The announcement of the Mountaineering Association of Montenegro says that based on the assessment of passability and safety of use of mountain trails in the upcoming winter period, for the purpose of overall safety, some of them will be closed.
In the period from 18 November 2019 to 30 April 2020, all regulated and marked mountain trails of the national and local networks will be temporarily closed (CMT “Orjen-Lov?en-Rumija” and access trails, trails of the NP Lov?en and NP Skadar Lake, Mrtvica Canyon, Prekornica and Žijovo).
Also, in the period from 18 November 2019 to 1 June 2020, trails of the national and local network of trails of mountain transversals CT-1 “Through the Mountains of Montenegro (Planinama Crne Gore)”, “Via Dinarica” and “Balkan Peaks (Vrhovi Balkana)” will be temporarily closed for use, as well as other marked trails of the national and local network under the competence of the NP “Durmitor”, NP “Prokletije”, Nature Park “Piva” LTO Plav, LTO Mojkovac, LTO Kolašin, LTO Berane, LTO Pljevlja, LTO Žabljak, LTO Bijelo Polje, LTO Andrijevica and LTO Rožaje.
Current circumstances in mountain regions have become complex, winter is coming, there are potential risks for safety and health of users of mountain (mountaineering) trails, particularly in mountain massifs (Durmitor, Magli?, Komovi, Prokletije, Hajla, Ljubišnja, Vojnik, Njegoš, Pivska Mountain, Mora?ke Mountains, Orjen, Lov?en and Rumija), because they are not marked with winter marks and do not meet the conditions of full passability and, in accordance with the Law on Mountain Paths, Article 19 par. 1 to 3, trails should be temporarily closed for use in the winter period.
“The use of mountain trails of the national and local network is not recommended in the period of temporary closure of trails in the above massifs of high mountains of Montenegro, arbitrarily, without professional guides and organized tours in winter conditions, due to a distinct risk of freezing, getting lost-wandering, avalanches, lighting, fog, wind gusts, beasts and slippery terrain, particularly where a suitable infrastructure does not exist (outside of ski centres and sign posts for walking on snowshoes), low population density, lack of mobile telephony coverage and duration of tours outside of visible time of day and individual trips”, points out the MAM.
All users are recommended to use passable trails during winter season only in an organized manner with adequate preparation, use of mountain equipment according to their purpose, winter conditions, with professional guides for winter activities, regardless of the difficulty of trails in the entire territory of Montenegro, particularly in complex weather conditions, that is to use trails for walking on snowshoes within ski centres, and to organize winter expeditions and climbs with the assistance and knowledge of the Mountain Rescue Service and Protection and Rescue Service of Montenegro.
Based on experiences from previous seasons and the analysis of causes of emergencies with serious consequences, the Expert Commission recommends that all users of mountain trails in the winter period (mountaineers, alpinists, amateurs and athletes, pedestrians and others) observe the rules of behaviour on mountain trails and spending time in nature in winter time, avoid hiking without adequate preparation and equipment, without checking passability, and particularly avoid using mountain trails in complex weather conditions.
“We urge that no services of “self-proclaimed” and uncertified – unlicensed mountain guides, unofficial maps and tracks (guide books) be used, particularly if the organizer of winter activities and climbs (club, tour-operator, guide) has not taken all measures aimed at safety of users. On request of users of NM mountain trails in winter period, the Expert Commission of the Mountaineering Association of Montenegro will provide necessary information about passability and expert assistance within their authorities and available resources, directly or through local mountaineering clubs – hosts, MAM (Commission) website and media”, stated the Association.
The MAM and expert service do not have any responsibility towards users of trails in winter period and they are not responsible for actions of guides.