Prokletije Mountains, June 2012.

I already wrote about Prokletije and Grbaja valley in the previous page. This time I decided to make a visit in summer, when everything is more accessible and much less dangerous.

Entrance to the Grbaja Valley

Entrance to the Grbaja Valley

Grbaja is one of the most beautiful glacial valleys of Prokletije. The rugged chain of Karanfili on the left ends in Albania with the highest peaks Maja Koprištit 2450m, peak with no name, Maja Lagovjet 2540m and Maja Vojušit (2270m and 2210m). Maja Šnikut (Serbian: Nikački Vrh) 2554m is obscured from view and further behind.


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Grbaja Valley, Morning Panorama of the Škala Meadow (VR)

Grbaja Valley, Morning Panorama of the Škala Meadow (VR)

I would say that early June is probably the most colorful part of the year for these parts. Škala meadow produces excellent hay, I guess you can imagine the taste of milk and cheese produced here.

Grbaja Valley, View of the Karanfili Massif

Grbaja Valley, View of the Karanfili Massif

Karanfili massif: At the far left Jagnjičar peak rises, above the deep Ljubokuća couloir next stands a prominent pyramid with a sharp crest called Očnjak 2185m (translated from Serbian: "The Fang", "Maja Njeri i Krit" in Albanian - "Peak of the Frozen Man"). Behind it is the deep Krošnja couloir above which is the vertical wall of the North Peak 2460m ("Balino Brdo"). The Great Peak of Karanfili 2490m (Serbian: "Kremeni Vrh" - "The Flintstone Peak") is slightly obscured from view, and behind it is the Southern Peak 2441m. On the cliffs of the Southern Peak facing the valley is a rock shape called "Presto" ("The Throne"). Behind Karanfili is the border with Albania (Maja Koprištit 2450m and other distant peaks can be seen in the background).


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Popadija Peak Panorama (VR)

Popadija Peak Panorama (VR)

Popadija differs from its surroundings because of its marl and metamorphic rocks, so the slopes are more gentle here. A walking trail follows the ridge and later connects to Volušnica peak, offering breathtaking views of Karanfili and eastern Prokletije.

Popadija View of Karanfili and Prokletije

Popadija View of Karanfili and Prokletije

...Northern Karanfil 2460m, Great Karanfil 2490m, Southern Karanfil 2441m, Forca 2340m, Maja Koprištit 2450m, Maja Vojušit 2210m (closer to us) and 2270m , Maja Lagovjet 2540m, Maja Nigvacit 2412m, Maja Škurt 2499m, Maja Šnikut 2554m....
Very large size image (Deep Zoom)


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Volušnica Peak Panorama (VR)

Volušnica Peak Panorama (VR)

Volušnia peak 1879m is right above Grbaja valley. Grandiose Karanfili dominate the view, besides the twin peaked Popadija on the west and Karaula to the north.


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Grbaja Valley, Afternoon Panorama of the Škala Meadow

Grbaja Valley, Afternoon Panorama of the Škala Meadow

Afternoon shadows cast by the Volušnica peak over Grbaja.


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Grbaja, The Second Meadow Panorama (VR)

Grbaja, The Second Meadow Panorama (VR)

Škala meadow in Grbaja sits on the terminal moraine of the long extinct Grbaja glacier. The cirque above it is more narrow and composed of three small meadows which people call The First, Second and The Third Meadow. Giant boulders scattered around detached from the cliffs above long time ago, and smaller rockslides can be heard almost every day.


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Ropojana Valley, Savino Oko Karst Spring (VR)

Ropojana Valley, Savino Oko Karst Spring (VR)

Savino Oko (a.k.a. Oko Skakavice) is a powerful karst spring in the Ropojana valley. Its crystal clear waters are freezing cold (usually between 5-7℃). Skakavac stream forms much before this place, but here it gets the major inflow of water. Downstream it changes its name to Grlja River, just before entering its magnificent canyon.

Ropojana Valley, Savino Oko Karst Spring

Ropojana Valley, Savino Oko Karst Spring

It may look inviting, but I could barely stand for 20 seconds in this cold water.


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Ropojana Valley, Entrance to the Canyon of River Grlja

Ropojana Valley, Entrance to the Canyon of River Grlja

This is where Grlja River cuts through the soft rock of the Ropojana glacier terminal moraine. The canyon is rather short (around 500m), but is only a few meters wide and full of cascades and waterfalls. Needless to say that only a handful of people have seen it from the inside.


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Ropojana Valley, Alipašini Izvori (Springs of Alipaša)

Ropojana Valley, Alipašini Izvori (Springs of Alipaša)

Karanfili massif ends near Gusinje with the ridge called Vezirova Brada and Rogopeć peak 1781m. At the eastern foothills of Rogopeć lies a 1.5km long belt of numerous karst springs called Alipašini Izvori. The clear, cold water just pours out of the rocks all around this place, forming streams which create small lakes and later join with Grlja river.


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