When I say the word Prenj – my heart beats faster! And it’s been like that for years, from my childhood until today… I’m not alone in this love for Prenje. On the contrary! A large number of mountaineers will agree that Prenj is the most beautiful and luxurious mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Of course, beauty is in the eyes of a beholder, but anyone who visits this mountain will see that the previous statement makes a lot of sense. What distinguishes Prenj from other mountains in Bosnia and Herzegovina is its alpine structure.
If you look at it from Čvrsnica, or from the outskirts of Bjelašnica, Visočica, Velež…, whether from the south, north, east or west, you will always see the restless line of its slope, like an EKG reading the heartbeat, which for some reason is very excited. And that shaky line is reminiscent of the contours of the European Alps.
This alpine structure makes Prenj unique – beautiful, distinctive and seductive. Everyone from the large army of Prenj lovers experiences this mountain in their own way. And everyone thinks that Prenj opened up to him or her, and that he or she is the only one who is familiar with all its magnificent moments of sunrise or sunset, dawn or the end of the day…
And I, here, repentantly confess, for a long time I thought that the dawns on Prenje rose just for me; that only I know his most hidden secrets, and that I am the one whom this mountain has chosen to reward with its most intimate moments. This feeling stems from human naivety that the universe revolves around us and that everything exists only for us and no one else.
Well, it’s not like that!
Prenj shares his love with everyone who knows how to recognize it; to everyone who knows how to enjoy it and who simply loves it for what it is! Precisely because of this, each of us who are in love with Prenj have the right to his grace, to a sunny, unforgettable and beautiful day, which will irrevocably move into ones soul and become part of the memory.
Prenj is characterized by a large number of peaks with more than 2,000 meters above sea level. Researching, I found that there are 14 of them – Zelena glava, Otiš, Mali Otiš, Veliki Botin, Mali Botin, Lupoglav, Erać, Kerać, Vidina kapa, Herać, Mali Herać, Osobac, Velika kapa and Ovča.
They are mostly massive and dominant peaks, which enchant everyone who sees them with their elegance. Each of the Prenja peaks is a story in itself. And I have a special relationship with each of them, a series of striking moments, which I remember, and which form the overall picture of Prenje that I carry inside me. From each you see new views, you are offered a new view, a new experience and a new frame for your own history.
Like all the mountains of the Dinaric-Balkan region, Prenj has its four faces, depending on the season. Each of these faces has different characteristics, its own artistry and challenges. Spring is perhaps the most interesting – while fruit trees are blooming in the valley, the peaks are still under thick layers of snow!
This magical combination, where in a few hours you step from the green carpets into the space of snow and ice, offers a complete mental-physical and aesthetic experience. The dramatic change of green colors of the leafy forest and grass, with the ice-white colors of the upper floors of the mountain, will cheer you up and remind you of what a beautiful planet we live on.
Summer is magical because of the extraordinary sunrises and sunsets, because of the relaxation provided by the summer temperatures, because of the light backpack and happy chatting. In summer, the mountain is the most accessible, technical difficulties are reduced to a minimum (there is no ice and snow that make movement difficult), and clothing (footwear) is light and comfortable.
Autumn ushers the mountain into a colorful scene that delights again and again. It’s all there – 50 shades of yellow, 30 shades of brown, 20 shades of green, then black and purple, blue, white, lilac… As we ascend through the beech forest, then pass through the pine belt, we reach a grassy and rocky surface, so the colors also change. Autumn is characterized by stable weather conditions; especially during the Indian summer, when the temperatures are relatively high and the wind is at a minimum speed.
This allows us to stay on the peaks for a long time. Good visibility further enhances the wonderful atmosphere. Then from the peaks of Prenj you can see all the way to the Adriatic Sea, the mountains of Montenegro, the north, west, east and south of Bosnia.
In winter, however, Prenj is an ice fortress, which is as beautiful as it is dangerous and difficult to access. Winter requires additional mountaineering equipment, knowledge of the technique of walking with snowshoes or touring skis, as well as the use of ice axes and crampons. But all that extra trouble is rewarded by the beauty of the frozen peaks.
In winter, Prenj is an alpine kingdom that will delight you with snow sculptures, the blue sky, the ease of movement over hard snow… In winter, namely, the snow covers all those cruel rock scratches and sinkholes, the terrain is level, so if the snow is hard, the movement is real satisfaction.
Prenj is a mountain that has an atypical star structure, which is not characteristic of the Dinaric mountains. All in all, Prenj is a mountain of its own, unique, a mountain with character. Perhaps precisely because of this special character, mountaineers, alpinists, artists have been delighted with this mountain throughout history… Some of them are famous, like the partisan poet Vladimir Nazor, who dedicated a poem to him: Prenj planina nije!
Yes, exactly! “Prenj is not a mountain, a tall city is a fairy”… Prenj is loved, Prenj is visited as a pilgrimage, we live for Prenj… and it returns to us abundantly.
From the book “Veličanstveni Prenj/The Majestic Prenj” by Zehrudin Isaković