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Winter adventures
Written by Kjeaja   
Thursday, 07 January 2016 15:06

The winter of 2015-2016 will be a special one for Galichnik. Not because of the (un)approachable road from Mavrovo, not because of the weather conditions, not because of the (un)organized celebrations of the New Year's holidays, but because for the first time in almost half a century, Galichnik can be visited in an organized way by tourists and enjoy the winter beauties offered by its surroundings. Marko Bekrikj, the founder of the project "Galichnik winter adventures", decided to put an end of the long period in which Galichnik during the winter wasn't visited by organized groups which previously happened in the seventh decade of the 20th century with the last school excursions and with the last activities of the mountain-ski club "Galichnik".

In addition we give you the detailed explanation by Marko about his project, with some photos of the scenery that can be experienced during the winter period in Galichnik.

The concept for the idea of promoting the beauties of Galichnk throughout the whole year, was born from the wish to offer something which can not be offered everywhere. On the other side, the positive part of the "Galichnik being cut off from the rest of the world" in winter and the only way to reach it is by foot, had to be taken advantage of. I can not hide that while visiting Galichnik previous winters i wanted to show the world what the nature can offer outside the crowded ski slopes, and so i encouraged myself to start something new and unusual.

Our guests are met by at least two guides in the village Janche, while at the same moment in Galichnik there are people responsible for the meals and the accommodation conditions. Our capacity for guests is 10 individuals, and in winter conditions we offer guided movement on one longer relation (Janche-Galichnik and in opposite direction) as well as few shorter local walks around Galichnik. The route for mountaineering from Janche across Skala area is 5.5 kilometers in length, using a marked mountain trail. This route was chosen because it is mostly used in winter, and at the same time it has the best conditions for movement considering the fact that the depth of the snow is smaller compared with the other routes. We must not forget the fountain called Sofina Cheshma on almost half a way of the route because these sources of fresh water are very important during mountaineering.

When it comes to the other options for getting to Galichnik, there are plans and promises from the neighboring touristic locals in Mavrovo for opening a snow-cat tourist line to Galichnik but currently it is still not realized. There are occasions in which the guests come with motor sledges but it is their private choice and organization. The option from the village Sence across Trebishka Rupa area is not excluded, but we offer it only to highly trained groups, because of the large amounts of snow. Besides the hard movement in the snow, this route can not offer noticeable markings and strong mobile network coverage. Moreover there are parts with high avalanche activity and these risks can only be taken by experienced group of guests, which rarely happens.

Among the winter ascents towards the surrounding peaks, currently we organize ascents to Medenica and Karbula as the highest and most attractive around Galichnik, which does not mean that in the future we will avoid other peaks as potential destinations. These peaks are offered in the summer time as a part of our mount-bike tours. The winter equipment is not offered to the guests because everyone has special needs, but at the first contact with them it is explained what equipment and clothes must be carried in order to successfully experience the adventure. During the meeting with the guests, our team spends 30 minutes in giving instructions related to the using of the winter equipment and the proper movement in snow.

Because of the rocky relief between Janche and Galichnik, specifically the part Gladezh-Dolna Niva-Gorna Niva, during the approaching towards Galichnik, there are chances to encounter chamois (wild goats). Thanks to the fact that Galichnik is not populated in winter, rabbits, foxes, martens, badgers and even wolves can be seen in Galichnik. In the forest opposing the village, wild boars can be seen if the snow cover is thin and their food is not covered. Other animals typical for Galichnik area are the deer and the lynx but extremely careful movement is needed in order to see them.

I would like to remind the proper authorities that Galichnik can not "live" only for St. Peter's day and St. Paul's day, because for development of the rural tourism, two days are not enough, nor are two people. What we do in Galichnik with this project is original enough to get attention both we and the village, because with support from the country and the municipality we can prove that the tourism can not be seasonal. By following this example it can be shown that the tourism in our country is not applied to only two settlements and that the jobs can be found even outside of Skopje.