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Mount Bjelašnica is situated in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, only 25 km southwest from Sarajevo. It borders Mount Igman, where most of the XIV Olympic Games was held in disciplines such as Alpine and Nordic skiing and jumps.
The winter, lasting from November till May, creates snowdrifts reaching several meters in height, thus posing a special challenge to ski sports fans. This time of the year is particularly interesting exactly for the landscape offered by this mountain, covered with snow overlay resembling a white desert overspread with sun beams, above which stretches nothing but the blue skies.
The beauty of this mountain is enhanced by the temper of its climate. It is a result of the geographic position of Bjelašnica in the Dinarides, its geological composition and sea level. The highest portion of the Dinarides saddle toward the Adriatic sea, stretching 300 m in length, is a meeting point of two climates - Mediterranean and continental. Air masses moving from the sea and from the mountain clash on Mount Bjelašnica. Such a clash results in rain and snow precipitations in fall, and in winter they are accompanied by intensive snowing, whose residues remain until deep in spring.These climatic characteristics are suitable for winter sports.
On its highest peak (2067 m above sea level) a meteorological station was installed in 1984, which is at the same time the highest point of permanent settlement in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The peak itself was named after that - Observatory, and the mountain itself was named after the whiteness (White Mountain - Bjelašnica) of its rock and of snow that remains on its top parts almost until August.
It is characterized by extreme climate changeability, so it is possible to experience three seasons almost in one day. Winters are extremely severe and long lasting, so the spring time may be felt only in mid May, while short summers may be accompanied by waves of cold air. The average annual temperature reaches only 0.7°C due to exceptionally low temperatures in winter. The highest temperature reaches 24°C, while the lowest one can drop down to -41°C. In summer, the mountain is covered with a layer of thick green grass, and in winter with snow sometimes reaching even 4 m in height. Strong winds and thunder strikes represent climatic features of this magnificent Bosnian beauty.
Last update:11/24/08