Interview with the head of the Pristina Climbers’ Club, Nazmi Hasanramaj
In an interview for IBNA news agency, the head of the Pristina Climbers’ Club (PCC), Nazmi Hasanramaj talks about climbing in Kosovo, as a sport which has been in stagnation during the ‘90s, but which has made a strong come back in the recent years. Hasanramaj says that so far, PCC has conducted hundreds of climbs of all categories, starting from T1 to T6, according to the parameters of the Swiss Alpine Club. As far as the ambitions or goals for these climbs are concerned, he says that climbers from this club are also experienced in difficult climbs such as in Kilimanjaro and Mount Blanc, over five thousand meters high. Hasanramaj says that this sport offers freedom and courage to live in a successful way with nature and that they do not have limits in their goals. In this interview for IBNA, Hasanramaj says that this year, PCC will conduct around 50 to 60 activities that relate to its program. “These activities vary group walks to alpine climbing or mountain cycling. This also includes the climb planned for the month of July, which will be held in Mount Blanc, France. This expedition will also have female climbers, something new in this sport in our country”, says he.
IBNA: Climbing is a new sport in Kosovo. Is there a lot of interest about this activity and how many such clubs are around?
Hasanramaj: Climbing, mountaineering, recreational walks and other outdoor sports , are not new sports in Kosovo, but there’s been a pause in their development. This pause happened in the 1990s due to the political situation.
Today, interest for climbing is even greater, because the quality and quantity of sports people has grown. In one day alone, 150 people were part of the climbing conducted by Pristina Climbers’ Club.
There are two climbing clubs in Kosovo, but there are also Mountaineering Associations which have sectors of climbing, although they do not exert activities in this domain. So, there are only two climbing clubs.
IBNA: How was it founded and whose was the idea to open the Pristina Climbers’ Club?
Hasanramaj: PCC has been founded by climbers, tour guides and licensed coaches in mountain sports. The long experience in these sports, the composition of sports people and their sport affinities, offered optimal conditions for the legal finalization of Pristina Climbers’ Club.
The founders of Pristina Climbers’ Club are: Nazmi Hasanramaj (climber and licensed tour guide with a 20 years experience); Haki Hasanramaj (climber, trainer and licensed tour guide with a 20 years experience); Qendrim Sopi (climber and licensed tour guide with a 13 years experience) and other people who consist of the manager of the other club sectors, such as the social network, communication, drafting of projects and their management, the work with children sector, etc.
IBNA: What sort of heights aims your club?
Hasanramaj: PCC has conducted hundreds of climbs of all categories, starting from the T1 to the T6 category, based on the parameters of the Swiss Alpine Club. It has also conducted climbs in the Classic Climbing style, reaching a 7+ level according to UIAA (World Association of Mountaineering and Climbing). As far as ambitions or climbing aims are concerned, we are also experienced in difficult climbs such as in Kilimanjaro and Mount Blanc, which are over 5 thousand meters high, but we have also climbed peaks in Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Bosnia, etc. This is an indicator that our aims have no limits… this sport offers freedom and courage to successfully live with nature.
IBNA: How many activities have you realized up until now and how many of them have been successful?
Hasanramaj: As we said above, we have conducted hundreds of climbs and we have never had accidents, losses or disgraces. The success of a mountain climb is measured with the quality of leadership and organization, number of participants and the safety of participants. So far, every mission has been successfully guided and finalized.
IBNA: What sort of categories is Kosovo suitable for and how many categories walking is divided into?
Hasanramaj: Six categories (from T1 to T6) are recognized in walking and this is based on the standards of the Swiss Alpine Club. Kosovo is suitable for walks from T2 to T5. Also, climbing categories are divided into 11 categories, according to UIAA and almost all categories are possible in Kosovo; although a category no higher than 9 has been achieved here.
IBNA: Is your next category taking place in the country or abroad?
Hasanramaj: In 2015, PCC will hold 50 or 60 activities that relate to our program. These activities vary from group walks to climbing or mountain cycling. This also includes the climbing planned in July, which will be held in Mount Blanc, in France. This expedition also includes female climbers, which is something new for this sport in our country. /ibna/