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Mali i Trebeshinësgreen driveblue hike

Summary: Mali i Trebeshinës (or Trebeshina Mountain) is the big brother of Shendellisë. Trebeshina is more than 100 meters higher. While Shendellisë has a narrow ridgeline, Trebeshinë is rather broad and long. Its mass makes it the ideal home to probably thousands of sheep in summer time (including their dogs), and that is why we choose to hike it during spring, when the summit area is still covered in snow.

To say it upfront: in summer you may manage to find an IFA truck or old 4WD that may take you up to another lower summit, which has some abandonned military buildings. It would be a long drive (and presumably an even longer walk if you follow those tracks). So do not expect a lofty summit where you will test your climbing skills or nerve. Having said this, we consider Trebeshinë a very worthwhile and interesting hike.

Foreigners are likely to have heard more about the Trebeshina mineral water than the mountain as a hiking destination. Many Albanian friends know that it is a mountain close to Kelcyre, but little more. The mountain is indeed a bit elusive, as it is off the main travel routes. The best views of Trebeshinë are to be had when driving from Buz (or Berat) to Kelcyre, which is not a drive you want to do every day.

Maps or written information about the actual location of the summit are very sketchy. Estimates about its altitude vary widely. The AlbInfo map shows two summits, and gives the elevation of the northern point 1902 Meter (this is the place with the abandonned buildings). To all other accounts, including ours, the true summit is south of it, and at least 1912 meter high. If you really want to find out, you can easily walk from one to the other, but it will take a while.

The views from Trebeshinë (and along the trail) are outstanding - mainly across towards Tomorri, Ostrovice Mountain, Gramos in the distance, the Tymfy mountains in Greece, Nemercke and Cajupi. Once on top, you look across the valley towards Shendellise and - weather permitting - to Kendervices and Mali i Gribes.

The Hike: The hiker has, principally, two options. The first is to drive to Arrez e Madhe, which is likely to take you 2 or more hours from Memeliaj near Tepelene. From Arrez e Madhe, it is about 1100 meter elevation gain, but probably more than 9 or 10 kilometers distance to the summit. The second option is to start on the east side of Mali i Trebeshinë, from the village of Katundishte. This will make it a climb of almost 1400 meter over a distance of close to 6 kilometer. It will put the hike in the order of magnitude of climbing other giants such as Kercinit, Nemercke, Gramos or Cika. We took this hike.

From the trailhead in Katundishte, follow the road (or  ask permission to take a shortcut through the private property of a farmhouse) towards a house about 100 meter up.  Make a mental note at waypoint 02-Fork, as it might be easy to follow the wrong way when coming back. From waypoint 05-Stan, head for the big cairn (stoneman) on the ridge to the north. From here, the steepest part of the trail begins. Generally, follow the ridge to the summit.

The summit is not marked, though there are some remnants of a foundation of a pole or antenna. A few hundred meters on to the north is a secondary summit with a big cairn (stoneman), but it is lower.

We chose a slightly different path for our return, taking advantage of the snow. There are several shepherd trails that can be taken. If you elect to do so, it is wise not to miss waypoint 14, which is a major watering hole, in order to find some trail down the steep slope. 

Maximum altitude: 1912 meter
Minimum altitude: 574 meter
Cumulative height: 1361
Cumulative length: 5.79 kilometer
Difficulty moderate
Time: 4 hours 50 minutes
Date of this record April  2014
Download GPS info: Mali i Trebeshinës

Drive to the Trailhead of Mali i Trebeshinës: The drive to Katundishte is not difficult to find. For the last kilometer, a 4WD is advisable - alternatively add this kilometer and and another 130 meter to your climb. Be sure to take the correct turns in the village. The trailhead is in some private property. Make sure you meet the friendly owners before you meet their dog.

Maximum altitude: 579 meter
Minimum altitude: 231 meter
Cumulative height: 372 meter
Cumulative length: 3.87 kilometer
Difficulty easy
Time: 20 minutes
Date of this record April 2014
Download GPS info: Katundishte

General location and approach: Near the town of Kelcyre. We stayed at the River Hotel, in the Kelcyre Gorge (Gryka Kelcyre), where the rooms got a touch-up in April 2014. The owners were quick to serve some mish (lamb meat) in the evening, and gave us an early breakfast.

Other Information: This is a long hike.

GPS and trailmaps: The map and trailinformation is generated by wikiloc, 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.