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The Rebro sector in Blagaj is the youngest climbing area and has experienced the biggest expansion in the last couple of years, so we started with it first. It is located at an altitude of 310m, 20 minutes walk along a marked mountain path from the parking lot at the foot of the cultural and historical monument – Herceg Stjepan Fortress. There is also a young climbing club in Blagaj – Blagaj Climbing and Eco Center Blagaj near the climbing area, which accepted the idea with enthusiasm and offered to help with the realization, which was of great importance to us.

Over time, the lack of a natural shelter around the climbing area was noticed. In the event of a sudden bad weather, it happened that the climber’s equipment got wet and was damaged because the climber did not have time to pick up all the equipment and get to the base camp or parked vehicle where he could take shelter. There was also a need for a space where athletes could change clothes, settle in, get comfortable and prepare for climbing and riding.

The idea came from Zorana Ugljen (architect and climber) and climbers and trainers who lead ASPK Neretva from Mostar – Vedran Ugljen, to make a space where climbers can take shelter. For many years he has been involved in the affirmation of sport climbing in BiH, (he trains children, takes them to competitions, equips routes and climbing areas, etc). He is one of the pioneers in this sport and has motivated many to climb and some to form other clubs in Herzegovina.

This is the first in a series of planned four Ca’biners (from the word carabiner) on four climbing areas in Herzegovina, where we live and work after all. It is the first shelter in nature for climbers in BiH within a climbing area.

“Sport climbers perform most of their activities in nature on rocks. The winter season is used for training in Boulder halls, and as soon as the first sun and warm weather allow, the equipment is ready and the climbers go to the rock. In addition to training and recreational climbing, competitions, festivals and annual courses for beginners, numerous educations and outdoor workshops for children and adults are often held on the rocks. The aim of these workshops is to initiate the participants to perform regular physical activity and a healthy life and stay in nature as a prevention and a kind of “ecotherapy”.

The project would take place under the guidance and supervision of sport climbing instructors and mountaineering guides licensed by the FBiH Mountaineering Association.

ASPK Neretva wants to build Climbing Shelters in the coming period, with the aim of promoting the sport, which will officially become an Olympic discipline in 2020, or “Shelter for singers” within larger climbing areas on the territory of Herzegovina. This shelter will also be a first aid station, accommodation for competitors / climbers, a space for training and workshops, a shelter for numerous climbing equipment damaged by wetting, and a place for climbers to stay and spend the night equipping routes, preparing competitions and workshops and on that occasion, they stay on the site for several days.


ASPK “Neretva” is a unique sports club in the city and Herzegovina that has existed for 10 years. The club is engaged in the education of sport climbers of all ages and thus has over 100 members. In the calendar of its activities, the club participates in many competitions both in Bosnia and Herzegovina and abroad. Our members achieve enviable results in all performances in which they represent the club and our country in the right light. In our climbing center “Neretva” within the University “Džemal Bijedić” there is the largest artificial rock of closed type in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which can accommodate a large number of interested people in this sport, and the club regularly participates in the organization of the National Championship. . Our mission is to promote outdoor sports, both in the city and the region, activating young people through a series of physical activities in nature and in the gym, staying in the natural environment, developing the tourist potential of natural rocks in Herzegovina and education and general culture towards nature and environment . ”

Currently, numerous EU projects are being implemented in BiH with the aim of equipping the climbing area and ferrata Via Dinarica. There was no room for us and our idea … Then we asked for finances locally, state-owned, and only my husband’s persistence, which sent the text of the project to all possible open calls, deserved credit, and we got one. What we could ask for in that project are the funds equivalent to building one Cabiner, and we got 1/3 of that money, the rest we managed on our own. As I wrote in the post, with fear of the possibility of realization because we have neither the money for everything planned, nor the craft skills, we embarked on an adventure. Because life is free-climbing.

It is important to emphasize that we participated with personal funds, donations from individual members of the club and sympathizers – both in money and in material – eg window and door. Volunteers who brought the material up to the location, who participated in the construction and helped – members of the clubs ASPK Neretva, Blagaj Climbing, Youth Club Novi Val and many sympathizers and acquaintances who love the mountains and the mountain spirit. A magical atmosphere was created on the first day and this object went viral. The author of the project is me, the architect Zorana Ugljen. I have been cultivating my love for stone and climbing since I was a child and for my first mountaineering steps on Velebit. As a child, I participated in the construction of shepherd’s stone houses with a thatched roof, now we call them modern shelter and thus determined my life path forever. I have been dealing with architectural design for more than 10 years and this is the first time I have built a building like this – where I am a designer, constructor and worker.

Given that there is no electricity or water on the site, that it is 20 minutes walk uphill from the main road, it was necessary to design a structure that will be easily installed in the field by ordinary people (we could not pay the masters), use material that will be light to wear and, if possible, use everything that nature gives us “for free”. The site is rich in crushed stone, which was not difficult to collect for building the foundation and placing the house on a pedestal.
The building consists of a wooden skeleton of 9 frames in the shape of a pentagon, the elements of which we cut in the garage, marked the way of assembling and stacked them on the ground like Lego cubes. Once the structure was erected, it was easy to lift and close on all sides. The basic material for the construction, covering and cladding of the interior is cut wood-colarica which will eventually be coated with natural wax.

The shelter is suitable for sleeping up to 6 people (two places in the horseshoe and 4 drop beds in the main part) and for the stay, lecture and socializing of several climbers. This is our first Ca’biner, the so-called prototype, adapted to the fund and location. Each one will have its own original form and its own story. I gave up on the originally planned A-shaped design, depriving it of its so-called unnecessary space and reducing the contact surface with the ground. This house is made to age over time with us. It is upgraded and improved with each new idea of ​​its builders and visitors. The building is alive and changing. We will learn a lot more from him, and then we will start with the order…

There are four important climbing areas on the territory of Herzegovina – Stolac above Mostar, Blagaj, Drežnica and the North side of Velež…