Guri i Nuses

Published by detlefpalm , 24 July 2013, 09h02.

Region: World » Albanien
Date of the hike:13 July 2013
Hiking grading: T3 - Difficult Mountain hike
Geo-Tags: AL 
Time: 9:00
Height gain: 663 m 2175 ft.
Height loss: 663 m 2175 ft.
Route:More than 12 kilometers, mostly bush- and grasswhack
Access to start point:There are 4 routes to drive to the Lajthize plateau and to the trailhead. Two are difficult, one is easy, and one is very long. See attached GPS files


We continued our tour of the Rocks of Mirdita with Guri i Nuses, which translates into the Stone of the Bride. Don't even try to discover the long lost legend behind the name. Others tried before, including Ndue Dedaj, and abandoned the attempt in abhorrence over the endless variations of young girls' death and self-sacrifice, with or against their own will.

When travelling on the Tirana - Kukes highway at a speed of 100 kilometers an hour, Guri i Nuses - for all its impressive glory and its summit cross - can only be seen for a split second. Don't even crane your neck along the way, unless you know exactly where to stop. Better, exit the highway at Fan Center and take a minute to gaze at the rocks that tower almost 1000 Meter above you. Of course, Guri i Nuses is better seen from the village roads across the valley, or perhaps from the slopes of Munelle Mountain (whose summit is also difficult to glimpse when speeding through the Fan valley).

Guri i Nuses, with 1837 Meter altitude is not a summit in the strict sense. The highest point of the range to which Guri i Nuses belongs is Maja e Zebe, a rather benign looking knob topping out at 1987 Meter. But Guri i Nuses wins the first prize for drama and - as we shall see - remoteness.

Travelling off the highway in Mirdita is always different from travelling elsewhere in Albania. Mirdita used to be the heartland of the Kanon with its gruesome traditions, and poverty was rampant. Fatos Baxhaku in his book Në Mirditë & rreth e rrotull describes how the men of Mirdita could not expect to live much longer than 50 years. He quotes a local physician who met a man of very old age in apparent exceptional health, who explained his conditions by having been incarcerated for more than 20 years by the communist regime, and thus did not have to work in mines breathing the dust and suffering an early death from silicose. But most prisoners had to work in the mines too, including the notorious Gurth Spaç. Gurth Spaç is pictured on our off-road trip from Reps to Fushe Arrez. Either way, the people of Mirdita did not have the best choices.

Given the relative prominence of Guri i Nuses as a destination, with summit cross and exceptional visibility into the Valley, it is surprising that there are no established paths whatsoever, save for some very faint traces. But the terrain around Guri i Nuses is exceptionally confusing without clear views of where you are going. This makes for a rather torturous grass- and bushwhack.  While beautiful to look at, movement is very difficult in the jumble of rocks, stones, dead trees, weeds and brambles.  Treacherous carstic holes of uncertain depth make the passage less than straightforward. We gave the trail a difficult rating, owing to the difficulty of orientation and the exhausting hike.

We camped at the trailhead upon our return. Probably better and depending on the season, you may camp there the night before you hike, to avoid more of the heat of the day.

For more information, see:

Hike partners: detlefpalm

Click to draw, click on the last point to end drawing

 16927.kml Guri i Nuses hike
 16928.kml The difficult drives up and down on the Lajthize plateau
 16929.kml The easy way to the Lajthize plateau
 16930.kml The long way to the Lajthize plateau


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30 Jun 13
Maja e Zebe · detlefpalm

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