Jahorina, as a modern ski resort, does not have issues with avalanches; however, some skiers and snowboarders choose to venture into the unknown, putting their lives at risk.

The snow depth on Jahorina during the season often exceeds 80 cm, and in some parts, it can even surpass 150 cm. In these steep and ungroomed mountain cliffs, there is a real risk of triggering smaller avalanches.

One of the most tragic events in the history of Jahorina occurred in 2006 when Lithuanian citizen Arvidas Zigis lost his life after being buried by an avalanche near the Skočine cable car. The rescue team managed to locate and reach him within 40 minutes, but unfortunately, it was not enough to save his life.

A tragic incident occurred on January 31, 2010, on Jahorina, when a twenty-six-year-old girl from Banja Luka lost her life in an avalanche on a part of the trail that was prohibited for skiing. On the same day, a boy was injured less severely. The accident happened around 2:00 PM when skiers, contrary to the rules, were on an ungroomed part of the trail where skiing was prohibited, resulting in the triggering of part of the avalanche. The boy managed to free himself from the avalanche, while the girl remained trapped between two trees in the forest, at a depth of one and a half meters of snow.

Sign on Jahorina
Sign on Jahorina

The avalanche was 50 meters wide and 200 meters long. The first information received by the rescue teams was that a skier had fallen into a hole in the forest. However, when the Mountain Rescue Service teams arrived at the scene, the young man who was there told them that the avalanche had buried the girl and showed them the place where he had last seen her. Rescuers were able to locate the girl and extract her from the avalanche within half an hour, but unfortunately, resuscitation efforts were not successful. The accident occurred on the upper part of the trail in the forest, at a location known as “S” – the women’s Olympic descent, which is inaccessible to skiers.

This incident clearly highlights the seriousness of the situation and the need to respect signs on the ski resort. Skiers should exercise extra caution and adhere to safety guidelines. It is recommended to use only groomed parts of the ski resort, carefully prepared by the staff for skiing. Avoiding areas of the mountain known for a high risk of avalanches is crucial, particularly emphasizing the danger between the Skočine and Olympic descent trails, as this trail is not maintained for skiing during the season and is very steep.

For their own safety, skiers should refrain from venturing outside the designated ski area. Warning signs have been placed along hazardous areas, and experts regularly assess the risk of avalanches. However, the responsibility also lies with the skiers themselves to follow instructions and remain aware of the dangers that exist in ungroomed parts of the ski resort.

Considering the tragic event in 2006, the risk of avalanches on Jahorina is real. Skiers must be aware of the risks, adhere to safety guidelines, and avoid hazardous areas to enjoy skiing with minimal risk of accidents.