/ Ice climbing in Bulgaria

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Martin S-P - on 07 Apr 2012
Hi folks,

Thinking of heading somewhere more novel (should say cheap) for a months ice climbing and snow boarding next winter and wondered if anyone had done anything in Bulgaria?

There's stuff on the net but it's not that helpful so any specific area info, topo's, and accomodation knowledge would be very appreciated.

Thanks,
Martin
exploringtim - on 07 Apr 2012
In reply to Martin S-P:

Hey Martin,

I've been to bulgaria and all i can say is "don't go there". I went once before they joined the euro and it was great because everything was super super cheap, so you could put up with the whole place being in massive disrepair (excluding central sofia). Went for a 2nd time after they'd joined the euro and frankly for what you get vs what you pay: its not up to European standard IMHO.

Whilst I can't comment on the ice climbing, the skiing + snowboarding is only ok if you're a beginner, and even then, avoid all resorts other than Bansko which has the newest lifts. In the main though, the whole country is not somewhere i'd recommend. That's been my experience and i've done a lot of traveling with which to compare it to.

Hope that helps!

Tim
Doug on 08 Apr 2012
In reply to exploringtim: Bulgaria is in the EU but they don't use the Euro. Prices have risen but when I was there last year (work not climbing/skiing) it still seemed cheap compared to western Europe although I'm sure other places are cheaper.

Some of the mountains look nice but everyone told me that the skiing isn't great, and often very crowded. Maybe worth a short visit to see but not a long stay
exploringtim - on 08 Apr 2012
In reply to Doug:

Doh, my memory is hazy. Doug you're right, they don't use the Euro, but after joining the EU prices rose a lot comparatively (from one year to the next that is). I haven't been for years so can't comment on more recent things.
Anonymous on 10 Apr 2012 - 10.4.38.107 [195.188.50.200]
In reply to exploringtim:

Funny, I've been to Bulgaria a number of times since 1990 with the last time being summer 2010. I love the place away from the tourist towns that is.

No comment on the climbing as I have never been but I would suggest that there are plenty of quality places to go. The entire country is mountainous, colder than the UK in winter, bigger mountains and more snowfall for longer than we get......There will be places to climb. I would suggest getting yourself over there and trying to link up with the locals as I also have never found a guide book or any decent web advice when I have searched.

The bulgarian mountains are higher, wilder and more remote with less infrastructure than the UK Hills so you may need to walk lond distances. The skiing on the iother hand is acceptable...just like the UK can be good or bad but its better on more days of the year than any UK ski destination. I have skied Bansko and Borovets.
iksander on 10 Apr 2012
In reply to Martin S-P: I've had similar thoughts and went to the Julian Alps in Slovenia in January, which I can recommend.

re. Bulgaria, looks pretty tasty - have you seen this? http://www.bgclimbing.com/cdb.php (select "ice" from the climbing type filter)

I also looked at Romania (Fagaras mountains, Bicaz gorge) and the Ukraine

Martin S-P - on 19 Apr 2012
Hi folks, many thanks for all your pearls of wisdom, and the web link, unfortunately we're still undecided!


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