It was nice past weekend on the beautiful Vranica mountain. Hundreds of mountaineers from all over the region arrived in the embrace of this beauty to support a true festival of mountaineering.
Vranica is a mountain range in the Dinaric Alps of central Bosnia and Herzegovina, located between the town of Gornji Vakuf in the west and the town of Fojnica in the east, within the territory of the Federation. The highest peak is Nadkrstac at 2,110 metres (6,920 ft). Geologically, the Vranica range is part of the Dinaric Alps and formed largely of secondary and tertiary sedimentary rock, mostly limestone. Notable peaks are Nadkrstac (2110 m.), Locika (2106 m.), Rosinj (2059 m.) and Scit (1949 m.).
Thick shrubs of Pinus Mugo replace mixed forest -mostly beech- above 1400 m. The typical karst characteristics of the nearby Herzegovina mountains is relatively absent in Vranica, which has relatively abundant water sources. Streams that source from these mountains are the Dragača in the east, the Vrbas in the west.
Just east of its main summit, at 1660 m altitude is a beautiful glacial lake called Prokoško Jezero located. This lake was once known as a habitat for a unique amphibian endemic variant of the Triton Salamander (Ichthyosaura alpestris reiseri). On the northern shore one finds a settlement of typical wooden shepherd huts which unfortunately in recent years has grown oversized with illegal recreational sheds that threaten the vulnerable eco-system.
Prokoško Jezero received a protected status in 2005 based on IUCN criteria, when it was declared a Monument of Nature by the BiH authorities.
Despite these protective measures, it is not clear whether pollution connected to over-recreation will have become entirely fatal for the salamander.