Climbing the stairway to heaven – Nature phenomenon “Stapalata” (“The stairs”)
GPS coordinates: N 41.807794, E23.379065
It is amazing how many natural phenomena found in nature that look as if they cannot exist. Stapalata (“The Stairs”) – 7 interesting marble jutting cliff that appear to be one below the other and take the form of stairs. The shape of the rocky formation gives the name of the phenomenon. Their height varies from 50 to 120m.
Stapalata are a ridge in northern Pirin Mountain which on the north is divided from the main mountain crest by Kamenititsa peak. It is a bare step-serrated ridge with a few branches to the west. The geological structure is mainly marble. The ridge is situated in the reserved zone “Bayuvi Dupki – Djindjiritsa”.
Starting point for Stapalata is Yavorov hut over Razlog – the phenomenon is about an hour away from the hut towards Kamenititsa peak. The rock is grainy and creates good grip while climbing. Still, in some places there are crumbly and unstable blocks. There are 14 different hiking routes on the seven stairs, the most of them (4) are on the third step.
On the left-most side of the Northwestern wall of peak Kamenititsa you can find a hiking route from 5+ category, fromt here starts the ridge of Stapalata.
Continuing uphill, you can choose one of the three routes on the Northwest side of Razlozhki suhodol peak. It is made of grained marble that creates traction in climbing, but it is eroded and friable. The path is lower on the Northern side of Vihren, but it is much more technically difficult.
An interesting site is the north face of Bayuvi Dupki or Sredonos where one can practice alpine climbing.
The biggest attraction is the north face of Vihren peak which is a real challenge with its 400m, especially in winter times, when conditions resemble the ones of Eiger Mountain.