The Rhodopes in southern Bulgaria are the country’s most extensive mountain range – an unfathomable expanse of coniferous forests, sunny meadows and countless summits around the 2000-metre mark. More often than not, the weather in the Rhodope Mountains is kind and welcoming in winter too. And on such a brilliant and calm sunny day, I set out above the snowline on my second snowshoeing experience with Top Guides Bulgaria. The target was Batashski Snezhnik, a somewhat remote and incredibly panoramic 2082-metre-high peak in the Batak Mountain part of the Western Rhodopes.
Compared to my first ever snowshoeing tour in Rila, the day hike to Batashki Snezhnik was certainly a step up – both in physical demand and in satisfaction at the end of the day. We covered a distance of 15 km and we tackled almost 800 metres of elevation gain, which took us 8.5 hours, including the generous breaks. As expected for Top Guides outings, our group was small, so each of the six members was able to receive individual attention and personal tips on proper snowshoeing technique and winter hiking best practices, whether they were a complete beginner or an experienced snow adventurer.Continue reading