Ascending hundreds of metres in the Komarnica Valley, ice axe in hand, you pause and admire the breath-taking surrounding landscape of nearby Boan. Below you there is nothing but a snow-capped precipice, above you a blue sky, and you are engulfed in the freezing Mediterranean air. Fuelled by determination you press ahead! Enthusiasm for ice climbing, curiosity of the snowy mountains and frozen waterfalls, with equal admiration for the sea, have been your reasons for travelling to Montenegro with a wish to experience it all first-hand.
Offering similar aspects to alpine ice climbing, you’ll appreciate dramatic vistas at the peaks of the most popular Montenegrin climbing spots. Initially made popular in the late 1800s, the first recorded ice climbing competition took place in 1912 in Italy. However, the sport has only really emerged in Montenegro within the past fifteen years, not least because many of the classic climbs were only formed recently, due to favorable weather conditions, so much of the peninsula is still unexplored. An opportunity to indulge in this extreme sport in Montenegro will introduce you to unique topography only seen by the most daring of adrenaline junkies.
Being a physically intensive activity, to victoriously complete an ascent you’ll need skills such as agility and endurance accompanied by a great deal of strength. However once you’ve conquered that mountain, you will not only have gained an adventurous edge and ability to master a nerve-racking scenario, but also improved your cardiovascular fitness and overall physical strength, while burning up to 600 calories per hour.
If you are particularly adventurous waterfalls are the ultimate challenge. Standing silently with frozen cascades, they present the task of a death-defying vertical climb. With ideal weather conditions ranging from -12⁰C to -5⁰C, such climbs can be found near Dobrilovina Village in Tara Canyon , the most difficult being Stras . Waterfalls have brittle ice and offer a much colder experience. Extremely cold temperatures are vital for a successful ascent, so catching the height of the winter is important on your ice climbing adventure. During your climb, the consistency of the ice may vary between hard to slushy due to the close proximity of the ocean and subsequent influxes of warm sea air, which shorten the season as ice composition is altered.
When you have proven your endurance, admired the frozen waterfalls and mountain views, you can return to the safe haven of the Mediterranean coast to reflect on what an incredible experience defying gravity and testing the boundaries while ice climbing in Montenegro was.