Bulgaria in 2017: Record number of rescue missions in the mountains

Written by on December 8, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria in 2017: Record number of rescue missions in the mountains

The year 2017 will last for another 23 days, and it has already registered a record number of rescue missions in Bulgaria’s beautiful mountain ranges. The country’s Mountain Rescue Service was called for help 2,457 times so far, or about 8 times per day, on average. Chances are, the number will rise further, before this year is over.

Rescue operations are mostly the responsibility of the Mountain Rescue Service. This organisation gets called when mountaineers are injured and can not continue their hiking or climbing action, or when climbers or hikers get lost in the wild, as individuals or in groups. But the Bulgarian Red Cross helps as well, depending on the case. Also skiers need to get rescued a lot.

In the Bulgarian mountains, winter sports enthusiasts who underestimate weather conditions while overestimating their own capabilities are the ones who need to be saved the most, according to a report by Bulgarian National Television (BNT). Especially skiers and snowboarders who like to take risky action are frequent “customers” of the saviours.

The beauty of Bulgarian mountains. Photo by Strahil Georgiev.

BNT quoted the Director of the Bulgarian Mountain Rescue Service, Emil Neshev. He told the network, falls on artificial snow could be very traumatic, because of its structure.

He urged all mountaineers and winter sports enthusiasts to use the mobile app his service provides, because it includes access to the user’s coordinates. That way, the Mountain Rescue Service does not have to search for injured or lost people for hours, or sometimes for days.

Another advice Neshev gave to anyone with plans to be in the mountains is to get a mountain insurance. He said those were 30 to 40 leva per year, but included rescue missions.

The skiing season in Bansko, Borovets and other Bulgarian skiing resorts officially starts in a week from now. At this stage it is unclear whether there will be enough snow for skiing from the start, or if the resorts might have to rely on the more dangerous artificial snow at first.

Mountain expert Strahil Georgiev, with a four-legged friend. Photo by Strahil Georgiev.

Strahil Georgiev, a mountain, skiing and snowboarding expert from Borovets, told The Sofia Globe, some people liked to show off selfies from mountain tops. “Many of them have office jobs, where they work all day long. The next moment, they want to be super heroes in the mountains. It is impossible”, Georgiev said.

“People want to escape from reality. They believe being in the mountains is something like a PlayStation game”, Georgiev stated. “But, in fact, the mountains are part of reality. I always tell people that we are guests in the mountains, because they were here before us and they will be here after we pass away.”

Recently, Strahil Georgiev, who is also a photographer, gave The Sofia Globe an interview about the resort of Borovets, and all aspects of skiing and snowboarding.

All photos by Strahil Georgiev.

Strahil Georgiev: The skiing and snowboarding pro recommends Bulgaria’s Borovets resort

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com