Bansko - From the gondala to the mountainBeautiful crisp, deep snow in the town means a functioning ski road allowing skiers to a pleasant 16km ski back to the town. Some parts of the route are very steep in places but thankfully there are more gentle routes as well.
Bansko - On gondala to the mountainThe start of the 15 minute journey to the mountain takes the traveller over the ski road heading to the town and gondala. It's going to be a great day of skiing.
Bansko - At the top of Vihren mountainThe Vihren is the second highest mountain in Bulgaria, at 2914m, only 11m shy of Musala, the tallest in the Balkan Peninsula - but the Pirin range as a whole is a lot higher than Rila - there are two summits above 2900m, Vihren and Kutelo; seven above 2800m; 17 above 2700m; 32 above 2600m and 40 above 2500m and the highest granite peak in the Balkans is the Banderishki Chukar (2732m).
Bansko - Looking WNW from the top of the VihrenAt the top there is silence only broken by gusts of wind. People talk about the sense of awe and peacefulness of the mountains and standing on top of the Vihren is a humbling experience.
Bansko - The Pirin Mountain RangeThere is the possiblility of off piste skiing from here or walking across the thin ridge. I saw ski tracks in places I wouldn't dare to go.