mountain.
Area is reach with wildlife: eagles, wild goats, bears.
When To Climb
You can climb during all year seasons, but best period is May - when beautiful waterfalls can be viewed under the big rocks near Bitushka River. In winter you should be beware of avalanches because terrain is very steep and use of crampons and ice axes are recommended. Golem Krchin is accessible from south. North path include some risk because of very steep rocks. East and west part requires climbing equipment. Especially Albanian side is very extreme with some 300m rock walls. Generally Albanian side has steeper approach.
Rocks on Krchin Mountain
Whole Mountain is in Macedonian Albanian border area. You should go to the police station Skopje or in Debar and give list of climbers and planned route. List can be posted by fax too. On the terrain you may find nobody, or, eventually, some hunters.
Krchin Map - 1:25000 Krchin and Deshat Map - 1:50000
External LinksMakpetrol mountineering club (on Macedonian)