The rock climbing around Banja Luka is the largest density of climbing areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are shown on the map opposite. Along the Vrbas River to the south of Banja Luka there is plenty of great sport climbing on excellent rock, and with the Tijesno Canyon with multi-pitch routes up to 210m high.
Further south is Pecka, a true Margalef-style jewel, and one of the best, largest and most beautiful sport climbing areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The crag lies in a remote area full of green forests close to the village of Ubovica Brdo. The limestone rock is extremely pocketed with a mixture of sharp crimpy edges, and there are well over 100 sport single pitch sport routes. Here there are slabs, long vertical walls and big overhangs that are all very well bolted. Pecka is a paradise for routes in the French 6’s, with plenty of high quality F5’s and F7’s as well. Plus there are some hard routes in the F8’s with up to 60 degrees of overhanging rock. Virtually all the sectors face south, so from June to September it is too hot to climb, with the best conditions in the spring and autumn.
Tijesno Canyon rises around 250m from the road with finger like ridges that face both east and west. The climbing is very varied, on solid limestone rock of different colours, styles and angles. There are hard and steep endurance routes, slaby old-school sneaking, logical trad lines and fun jug-pulling routes. There are 45 multi-pitch routes up to 210m high along with some single pitch routes mostly in the F6’s and F7’s. There are also some spectacular steep walls with 70 to 100m long iconic overhangs. The routes are on grey and orange rock, full of crimps, pockets and tufas, with the biggest density of hard routes and projects in the country, with potential for many more. It is possible to climb all year round as you can always find sun or shade on the east and west facing sectors.
There are other good crags in this area such as the bouldering at Zvecaj, and sport climbing at Kameni most, Zeciji kamen and Klekovaca. The bouldering at Zvecaj is on typical limestone rock with sharp holds on overhanging and vertical rock. Kameni most is an impressive stone arch, one of the few in southeast Europe. Only 20 minutes from the road in a peaceful flowery pasture it has perfect rock with routes up to 40m long facing all orientations. Zeciji kamen in Kozara National Park, and Klekovaca have premium compact limestone rock, and are located in beautiful remote-feeling natural surroundings.
List of the rock climbing areas in the Krajina Region around Banja Luka
|No||Crag||Total No of routes||Number of routes in the grade range||Max Height|
|Up to 4c||5a to 5c+||6a to 6c+||7a to 7c+||8a and above|
Banja Luka has its own International airport, with other good options being the airports at Sarajevo and Zagreb in Croatia. Banja Luka is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s second largest city, with a busy street life and a small music and culture scene. There are many cafes, bars, bakeries and parks to explore, plus many accommodation options.
It is possible to climb throughout the year on the crags in this northwest part of Bosnia and Herzegovina though the best conditions are generally found in the spring and autumn.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina rock climbing guidebook covers 34 climbing areas, including all of those around Banja Luka. In total it details around 800 single pitch sport routes, 60 multi-pitch routes and an additional 100 boulder problems. It also includes valuable information regarding travel and accommodation.