Mount Musala

For the bridge and square in Mostar, see Musala (Mostar).
Musala
Musala seen from the south
Elevation 2,925 m (9,596 ft)
Prominence 2,473 m (8,114 ft)
Listing Country high point
Ultra
Location
Musala
Bulgaria
Location Sofia Region, Bulgaria
Range Rila
Coordinates

42°10′47″N 23°35′12″E / 42.17972°N 23.58667°E / 42.17972; 23.58667Coordinates: 42°10′47″N 23°35′12″E / 42.17972°N 23.58667°E / 42.17972; 23.58667

Climbing
Easiest route Gondola lift from Borovets, then hike

Musala (Bulgarian: Мусала; from Arabic through Ottoman Turkish: "near God" or "place for prayer")[1] is the highest peak in Bulgaria and the entire Balkan Peninsula, standing at 2,925 m (9,596 ft). The summit of the Rila mountain in southwestern Bulgaria, Musala is the highest peak between the Alps and the Caucasus and the highest in Eastern Europe bar the Caucasus.

Musala is situated within the Rila National Park, which is noted for its rich flora, including species such as Macedonian Pine and Bulgarian Fir in the forests on its middle slopes, and fauna; it is one of the easiest places in Europe to see the wallcreeper. All major mountain ranges of Bulgaria can be seen from the top; these include Vitosha to the northwest, Sredna Gora towards the northeast, the Balkan Mountains along most of the northern horizon behind Vitosha and Sredna Gora, the Rhodope Mountains to the southeast, Pirin to the south, Osogovo and Ruy Mountain to the west, and of course Rila.

With an average annual temperature of -3 °C Musala is the coldest place in Bulgaria and the entire Balkan Peninsula. Temperatures stay below 0 °C for about 8 months each year. Due to this about 45% of the annual precipitation on Musala is snow, and snow cover lasts for about 200 days (more than 6,5 months). Three of the main rivers of Bulgaria, the Iskar, Maritsa and Mesta have their sources near Musala.

The easiest climb is by a straightforward footpath from the Environmental Observatory "Musala" of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences where air pollutants and space radiation are monitored. Also there is a meteorological station, that is doing regular synoptic and climatic observations. The station belongs to the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology (NIMH) and functions without breaks since 1933.

The next highest peaks in the vicinity of Musala are Little Musala (2,902 m) and Irechek (2,852 m).

Climate

Peak Musala has a subarctic climate with cold, long winters and short, cool summers. Usually, through winter, the temperatures don't exceed the freezing point for months. Snow cover lasts for about 8-9 months. Through the summer, temperatures rarely go above 14-15C. The summer season only lasts for 2 months, and snowfalls are possible. For the period 1931-1970, the highest recorded temperature was 18.7 °C (65.7 °F), and the lowest - −31.2 °C (−24.2 °F). The average annual temperature is −3 °C (27 °F), which makes the peak the coldest place in Bulgaria.

Climate data for Musala Peak
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 7
(45)
3.4
(38.1)
12.1
(53.8)
13.7
(56.7)
12.6
(54.7)
16.5
(61.7)
18.6
(65.5)
18.7
(65.7)
17
(63)
14
(57)
9.6
(49.3)
6.8
(44.2)
18.7
(65.7)
Average high °C (°F) −8.2
(17.2)
−7.6
(18.3)
−5.6
(21.9)
−1.6
(29.1)
2
(36)
5.4
(41.7)
8.5
(47.3)
9.1
(48.4)
6.1
(43)
1.8
(35.2)
−2.1
(28.2)
−6
(21)
0.2
(32.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) −10.9
(12.4)
−10.8
(12.6)
−9
(16)
−5.2
(22.6)
−1
(30)
2.3
(36.1)
5
(41)
5.3
(41.5)
2.6
(36.7)
−1
(30)
−4.9
(23.2)
−8.6
(16.5)
−3
(27)
Average low °C (°F) −13.8
(7.2)
−13.6
(7.5)
−11.6
(11.1)
−7.8
(18)
−3.4
(25.9)
−0.1
(31.8)
2.1
(35.8)
2.5
(36.5)
−0.1
(31.8)
−3.6
(25.5)
−7.3
(18.9)
−11
(12)
−5.6
(21.9)
Record low °C (°F) −30.6
(−23.1)
−29.8
(−21.6)
−26.8
(−16.2)
−20.6
(−5.1)
−15.6
(3.9)
−12
(10)
−8
(18)
−9.8
(14.4)
−14
(7)
−17.5
(0.5)
−27.4
(−17.3)
−31.2
(−24.2)
−31.2
(−24.2)
Precipitation mm (inches) 126
(4.96)
110
(4.33)
130
(5.12)
128
(5.04)
119
(4.69)
105
(4.13)
80
(3.15)
56
(2.2)
47
(1.85)
72
(2.83)
88
(3.46)
115
(4.53)
1,176
(46.3)
Avg. rainy days 1 0 0 0 4 8 9 7 6 3 1 0 39
Avg. snowy days 13 14 17 18 14 5 2 1 4 8 13 15 124
Source: Stringmeteo.com

Honour

Musala Glacier on Greenwich Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica is named after Musala Peak.

Gallery

References