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Ascent of Maja e Kendrevicës on 2016-09-23

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Friday, September 23, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Maja e Kendrevicës
    Location:Albania
    Elevation:6959 ft / 2121 m

Ascent Trip Report

2h30 upward grind, 1h30 descent thanks to friendly scree. 4wd advisable for approach. Warm sunny morning.

After our pm ascent of Cikes we drove round to Tepelene, quick meal at Castrati petrol station restaurant then drove up thru Bence (fairly rough dirt road but plenty of ordinary cars use it, dirt road becomes tarmac at km 17 measured from main road) and found a nice spot off the road to park and sleep.

Up at 6 next morning; tarmac continues to Nivice the last village. At end of tarmac we turn L as per Petter Bjorstad's 2007 description. Dirt road beyond mostly OK but a few stretches could be difficult without high clearance: although we saw a Mercedes and a small van up there, 4wd is the norm for the locals. Opens out into nice green valley higher up with the bulky Kendrevices dominating RHS and looking good in early sun, if unexciting.

Parked at track junction xxxx just beyond PB's shepherds hut, odometer reading 39km from main road. Man comes walking down the track we plan to ascend (as per PB's report). We tell him in English we plan to climb Kendrevices. He advises in Albanian we shouldn't use his track but climb up further L, he indicates the obvious grassy spur high up. We hear dogs barking and are happy to comply.

We follow track up valley 300m then head R up a dry stream bed, then follow grassy spur (fair bit of prickly vegetation to avoid); higher up another man meets us, apparently a shepherd of flock we hear to our L. We don't manage to communicate but he follows us a short way then leaves us, presumably satisfied we'll stay clear of flock and probably realising we're heading for summit. We cross R of a second stony gully higher up then trend R to summit. Pretty unrelenting slope, rubbly higher up and sun is hot. Nice summit ridge with a few lower summits and some stone walls, also a ruined building said to date from Greco-Albanian war. Highpoint has large flat topped cairn looking down on a shepherds camp, deserted at present.

Fine view including yesterday's Cikes - Qorres ridge to E, Nemercka which we'll hopefully climb tomorrow, and the impressive distinctive peaked profile of P970m Keshajit between the two ultras.

As we head down, sheep are already up at the adjacent summit, a dog watching us but not approaching. Take approx same route down with minor diversions to take in some decent scree which makes descending much easier and quicker.

Wildlife includes woodlark, a mixed flock of 100 alpine and redbilled chough, and a little group of what might be turnstones, also the usual unidentified partridges. On drive out we stop for 100 goats being led up valley; herdsman has 2 well laden mules.

Paper map suggests another possible route back to main road via Golem; road is signposted just above Progonat but really just a track, maybe doable in 4wd but not a viable alternative.

Back at Tepelene we head south into Greece to approach Nemercka trailhead from that side, as we don't really have time afterwards to drive back to Skopje via Albania and want to check out the Albania / EU border crossing as we had a little trouble exiting Bulgaria a few days ago. No problem getting into Greece but the crossing just S of Sopik is closed, see Nemercka TR for details. Instead we head for Pelister.

Kendrevices photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10202097456515405.1073742008.1757312418&type=1&l=23fc4f4aaa
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Open Country
Ascent Statistics
    Distance:4.5 mi / 7.2 km
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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