Ascent of Velika Rudoka on 2018-06-06

Climber: Brian Friedrich

Others in Party:Laura Friedrich
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Wednesday, June 6, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Velika Rudoka
    Location:Kosovo/North Macedonia
    Elevation:8727 ft / 2659 m

Ascent Trip Report

We decided to head up Rudoka from the Kosovo side because it'd be pleasant to explore this area a little. The drive from Skopje was certainly worth the effort - particularly if you enjoy driving lots of twisting and winding road through mountainous terrain. Arriving without a reservation at the Arxhana Hotel at the base of a ski lift at this time of year proved completely fine and also resulted in lower rates because we turned out to be the only guests in this reasonable-sized hotel with restaurant. A gate behind the hotel that led up the chairlift access road had been left open in the evening, so we decided to take a quick reccie ride up with our 4x4 vehicle (recommended as it's very steep and loose). About half-way up the lift (250m vertical), we took a small branch to the left which led into the valley leading to the mountain. Another few minutes of relatively flat driving led to a spot you could park and start from - saving this elevation if desired and if the gate is open. We took a few photos in the evening light and then drove back to the hotel for dinner.

After a relatively leisurely breakfast in the restaurant, we started up the chairlift road on foot at 9.15; gate was now locked and we didn't bother asking as it's not a long way different. Mind the guard dog in this area - although chained, the chain is reasonably long and (in 2018) he was a fairly big and aggressive boy... From the switchback at 1,720m before heading back under the lift from the right, we noted a trail marker that went straight up the slope and cut this long switchback. This brought us to the branch road we'd driven to yesterday evening. We followed the easy trail that trended generally up and contoured SE and S along the hillside toward Rudoka. The GPS came in handy as much of the route involves wandering across open country and we had longer periods of low clouds obscuring the view ahead. Once we reached a larger tarn, we veered E and over some smaller bumps, occasionally seeing red-white trail markings. As Morgan Batt also mentioned, be mindful of the sheep dogs, but enjoy the large tracts of wildflower fields if you're here at this time of year.

We passed up and over a minor peak SW of Rudoka and on to the main summit. We were fortunate enough to have the clouds generally lift at this point for the remainder of our trip and after taking in some of the expansive rolling views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, we headed down. We opted for a more direct descent off the W face and fairly straight toward the large tarn. There was virtually no snow around, but a couple of times we made use of shaded slopes to boot ski for a few metres. We reached the hotel again in plenty of time for an early dinner and mid-afternoon beer. All-in-all a lovely trip through some beautiful countryside and over easy trekking terrain.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4660 ft / 1420 m
    Extra Gain:427 ft / 130 m
    Round-Trip Distance:14 mi / 22.5 km
    Route:SW Ridge
    Trailhead:Arxhena Hotel, Brod  4921 ft / 1499 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1 - Hike
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:3 Hours 24 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 26 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Brian Friedrich
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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