GPS: 42.188, 23.37 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Gunkswest on Jun 8, 2013
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Description

This popular limestone area is one of the best in Bulgaria. It is quite reminiscent of El Potrero Chico in Mexico. The cliffs are generally in the sun all day and many popular climbs are a 10-15 minute approach.

While many of the routes may be advertised as "sport" routes, be advised that on a lot of routes, the bolts are 10-15 feet apart. Bringing some trad gear to supplement the bolts isn't a bad idea (especially if you're leading near your limit).

More info may be found at:
http://climbingguidebg.com/cdb.php?f=placeinfo&idPlace=1&lang=en

According to local climbers, the area is crawling with horned vipers in hot weather! Consequently, spring and fall might be best...

Uber-classic routes include:
VIII Congress of BKB (5+ [5.8], 3 pitches, 5-10 minute approach)
Central Ridge (6+ [5.9], 2 pitches,  you literally start the route on the sidewalk) on the Big Vrattsa Wall
Thirsty Dragoness (6+ [5.9]; 2 pitches, 10-15 minute approach) on the Astronauts Wall
February (7- [5.9+]; 3 pitches, 10 minute approach) on the Tooth
Three Faces (7- [5.9+/10a]; 5 pitch link-up of routes just right of VIII Congress (1 minute approach)
Sofia (7- [5.10a/b]; 2 pitches, 10-15 minute approach) on the Astronauts Wall

The small city of Vratsa is just below the cliffs and has numerous places to stay (like the Nomad.B.16 apartment, owned by an English-speaking Bulgarian - we stayed there in October 2018 and it was fantastic), large grocery stores (Lidl and Billa) and all of the other amenities you'd expect. Just up-canyon of the cliffs is the small town of Zgorigrad. It too has places to stay. If your budget is tight, you can also camp right below the cliffs near the hut.

Getting There

While a train can be taken to this area from Sofia, a car is certainly the quickest way. Depending on weather and traffic, it will take 1-2 hours to drive to the area from downtown Sofia. 

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Nathan Scherneck
Portland, OR
Nathan Scherneck   Portland, OR