Ljuboten - night climb
Ljuboten peak is located on North-East part of Shar Planina massif - it is the last peak on that side, and it is one of the most beautiful peaks in Macedonia - cone shaped peak, more isolated from other peaks on Shar Planina massif.
Our small group of 4 mountaineers from Skopje (Ana, Marina, Dushko and Marin) went on Saturday, March.18 2006 from Skopje to small village Staro Selo near Tetovo, just after the Vratnica village. There we left our car and started 8 km trip to mountain hut at 1620 m - Ljuboten hut. Road was covered by thick snow but it was frozen and good for walking.
We reached the hut about 5 p.m. There was a group of 70 mountaineers form Belgrade, Serbia, and few from Slovenia and Turkey. This visit to Ljuboten was their first test for this summer plan to climb Mont Blanc, so they placed 8-9 tents to sleep outside the hut. Here was also a group of 6-7 mountaineers from mt.club 'Ljuboten' from Tetovo in role of local guides. From for us unknown reasons there was not electricity in the hut. Soon after it was getting dark and to crowd in the hut - there was not place where to put sleeping bags - so our group decided to climb Ljuboten peak during the night.
Weather was very good, calm, not too cold, and about 7 p.m. we started out trip. There was very good track in the snow - local guys from Tetovo climbed-up this morning to the top. We reached Ljuboten at 9:30 p.m. at full bright stars night sky above us.
We make some photos; some of us make some yoga - asanas. Because it was getting colder, we went back using same route to hut Ljuboten.
It was very difficult to find place to sleep that night, some of us spend all night seating by the fireplace at the kitchen and making interesting conversation with our friends from Serbia and Slovenia...
Ljuboten - next day
At 5 a.m. all group wake up and begin to prepare to star. Of course our group has nothing else to do but decided to go to the top again. Weather was beautiful, plenty of sunshine, crisp snow, temperature around -5C. At 9:15 a.m. group of 70-80 mountaineers reached the Ljuboten peak (2498m). View was magnificent - all Shar Planina massif was in front of us, and down in the big lake of fog were hidden Skopje, Tetovo and all other traces of civilization - we were here alone.
After short break and traditional making of photos and sharing experiences with others, group pointed back towards mountain hut.
Later, when all of us were prepared to back down to Staro Selo, nobody wanted to go there, to break from area of sunshine into the dark area of fog.
So, that's how we spend the last weekend of this year winter season.