Bjelašnica

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In addition to Jahorina, Vlašić, Kupres and Blidinje, Bjelašnica is one of the leading ski centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bjelašnica is also the highest ski center in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bjelašnica mountain is located in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the southwest, at a distance of only 25 km from Sarajevo. Next to it is the Igman mountain, which was the venue of most of the Alpine and Nordic disciplines competitions and jumps of the 14th Winter Olympic Games.

The winter on Bjelašnica lasts from November to May. A particular attraction are the high snow heaps that may reach even several meters. Winters are particularly interesting exactly due to the snow covered mountain landscape, like a white, sun-bathed desert with nothing but the sky above it.

A weather station was built in the highest part, at 2067 m above sea level in 1894, which is also the highest permanently inhabited point in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The peak was thus named Observatory, and the name of the mountain stems from the whiteness of stone and snow that may be found on the peaks even until August.

The beauty of the mountain is enhanced by the variability of its climate. It is the result of the geographic position of Bjelašnica in the Dinaric mountains, the geological composition and height above sea level. The highest part of the Dinaric chain towards the Adriatic, with a length of 300 m, is the border between the influence of two climates – Mediterranean and continental one. Bjelašnica is thus the point of contact of air masses from the sea and the mountains. Such a contact results in rain and snow during fall and large quantities of snow during winter, which stay for a long time even during spring. Such climate peculiarities are a good basis for the development of winter sports.

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Winters are extraordinarily harsh and long, so that spring may be felt only in mid May, and short summers may be followed by waves of cold air. The average annual temperature amounts to only 0.7°C due to extremely low winter temperatures. The highest temperature is 24°C, and the lowest -41°C. During summer, the mountain is covered by thick green grass, and during winter by high snow that may reach up to 4 m. Strong winds and thunders are typical of this magnificent Bosnian mountain beauty.

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