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we are known for the fact that in recent years in Macedonia mountaineering is widespread and more popular and in general outdoor sports.
The Balkans have a decade-long tradition in mountaineering, thanks to the constitution of the terrain, which is mostly hilly and mountainous.
Although at an insufficient level, mountaineering was also present in our country, but the fact is that in recent years it is experiencing a complete revival, thanks to the fashion coming from the west, the easy promotion of social networks and the interest in a healthy lifestyle.
But what is the situation in Serbia, a country that does not have very high mountains, but is close to us and where can we access relatively quickly for some mountain outdoor activity?
Regarding the population of Serbia, the number of mountaineers in the country is relatively small.
Serbia has about 16,000 members of mountaineering associations and clubs and it seems that in recent years the situation is changing for the better and mountaineering is becoming increasingly popular.
The other republics of the former Yugoslavia, especially their capitals, have a large number of registered mountaineers.
But that can be explained by the fact that they are surrounded by high mountains that are easy to reach.
These are Sarajevo, Podgorica, Skopje, Ljubljana.
However, although Belgrade does not have a high mountain in its vicinity (as in all of Serbia), the interest in mountaineering has always existed, in recent years, and especially this year, it has begun to approach its “golden age” of the 1980s.
Boris Misic, president of the Pobeda mountaineering association, agrees, saying there were more than 30,000 mountaineers in Serbia in the 1960s.
A year ago, the number of members dropped to ten thousand, and in the last 6-7 years there has been a noticeable increase in interest in membership.
The numbers that I presented refer to the members of the Mountaineering Association of Serbia, but still, there are a large number of our residents who deal with this outside the institution, which is not good – says Misic.
Finally, our people, following the trends in the world, realized that staying and moving in nature is very useful and relaxing.
The reasons for the increased activity in nature are the propaganda that has increased on TV and other media, and the mountaineering organization has increased its visibility with its efforts in the last ten years and attracts more and younger members with new disciplines – says Misic from Pobeda, a club that counts 3000 members.
Mountaineers in Serbia come from all social and educational structures, from university professors to primary schools.
Women are the most numerous, but there are the least young. About 36% of our members are men, and 64% are women.
Unfortunately, the age structure is unfavorable in relation to our desires. Only 7% are children under 14, young people aged 14 to 27 also make up 7% of the membership.
The elderly from 27 to 45 years make up 30%, and the most numerous are those aged 45 to 65 years, ie. 38%. Finally, veterans – over 65 – make up 18% of the membership, Micic said.
There are many successful businessmen among the mountaineers in Pobeda, including pensioners with the lowest incomes, and the situation is similar in Zelezleznicar.
Women are the most numerous in mountaineering. Unfortunately, young people did not recognize themselves in mountaineering.
Most of them are middle-aged members and retirees – says Maric from the mountaineering association Zezeleznicar. The activities in the mountaineering associations take place throughout the year, and are most numerous from the end of March to November.
According to the annual calendar, we have planned 344 actions. Of course, about two thirds of the shares have been realized. Usually every weekend we have 3-4 actions with a total of about 150 mountaineers – says Maric from Zezeleznicar.
It is similar in Pobeda, where they have 300 to 400 shares per year. Every weekend, Pobeda organizes more than five actions, with different weights, from a weekly trip to Avala, through the low and medium mountains to the high mountains.
Also, our members compete in mountaineering, trekking, orienteering, mountain running, and mountain biking… Our members, it is true that a small number, also deal with mountaineering and speleology – says Misic from Pobeda.
If one wants to go hiking, one must first join one of the more than 160 clubs in Serbia. In this way they increase their safety and security, appeal the professionals.
Each member is insured against injury or death during the action. In this way, it also ensures that it is guided by trained hiking or hiking guides that guarantee safe and quality action. And for a start, you should start with easy, low mountains, and with gaining experience, start with higher and harder tours – says Misic.
For starters, easier tours around Belgrade and Central Serbia are advised by Zeleznicar.
Training for beginners for mountaineering is organized in all mountaineering societies, and in Zelezncar for 20 years a winter school for mountaineering has been organized – concludes Maric.