Mount Musala Winter Ascent
Mount Musala is the top of the Balkans and the highest peak in Rila Mountains. It is also a challenging objective to climb in winter. But the effort is paid with the great views of the snowy mountains around and the satisfaction of efforts paid back. We offer both 1 day and 2-days long itineraries – ascent of Mount Musala. While the gondola lift of Borovets is in operation until the ski resort is open (mid. April) it is possible to aim Musala for a day if you are an experienced hiker in very good physical condition and with the proper equipment. After the lift is shut down, a 2-day program is the best option.
Itinerary: Transfer from Sofia to Borovets ski resort (1350 m, 1,15 hours drive from Sofia). We take the gondola lift up to about 2400 m, from where a couple of hours trek takes us to Ledenoto Ezero Chalet at 2700 m. From here starts the last part on the ridge with a metal cable up to the top. Crampons are needed for safety reasons. The top offers incredible views in good weather. We will retrace our way back for the last gondola or descend to Borovets (an extra 900 m). Transfer back to Sofia.
Walking time: 6:30-7h, +1000/-1000 m
Remark – it is possible to start the hike from Borovets ski resort in case the gondola lift is closed. This will usually require a night up the mountain.
- hiking boots – waterproof and warm, to cover the ankle, with stiff sole, compatible with your crampons;
- crampons compatible to your boots (may organize hire);
- water and windproof jacket with hood;
- water and windproof pants;
- warm hat, thin pair of gloves and a pair of warm mittens;
- thermal underwear, light down jacket or a warm fleece;
- sun protection – sun cream, sun glasses, sun hat;
- snowshoes and trekking poles – we can organize hire;
- water bottle or, preferably, flask – 1l;
- snacks, lunch pack;
- travel liner for the night in the hut.
I have a bit of fear of height, is there very steep part by the top?
I am used to snow and summit, just to edgy parts are not my fav …
Would march be good to go for your 1 day trip?
I am planning to climb Musala during a week 6-12.11.2022. How is the trail in this time of year? Is there a winter equipment needed, as ex. crampons ?
Hello, Nov is usually already a winter time up the mountains. More info here:
You might need crampons for the last part of the route, but it depends on how the snow conditions will develop.
We want to try hike to Musala this weekend. Is there a recomanded route with all this snow?
Hello, there is a winter route from the top gondola down to the bottom lift station of Markudzik ski run, following the ski run, than you follow the winter markers – iron posts. Also, a lot of new snow is expected this week, so the weekend will not be a suitable moment to climb if you don’t have good experience, equipment, and are not familiar with the route details.
We booked 3 nights at Yastrebets hut. We have equipment and experience but we’ve never been there in the winter. We will see if there is any suitable tracks according to the weather conditions and hike whatever is possible. Thank you!
The route up to Peak Musala is still without snow..
You don’t need crampons for the weekend 10 – 11th November, 2018.
The gondola lift at Borovets doesn’t work. This make the ascent longer with total elevation gain of 1500 meters. You have to start early from the ski resort and follow the red marked trail along the river to Musala Hut.
Enjoy your hike,
Mountain Guide and Guides Coordinator at BGMGA
We are coming this weekend to hike to Musala.
Do you know what the weather will be like on route up to the peak? Please can you advise if we really require crampons?
Also can you advise on the best route from Borovets. We are hiking to the peak and back to Musala Hut to stay the night.
Thank you in advance,