Kalinite Peaks

Golyam Kalin Peak is 2667m high. Its northern slopes, with thein numerous couloirs, short rocky ribs and vertical walls, hang above the valley of the Dupnishka Bistritsa river. On the southwestern side of the peak there’s a vast even area that descends terrace-like towards the valley of the Rilska River. Here is Bulgaria’s highest altitude dam, named after the peak. The peak provides a beautiful view to the southern part of Rila and the distant peaks of Pirin and is a great spot for taking photographs.

Golyam Kalin Peak is located in Northwestern Rila near Ivan Vazov Hut. Good starting points for an ascent to the peak are the Rila Monastery, Panichishte and Pionerska Hut.

Of the three, the Rila Monastery is located at the lowest altitude which makes the ascent longer. The trail to Ivan Vazov Hut is red-marked and takes about 5 hours. To get to Golyam Kalin Peak from the hut, you need to go south, crossing the little river opposite the hut and almost horizontally going around the rise on the other side. From here, one of the trails initially goes straight west and gradually ascends Vincheto but the shortcut to the peak goes on southwest and gradually climbs up until it reaches the steepest area under the peak. From here you can head straight up but the path goes round to the south before turning back north and after three metres or so leads you out on the peak. The whole distance is about 15km with an elevation rise of approximately 2000m.

If you start from Panichishte (or rather from Zeleni Preslap), one option would be to take the summer trail, passing Skakavitsa Hut, the Seven Lakes and Razdela (red marking) and from there to go on the green marking towards Ivan Vazov Hut. At Okoto (The Eye) lake, you could also turn right and, following the blue-marked path, climb Otovishki Peak and then head down towards Ivan Vazov Hut. Another option would be to start from Zeleni Preslap and take the green marking which begins at the meadow in front of the hotel, climbs to the west through the woods and then, already in the open, gradually starts winding to the south and ascending the slanting northern slope of Kabul Peak (2531m of altitude). After that there’s an almost even section until the path merges with the other one, coming from Okoto lake, from where the route to Ivan Vazov Hut is identical to the one described above.

The Pionerska Hut trail, generally speaking, follows the chair lift poles up to Rilski Ezera (Rila Lakes) Hut (if you want, you can use the lift; I never do it for personal reasons). From there you can either go up on the red marking, leading to Golemiya Rid (The Big Ridge) and the Babreka (The Kidney) and Okoto (The Eye) Lakes, or head to the old hut. From there you can take the path that passes the Trilistnika (The Trefoil), Bliznaka (The Twin) and Babreka lakes or, alternatively, take the winter route that ascends to Zeleni Rid (Green Ridge). The options are numerous.