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Balkan Grip

You’re About to Start the Albanian Ski Revolution

656f495980a213a92e68a7a7a2c3c7c0706d898f4 PhotosSki Albania
You’re about to start a revolution in the Balkans.

Sounds dicey, we know.

But trust us. It’s gonna be great. There’re going to be shepherds.

Oh, and it’s a ski revolution. Very important we make that clear. You’re starting a ski revolution in the Balkans...

Get excited for Ski Albania, a nine-day, ski-based test of wills and your ability to pronounce “bivouac” through the Land of the Eagles, taking reservations now for February.

The words “chalet” and “lift” will not appear here. This is purely about skiing and mountaineering through the forests, valleys and 2,500-meter summits of Albania. All whilst depending on the kindness of locals who a) are apparently psyched to have you stay with them and b) may include a shepherd with a nice warm hut floor with your name on it.

How this’ll work: you’ll fly into Tirana, the capital, and meet up with your guide, Jim Blyth. Great guy, Jim. You’ll spend a night there (your lone hotel) and head to Valbona Valley National Park the next day. Then: skiing. All kinds. On the fifth day, you’ll head to a base camp in Tejza, where you’ll ascend Mount Korab. Then you’ll descend, much faster.

Some last advice: bring cash—dollars, if possible. They’re an accepted alternative to the lek.

Look at that—now you know the quasi-official national currency of Albania.

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