Prilep, bouldering in Macedonia with Niccolò Ceria
The report by Niccolò Ceria after his climbing trip to Macedonia to discover the bouldering around Prilep.
A somewhat different bouldering trip. Not the usual places, albeit beautiful, such as Chironico, Cresciano, Fontainebleau, Magic Wood, etc., but Macedonia. Yes, the tiny Balcan republic on the border with Greece was where Niccolò Ceria and his brother Rudy spent a fortnight from 15 to 30 October, more precisely Prilep, to check out the climbing potential. "I was struck by some photos I'd seen" explained Niccolò "but the real reason that prompted us to go was definitely the possibility of cleaning and climbing some new problems."
BOULDERING AT PRILEP IN MACEDONIA by Niccolò Ceria
Prilep was certainly one of the places I've wanted to visit this year. The first reason was the potential to climb new problems, and not spend time and energy repeating problems already established by others. The second reason was that we were taken in by the environment: in short, it seemed like a truly special bouldering destination.
Rudy and I decided to stay there for a fortnight, to go on an exploratory trip in the hope that it would be worth it and that we'd then return another time. And, in all honestly, we think we'll be back sooner or later. Although the rock isn't the best in some places, in others it's more solid and better quality, albeit very sharp. The boulders are beautifully egg-shaped and fit in perfectly with the rounded hills around just outside the village.
During the holiday I tried to clean some new lines, those that inspired me more most due to beauty and purity. Unfortunately it was still quite hot so I couldn't work all the problems I brushed. Instead I concentrated on some simpler problems that were obvious, logical and nevertheless transmitted something to me.
The first was "Balconi balcani", a long traverse on crimps and a fairly exposed finish; after this I spent a fair deal of time and energy cleaning an impressive egg-shaped boulder with a direct line of crimps and good holds which resulted in "The chickend academy". Another problem, a bit simpler but just as fun, was "Calgary '88" with its great moves, high above the ground. During the second part of the holiday the temperatures soared and I decided to spend time repeating existing problems.
Climbing aside, we discovered an area that was both beautiful and different from what we are used to. The cost of living is relatively cheap, the people are friendly and the town of Prilep is calm and special. The main resources are agriculture, tobacco and livestock and these render Macedonia a fascinating rural country.
HOW TO GET THERE
Prilep can be reached easily very easy to reach. Fly to Skopje, then hire a car and head south; exiting the airport is very simple and drive towards Vales. Exit here and continue straight until you reach the town Gradsko. From here continue to Prilep and the centre of the city.
We rented an apartment with three bedrooms, while the bathroom and kitchen were shared with others. Everything you need can be found in the supermarket or the market and it's really easy to either cook at home or even go out to dinner since the house is close to the boulders and also the city centre. All restaurants offer excellent value for money.
The French egg 7B **
Tup-Tup 7C **
All in 7C **
Super Sila 8A **
Velika Smekta 8A **
Welcome line variant 6C ***
Kajmak 6C ***
Cocoon 6C+ ***
Machedala 7A ***
Marinaio di vent'anni 7A ***
Unknown 7B+ ***
Gotham city 7C ***
Predator 7C/+ ***
Marshal 6C ****
Pelargonja stand variant 7A+ ****
Mala smetka 7B ****
Marmalade 7B/+ ****
Kula Sheika Bula 8A+ (flash) ****
Yellow snake 7C *****
Calgary 88 7A+ (first ascent)
Hueco jack sit start 7B (first ascent)
Balconi balcani 7C+ (first ascent)
The chicken academy 8A (first ascent)