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4th round of the Serbian Trekking league - Malinik mountain and Lazar’s canyon


On june 03, year 2017. on the mountain Malinik, Serbia, was held 4th round of the Trekking league Serbia, organized by Mountaineering club Dubašnica from Zlot.

Serbian Trekking league is a competiton, organized by Mountaineering Association Serbia which includes trail running and walking on marked mountain trails of different length and complexity. There are individuals and clubs from all over Serbia that participate in this competition. The trails are evaluated by number od points depending on the severity. Points are added from different competitions over the year and at the end they are the ones that determine placement of the individuals and clubs.

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Monument of the nature “Lazar’s canyon” represents area of the national importance 1st category and, as such, is under the state protection. By the recent state initiatives, this monument from year 2018. will be a part of new national park, sixth in Serbia, which will be called “Kučaj – Beljanica”. So the canyon Lazarus will be effectively protected by regime of the first degree.

Geomorphological phenomenon of canyons valley Lazars river and its components, rivers Mikulja, Demižlok and Vej, is in its imposing sizes, with closely coupled cliffs, which reaches over 350 meters high. In riverbed of this wathercourses there are rocky cascades that occasionally turn into waterfalls. There are numerous caves as underground forms of karst relief, including the famous cave Lazarus, Vernjikica, Hajdučica, Ljubinkova and the cave Gaura Frnđefund. On the left side of the canyon Lazarus, on the flattened part, are surface forms karst relief as reamers. These are dents in the relief in a form of a funnel, prevailing depths of 10 to 15 meters.

The richness of the flora and fauna of Lazar’s canyon and ridges Malinik is exceptional. Many plant and animal species in this area are rare and endangered species, and as such strictly protected and considered protected species.

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Team Mountaineering and Ecology Club (MEC) “Gora” from Kragujevac on the start, in front of the mountain home “Beljevina”

Start of the competition was at the mountain home “Beljevina”, a few kilometres from Zlot in the village Beljevina, where from the early morning was about 150 mountaineers from all over Serbia.

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Participants of the Treckking league Serbia on the start

Together with my team from Kragujevac MEC “Gora”, I came to the start, but since I decided not to participate in the contest, I start the car back to the Lazar’s cave. The idea was to wait for the first competitors and take a picture of them in the descent from the track. Right next to the track I meet a couple of crawling friends. Fortunately, the first few competitors who literally flew by me, not even noticing me, were Vlada, Marko and Stefan from our team, so I hurriedly picked up and returned to the cave.

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After a few photos, I move slowly from the cave on the path of the competitors and start hiking to the top of Malinik. The main goal was to get to the viewpoint over the canyon, but to get there I had to separated myself from the main path used by competitors.

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After about 5 km climb, I come to a crossroads where I went right, to the canyon. By then I was passed around thirty competitors. The trail is well marked, and at the crossroad is a signpost.

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Crossroad of the trail that leads to cove of the Malinik and to lookout over the conyon of the river Vej

Still under the impression of a close encounter at the cave, moving very carefully I scan every place where I will put my foot down. After about 500 meters the route goes directly to the vertical cliff of Lazar’s canyon, and I’m breathless. It’s very cramped spot and there can stand only a few people. I take this opportunity to drink coffee from my backpack.

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After a short brake and shooting, I decided to investigate a little bit of environment. Near by I reveal an amazing sight. Glade, which in fact represents a household garden, is located on the flat plateau, from one side surrounded by forest, and on the other side comes directly on the cliffs of the canyon. House (I suspect abandoned) and orchard are in the opposite corner. It’s an absolutely unreal place.

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I had the opportunity to visit many wonderful and wild terrain, climb to the various lookouts and summits, but this place totally blew me away. The place from which you can see only a small part of this region, where most of it remains hidden from the eye, causes a crazy adrenaline rush and who knows what hormons. I knew that I would not succeed to convey the impression of the space by photographs, but I didn’t care.

Totally captivated, I make my way back to the crossroad where I left the trail Trekking league and join the arriving contestants. Soon came the steeper part of the slope to the cove(?) where the control point number 3 is placed. On it, as on the previous number two, I meet some familiar faces. On number two were hikers from Sokobanja, and on the number three from Zaječar. They all came to assist and help the organizer from Zlot.

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From the cove to the top of Malinik has 3 kilometers. Shortly before the final climb to the top, there is another rocky viewpoint, so I stop here and take a few pictures. The last 200 meters are the steepest part of the trail through the beech forest. Here, everyone fought for breath and cheered each other. Some were coming down, while others climbed to the top, which is a fifth checkpoint. In this place I find two mountaineers on duty that are familiar to me. Without a brake I start to move back and in about half an hour I am on the cove, fallowing the same path I came from. The descent was relatively fast, so I even ran a little.

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Although it was cloudy, from Malinik clearly can be seen the mountains Veliki krš, Stol, Deli Jovan, Crni vrh in the direction of Bor, and Rtanj and Tupižnica southwards.

Upon returning to the car in front of the Lazar’s cave, my track showed 20 kilometers reading and 1050 meters of altitude difference vanquished. I go back to Beljevina by car, at the mountain home, where the competitors who have already crossed the track were waiting for me.

This trail on Malinik mountain is part of East Serbia 4. days trekking tour, organized by Trekking Serbia and represents unique opportunity for everyone who wants to exerience wild untouched nature.

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Nicer part of MEC “Gora” with medals

MEC “Gora” Kragujevac in this competition won a total of 6 medals, including:
Snežana Đurić 1st place – small trail 10 km
Stefan Paunović 3rd place – small trail 10 km
Ivana Cenerić 3rd place – big trail 30 km
Olivera Milić 1st place – big trail 30 km
Marko Pavlović 2nd place – big trail 30 km
Vladimir Potrić 1st place – big trail and overall winner of 4th round Trackking league Serbia.

All in all it was a fantastic day from mountain point of view and in part of competition. MEC “Gora” defends his title from last year and we are currently in second place, but the competition will be continued in two weeks on Jastrebac.

Text and photography: Andrej Ivošev

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