Sam Bie - Prilep bouldering


Rock type

The rock here mostly consists of a particular style of large grain granite or gneiss which, depending on the location, contains a lot of different variations and mixtures of minerals. Geologically Pelagonija massif is very rich in deposits of ore, minerals and high grade dolomite marble which is quarried around the town of Prilep.

Over time it was noticed, that best quality rock for climbing with more solid holds can generally be found on shady sides of particular boulders. One reason for that might be that the exposure to strong sun on non-shaded sides of a boulder over years led to deeper corrosion resulting in loose and crumbly rock in some places.

One other particularly useful lesson learned is that better or more solid rock can generally be found higher up on the hills. Higher laying boulders around the area of Kamena Baba are of better quality than those lower down at the base of the hill. Naturally examples can still be found like the area of Dabnica that cradles some really quality rock at the very base of a valley but the general tendency seems to be “higher is better”.

The rock usually dries out reasonably fast after periods of rain, especially in areas that are more open and exposed to the wind which helps to speed up the process. In other places like Dabnica, which is more sheltered, this drying-up process usually takes a day or two longer.

After more substantial rain periods in spring moss is likely to start growing back over the less climbed boulders. A soft wired brush
is the best way to tackle that problem. And it’s also much easier
to clean the rock when the moss dries out.

Climbing style

Bouldering on this particular style of granite one should expect that the rock is not going to feel too soft and smooth. Most of the holds can be quite sharp for thin skinned fingers so it’s recommended to tape up and take it moderately for first couple day until the skin starts overgrowing. With good and thick skin on your fingers every holds feels much nicer and friction also seems to be much better for the problems at hand.

The style of climbing is predominately crimpy or at least greatly dependent on finger strength with jugs, cracks and huecos as well. Good footwork is essential as always with this style of climbing.

Most of the lines offer vertical or slightly overhanging climbing
with moderate top-out height. Landings are mostly are quite flat and boulders can be climbed reasonably safe with one or
two crash pads.

Naturally, as with bouldering in general, there are many different lines, styles and difficulties to be found and climbed, challenging us climbers in many different ways. This area still offers enormous potential for further development. New problems aren’t hard
to find, especially when it comes to moderate and easy lines.

Prilep Bouldering Guidebook