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Shebenik: the long slog to a remote mountainhiking

Summary: Mali i Shebenikut (Shebenik) is the highest mountain in the chain south of Korab along the border to Macedonia. It gave the Shebenik-Jabllanice cross-border national park its name.  We are not sure how actively the idea of the park is still pursued. Shebenik may not be more remote than many other mountains in Albania, but it certainly feels so. Our return trip clocked 21 kilometers, including occasionally getting lost. The trail runs partly on disused and overgrown forest roads, on poorly marked trails, or just across grassy slopes. On the lower slopes, we had to bushwhack through secondary growth. Perhaps it might be useful to get a local guide, though we are not sure where from.

Maximum altitude: 2225  meter
Minimum altitude: 1369 meter
Cumulative height: 1280 (including elevation gains on the return)
Cumulative length: 17-21  kilometers
Difficulty moderate
Time: 7-9 hours
Date of this record September 2011
Download GPS info: Shebenik

General location and approach: The trailhead of Shebenik is on top of the pass of the road from Librazhd to Qarrishte. Leave Librazhd on the road to Burrel or Peshkopi. After a few kilometers, take the signposted turn to Qarrishte and the Shebenik National Park. After 5 kilometer the tarmac ends, after 19 kilometers you reach the top of the Librazhd-Qarrishte road. Turn right here on a bad road. Drive as far as you can (we parked after 200 meter or so). On the latest Google Earth image, the area of the mountain appears to be bare, or grassy. In 2011, there is thick bush, making orientation difficult.

There is an active mine near the peak of Shebenik, with a private road leading to it. Should you find the place where it starts, you save yourself a lot of walking - for the better or worse.

Other Information: This is a rather long hike. Take plenty of water (there is some water in the upper reaches, and at the lakes near the summit). The hike follows mainly the summit ridges. Shebenik consists of three peaks, with the marked peak being the highest (the other two are 10 and 50 meters lower, respectively). Some white and red markings appear from time to time, but do not seem to be reliable for a summit attempt.

Part of the trail is a bsuhwhack, marked between the respective waypoints. Alternatively, at the waypoint "bushwhack starts", follow the forest road and it will bring you to the point "bushwhack ends". This ads 3 kilometers to the trail. We decided to bushwahack up, and take the forest road down.

GPS and trailmaps: The map and trailinformation is generated by www.wikiloc.org, based on GPS information collected from the actual hike. Waypoints can be downloaded to a GPS device from Wikiloc. If necessary, use GPSBabel to convert GPS data to different formats. For more hike descriptions by Palmtreetreeproduction, browse this website or visit Wikiloc and search for "Palmtreeproduction". You may also find nearby trails from other authors.

Google Earth: You may also view the trail in 3D by clicking "view in Google Earth" when on Wikiloc. You need to have Google Earth installed on your computer.

Images: Click the full screenbutton at the end of the page to view the slides in full screen