X-Fitness magazine as one of the best Serbian magazine for fitness, wellness, spa and sports in its 67 online edition brings the story of the brilliant canyon Skurda that our Extreme Canyoning team passed this year in early November. X-Fitness magazine is available to read for free on the portal www.xfitness.rs
Extreme Canyoning team for several past years organizes action passing throught the canyon at the end of the season so we can talk about it as a tradition. This time in the second half of November we were “dead set” on the imposing canyon Škurda above Kotor with 640 meters of height difference. The impressiveness of this canyon is reflected from the frequent verticals starting with the dam from the Austro-Hungarian Empire that precipitates from Lovćen down next to the fortress and the old town of Kotor.
In the City aqueduct of Škurda in Kotor our tour begins. We started the tour on the marked trail that leads away from the old town of Kotor and on this location river of Kotor ends its canyon, and history begins with the story of the road that Vuk Karadžić, Ljubomir Nenadović and many others described and pointing out that it is insuperable for pedestrians and animals.
Old Montenegrin pedestrian path begins with only 6 meters above sea level. It is one of the five roads leading from Kotor. People say it’s built on a proposal and with the financial support of Bishop Petar II. Old Montenegrins used it to go down in Kotor, which was the biggest Montenegrin market. They offered the smoked specialties, send mail into the world, and in the opposite direction, to Njeguši and Cetinje, they amounted oil, flour, salt, coastal food and other necessities. Upon this path they also amounted weapons, books and promises of foreign delegations. Today it is used only by trekkers.
We are moving on north rim of the fortress Sveti Ivan (San Giovanni), overcoming one by one serpentine and counting them in great mood. The more you increase the number of Kotor serpentines, the view of the Kotor and the bay walls is becoming more open.
There are walls all around: around the city, above the city, the walls around the hill and fortress of St. Ivan on top of the hill with the same name. They are around five kilometers long, up to 20m high and wide up to 10 meters at some points.
After reaching the first house we come to the place where our way to the entrance of the second part of this monsterous canyon separates and leads us in a completely different direction. This time our priority is on photos and videos, and considering how the day is short at this time of the year it is one of the biggest reasons why we decided to pass only the lower part of the canyon. We follow a narrow little path that leads us to the left up the hill opposite of the way we came. More gentle ascent is not a problem because the view of the Kotor Bay diverts attention and thoughts away. The last climb along the river of fallen rocks gives us a signal that we are close, because the location is fully recognized by our previous entry in the lower part of the canyon. After a while we arrive at higher part where you can hear the roar of the water near by. Soon after we began the descent to where we will begin our adventure along a narrow and relatively well-marked path. Incredibly warm weather for this time of year makes us want to immediately get wet and cool off in a very small pool of water that slowly flows in the direction in which we should go soon.
Anchorages are abundant, most often double or triple and not so rare in many places in the same vertical. Also every small vertical or slope have its anchorage so it is not necessary to climb up which gives more speed to the passing of this canyon. At first we had a little bit of flowing water that would later turn the canyon completely dry except in the rare holes in the walls filled with stagnant water. In a peaceful atmosphere without almost no adrenaline and rush we enjoyed the sculptured walls and beautiful halls that water was crafting for many years. Without running water and its roar every step, hitting stones or rattling equipment could be heard. In the quiet rhythm, as we had most of the day, we walked out of the canyon before the end of the already short day with great photos and so far unusual video footages that will complement the extensive archive of EXTREME CANYONING team.
Text: Miloš Radević / extremecanyoning.com
Photo: Predrag Vučković / extreme-photographer.com