Peak Zliya Zab

Zliya Zab Peak is located in the Northwestern Rila, between the peaks of Orlovets, Dvuglav and Lovnitsa.

It is to the east of Malyovitsa Peak and to the north of the valley of Rilska Reka, within the borders of the Rila National Park. Its height is 2678 m.

A hike to the region of Zliya Zab usually starts from the Tse-Pe-She Malyovitsa (ЦПШ "Мальовица") - a training facility for mountaineers built before the fall of the Communism in 1989. The place is located in the valley of Malyovitsa River at the altitude of around 1700 m a.s.l. An asphalt road connects it to the settlements down at the foot of the mountain. If you don't have a car it is good to know that the nearest town of Samokov can be reached by bus from Sofia for about an hour. Buses from Plovdiv and several other major towns are also available. Once you get to the Samokov Bus Station there are minibuses traveling to Tse-Pe-She Malyovitsa twice a day - at 08:15 in the morning and then at 16:15 in the afternoon. For more information and up-to-date schedule you better call Samokov Bus Station’s phone number is 0722 / 6-65-40). Hiring a taxi in Samokov is also an option, although the distance is about 25 km and the price of the ride will probably depend mostly on your bargaining skills.

The minibus stops next to the building of Tse-Pe-She Malyovitsa. The marked trail which begins there crosses the meadow in front of the building and goes up the valley of Malyovitsa river. Following the white-blue-white signs you will get to Orlovets shelter for about 2 hours. From there the summit of Zliya zab is clearly visible - it is the one that is behind the building and to the right.

schematic map of the area around peak Zliya Zab

The area around the peak is attractive for landscape photographers and those who love to meet the sun from the top of a mountain summit. From the nearby peak Orlovets, there is a beautiful panoramic view of the greatest part of the Rila Mountains. To get there, follow the undefined trail that goes steeply up the slope south of the shelter. It takes about 30-40 minutes to reach the top but keep in mind there are many loose rocks and slippery sections along the way so do take your time and carefully choose your steps.
Another place for taking panoramic shots is the nearby summit of Kamilata. It is more easily accessible, though the trail is steep. From the shelter, head east for a hundred metres and take the path which goes to the left. Once you get to the saddle, don't go down but turn left and follow the narrow path until you get to the top.

In the area around the Orlovets shelter it is possible to spot wild goats - the protected (Rupicapra) species whose population has been severely reduced as a result of poaching and the destruction and urbanisation of its habitat. Late in the evening or early in the morning, when there are fewer tourists, the wild goats often come close to the shelter and if you are equipped with the necessary long focal length lenses, you can probably take some nice shots. Please keep in mind that the Rila National Park (on which territory the Orlovets shelter is built) is a protected area with the purpose of not only offering mankind a place to get in contact with an unspoilt mountain environment, but also to guarantee protection and preservation of its wildlife. Do not disturb the animals by getting too close or trying to follow them. Causing stress for the wild goats, especially during their mating season (October-November), will further increase the risk of affecting the health of their population.

There are numerous climbing routes on the steep sides of the Zliya Zab peak. The southeast rock face of the peak is as high as 250 m with Diretisima (6+ A4) being the most difficult route on it. The easiest way to the top follows the southern ridge. Although it is fairly easy to climb the most difficult part of it (2 category, 20 m), doing it without a rope is not recommended. The reason is that the route starts from the edge of another precipice and if one falls they will most probably get seriously injured and die.

More information about the available routes, their difficulty and length can be found on Climbingguidebg web site. Please do have in mind that getting to the top of Zliya Zab Peak is a violation of the park regulations which forbid tourists to leave the marked paths while visiting the National Park.