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Europe, Climbing in Albania

Climbing in Albania. In the summer of 1993, three climbers, Adriano Marini, Mario Vannuccini and I, and three scientists, Fabio Penati, Paride Dioli and Angelo Zilio, spent 12 days in the northern range of the Albanian Alps, in the Theth valley. Part-time with us was Cosma Grillo, president of the Albanian Alpine Federation. We climbers made three new routes. The best was the northwest buttress of Maja Harapit (“Black Man Mountain”), an excellent 300-meter-high, grade VII-ascent on limestone. We climbed remote Maja Boshit’s north face (500-meters-high, V+) and the north ridge of Maja Plisit (400-meters-high, V+). Possibly the latter summit had never been visited before. We spent another six days in the southern range near the sea, where we climbed a new route in Gjper Canyon (150-meters-high, VII-). The scientists studied flora and fauna, finding several new species. This region has interesting peaks with limestone walls up to 1000 meters in height in wild and remote places. The rock is usually good, although in the north in the base of the walls it is often rotten. We took with us a book written in 1941 by Piero Ghiglione after a three-month expedition in these mountains. Surprisingly, nothing has changed in the ensuing 52 years: the same roads, the same places, no new houses in the Theth valley since 1940.

Giuseppe Miotti, Club Alpino Italiano