Ljubišnje's lonely summit, Dernjačišta (2238m), is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s third highest peak. Its tucked away in a remote area of the border with Montenegro; indeed half the summit is with Montenegran territory. The Bosnian half is in the municipality of Foča / Srbinje, southeast of Sarajevo. I have yet to find anyone else in the BiH climbing community who has climbed it, and very few people who know of it.
Ljubišnja is just north of Durmitor (which has the highest peak in Serbia and Montenegro) and just east of the Maglic range (which has the highest and second highest peak in Bosnia and Herzegovina). It is seperated from these mountains by the Tara gorge, the second deepest canyon in Europe.
Perhaps Ljubišnja location close to two major mountains overshadows its still significant beauty. But for those looking to escape and with the right spirit (peak bagging?), this is a highly enjoyable peak. A long approach through thoroughly off the beaten track villages, a relatively easy hike to a very high peak, in a wilderness that is virtually guaranteed to be yours and no one else’s for your day out.
Approach to Ljubišnja
The approach described is from BiH. Ascents of the mounatin are perfectly possible from the Montenegro, where a road approaches Konjske Polje from the east, from the village of Bobovo, close Pljevlja.
The start of the approach is the town of Foča/ Srbinje (Фоца/ Србинје - many signs are in cyrllic) which can be reached in just over one hour 15 mins from Sarajevo on the M-18 which passes Sarajevo International Airport:
1) Enter Foča from the west, over the bridge over the river Drina. The road you need to take to leave Foča (M-8) is not signed, but stay on this main road through the town, pass a park on your right and leave on the same road as is hugs a tributary of the Drina.
2) Less than 4km from the bridge over Drina you pass the restaurant Bironi (Бирони); then pass through a village, and 6.5 Km from the bridge take a right turn, and cross a river soon after.
3) Travel along this road for 15km until you get to the village of Zavait (Заваит). Go straight ahead at a junction.
4) 10 km later take a right turn which is signed to Meštrevac (Мештревац)
5) 5kms later take a left at an unmarked junction, followed by a right turn only a few 100metres later (43º 21.242N, 018º 58.483E)
6) The open fields of the valley of Konjsko Polje will eventually appear to your left. 11km after the last a junction a turning will appear to your left, with a track dropping steeply, into the field of Konjsko Polje (43º 18.290N, 019º 03.775E) . A small circular walls of rocks lies next to this junction. Either leave your car at this junction and start walking, or – for four by fours only - take the left turn down into Konjsko Polje. The summit slopes of Dernjačišta are clearly visible in front of you. Follow the track towards a single farm house, taller than all the others, to the right of small valley on the other side of Konjsko Poplje. Leave your car just short of this house for the start of this hike (43º 18.578N, 019º 04.472E).
This is a long approach, through a remote area. If your not travelling in a four by four you will have to take this long bumpy road quite slowly. In all it can take over 4 hours of driving from Sarajevo. Consider camping in Konjsko Polje, no facilities provided!
There is no marked path to the summit but the hike presents few navigational problems as any up hill trajectory north east of Konjsko Polje will get you to the summit. The ground is occasionally quite steep requiring a zig zagging over the open ground to the summit (2hrs to summit).
No mines, no red tape. Although its a border area, no border gaurds or frontier posts in the area... its just too remote
The area’s politics have to be pointed out. The scattered hamlets of the area have been rumoured to provide a hideout for the hard-line war-time leader of the Bosnian Serb people, Radovan Karadzić. Talk little to people about politics in this area and stick to the mountains and you will have no problem.
When To Climb
The area is high and gets heavy snow falls in winter, serioulsy adding to the difficulties of any approach. The snow has cleared only in late spring. Summer can be hot and hiking a little suffocating, but at altitude it could be quite cool. Autumn provides a breather and glorious autumnal colours.
Guide to Ljubisnja
Follow this link if you want to buy a hiking guide to Bosnia & Herzegovina, which includes walks on Ljubisnja.