The current guiding me in life seems to be pulling me from one adventure to another; I am writing this post from Mammoth Lakes, tired and a little bit too dirty after two good days climbing and camping at Clark Canyon. Still, my trip to Bosnia is still fresh in my mind, including my visit to the climbing area near the small town of Dreznica.
Through a friend of my dad I was able to connect with a local climber living in Jablanica, a town close to Dreznica. Like the climbers I met in Sarajevo, he was more than willing to spend a day climbing with me and showing me his local crag. Dreznica lies only an hour from Sarajevo; as you approach Jablanica the landscape becomes more and more rugged, marked by limestone cliffs jutting out of green, lush forests. My face was glued to the window as we passed over Jablaničko jezero (Jablanica lake), a lake on the Neretva river (another one of Bosnia’s big rivers) that was breathtakingly stunning (even if it is artificial). The Prenj mountain range (in the Dinaric Alps) looms over you to the east and to the west the Čvrsnica mountain begins to appear; it is here where Dreznica is found. The entire landscape does not leave the nature lover disappointed; two sheer, slate gray and adobe orange limestone cliffs hug a pristinely clean river and lake- I arrived happy and ready to climb.
Technically the climbing is located on private property and you have to pay the owner a very small fee (so small that I forget exactly how much it was) to climb and, if you want, to camp there. The owner is a very nice, humble old man who was very keen on making sure we had a good time. Despite the jaw-dropping beauty of the area, when I saw the actual bolted routes I knew that none of the climbs themselves would be particularly special. All of the routes were very short, no longer than 5 or 6 bolts, and some of them were on some very improbably blocky and awkwardly positioned rock that lent itself less to graceful climbing and more to a series of awkward squats and pull ups.
Still, everything is situated very close to one another, the bolts and anchors are all bomber and you can get in a lot of pitches very quickly. Fortunately, we were able to get in around 6 climbs before the gray clouds looming above us began to pelt us with rain. We took shelter under a tunnel and when the rain abated walked around a little bit as the rock was just too wet to climb on.
I have to be honest; the climbing is not very good at Dreznica. In fact, I would not bother going there again with the purpose of clipping bolts. However, I would definitely make the effort to go back to simply explore this area on foot. The landscape lends itself to spectacular vistas and it was evident that there were many paths snaking through Prenj, Čvrsnica and the surrounding valley. I had a great day outside, enjoying the rain (in California it hasn’t rained for quite some time) the crisp air ,verdant landscapes, the company, the food- and to a lesser extent, the climbing.
This post is going to be a short one for a variety of reasons; I only spent half a day in Dreznica and was not very impressed with the actual climbing, as mentioned. Another reason is that I’m currently sitting in a café in Mammoth Lakes and a sunny day of perfect weather and good rock beckons me to leave the internet. I will be traveling through the Sierras with my friend who is visiting me from Spain. I will, however, continue to post periodically about Croatia and Bosnia whenever I get the chance.
(P.S.- yesterday I sent my fourth 12b , second go in Clark Canyon- yippee!!)
I leave you with some wisdom, straight from the bathroom in the Stellar Brew Café in Mammoth Lakes …