In the southwestern part of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, the Prespa valley to the west and Pelagonija to the east is Mount Baba, with the highest peak Pelister – 2,601 meters.
The legend of the origin of the name of Baba Mountain is written by Sotir Petrevski (“Autobiography” in typewriter.) The tradition says that once a grandmother had goats, so when the month of March almost passed, the grandmother drove the goats to graze on the mountain, saying: ” Go my little goats on the mountain, and fart to his beard (personification of the month of March). ” March, offended by grandmother, borrowed three days from his brother April. And in those three days it rained so much snow and got so cold that the grandmother and the goats froze and since then the mountain is called Baba („Grandmother“).
Mountain Baba is often referred as Pelister among the people (ancient Macedonian: Pelister · pigeon), though it is only the name of its highest peak. According to the surface it covers (436 km2) it is the thirteenth largest and according to the height (Pelister, 2,601 m) the third highest mountain in the Republic of N. Macedonia.
Pelister National Park is located in the southwestern part of the Republic of N.Macedonia and covers an area of 17.150 hectares. It was declared in 1948 as the first protected natural heritage in Macedonia, but with revision it was again declared a National park, and its territory increased by approximately 6,500 hectares by law in December 2007. It is characterized by a large number of peaks and sublime higher than 2000 meters, which are separated by deep valleys. The most striking of the relief forms of NP Pelister are the so-called „stone rivers “. They are inclined to the relief filled with blocks of rock of different composition.
National Park Pelister is located between Pelagonija in the east and Prespa Valley in the west. This park is actually a horst between these two valleys, more precisely between the Bitola Field to the east and the Resen Field and Lake Prespa to the west. The northern border of Baba Mountain, on the other hand, is the Gjavato (1,169 m), which separates it from Bigla Mountain, as well as the small Cape Valley. In the south, Pelister National park continues in Greece until the overwhelming Bigla (1,505 m), which separates the Baba Mountain from the Rift Mountain (Vich, 2,125 m), located in Greece. Through its southern part the peak ‘Rzana’ (2,334 m), extends the western part of the N. Macedonian-Greek border. Approximately 65% of Baba’s mountain range is in the territory of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, while 35% is in the territory of Greece. Baba has a north-south direction and is also symmetrical in appearance, since the mountain range is equally remote from the Prespa Valley and Pelagonia. By its tectonic position and composition of Baba rocks belong to the geotectonic unit western zone. Pelister and Baba massif is the southernmost part of the Rhodope Alpine mountain system. The mountain is bare, bent, undisturbed and has a length of 25 km. It is interspersed with more longitudinal as well as transverse fractures, which formed more blocks on it. The main tectonic dislocation extends to the east, where there are mineral springs. To the northeast, this dislocation merges with the deep fault, which represents the boundary between western N. Macedonia and the Pelagonija zone. A fault with a meridian stretching direction passes along the western edge and separates it from the Prespa valley. On the north side there is the North Pelister fault. NP Pelister and Baba as a mountain is divided into several cliffs. The main ridge begins in the north with the Vertech peak and ends in the south on the territory of Greece. This ridge separates the Adriatic and Aegean river basins. To the east and west of the main ridge are separated by several side ridges separated by river valleys. From the peaks of Pelister, Kozi Kamen and Shiroka, the separated reefs steeply descend north to the small Capricorn Valley. To the east, there is a gradual descent of the cliffs of Neolica and Debeli Reed to the valley of Dragor and Bratindolska River. In the west, more important reefs are Marushica, Rzana and Porta, which steeply descend into the valley of the Brajcinska River.
The relief is varied. At an altitude of 1,660 to 1,900 m, there are flat sections, broken down into several parallel valleys. The stone rivers are a characteristic relief form of Pelister and they range in height from 1,300 to 2,000 m. They are most prominent on the northern side of the Red Stena Lift and above the Kopanki site. Fluvial relief forms the plains. Furthermore, there is a belt of plains on the north, east and west foothills. They have several villages: Dragos, Velushina, Bistrica, Bukovo, Lavci, Trnovo, Magarevo, Kazani, Krani etc.
There are also glacial relief forms, which originate from the Pleistocene, when glaciers were located in the high parts of Baba. Of the glacial forms, circuses and mornings are present. Zirkovi is over 2000 m above sea level, and two of them are filled with water – the Big and the Little Lake, which the people call Pelister Eyes. The Great Lake is located at 2218 meters above sea level, 233 m long, 162 m wide and 14.5 m deep. The small lake is located at 2180 m asl. and is of a scale – 79 m long, 68 m wide and 2.6 m deep. Their basins are partitioned by sea. Other characteristic relief forms of Baba are the stone seas and the sliding blocks.
There are 24 peaks higher than 2000 meters. The most important peaks are:
Pelister (2,601 m)
Ilinden (2,542 m)
Windmill (2,420 m)
Rozana / Bojadziev Peak (2,334 m)
Wide (2,218 m)
Greaves (2,193 m)
Goats Stone (2,182 m)
High Hooka (2,182 m)
Bela Voda (2,156 m) (in Greece)
Srkovo (2,140 m)
Turnbuckle (2,010 m)
Babin Tooth (1,850 m)
Some of these peaks show a vast area – Solunska Glava to the north, Pelagonija and Kajmakchalan to the east, south and southwest view to the Greco-Albanian areas, and west to Prespa Lake, Galicica and Jablanica.
The largest expanses of the plant communities are the pine-wooded molikа forests, which as a pure community are found on an area of 1174 ha, and are also found in molikа-fir, molikа-beech, molikа-beech-fir, beech and oak-beech forests. Of particular importance is the presence of the Pinus peuce – an autochthonous tertiary-age relict that grows only in a few mountains on the Balkan Peninsula and reaches its ecological optimum of development at Mount Baba, extending from 1000 to altitude. over 2200 m. In the high mountainous part, endemic plants are found: Pelister (Crocus peristericus), Carnation (Dianthus myrtinervius), House-tree (Sempervivum octopodes), and Pelister (Alchemilla pelisterica).
The fauna deserves special attention: bear (Ursus arctos), deer (Capreolus capreolus), lynx (Lynx Lynx), chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), common deer (Cervus elaphus), wild boar (Susscrofa), gall partridge (Alect) the golden eagle (Aquila chrystaetos), the rocky creeper (Tichodroma muraria) and the red-lipped gal (Pyrrhocorax pyrrchocorax). The presence of endemic pelisteric trout (Salmo trutta peristericus) and Pelagonia stream trout (Salmo trutta pelagonicus) is significant among fish. Apart from these animals there are many other species of plants, fungi, arthropods, fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, etc., some of which are endemic. NP Pelister is a classic site for more than 20 plant species, 2 of which are local endemics. From vertebrates there are: 10 species of amphibians, 15 reptiles, 91 species of birds and 35 species of mammals.
- Salmo trutta peristericus (more specifically trout)
- Salmo trutta pelagonicus (trout)
- Iliodromus peristericus (Ostracodes)
- Eucypris diebeli
- Niphragus pancici peristericus (Amphipod Crab) -Great Lake
- Arcticocampus macedonicus (Harpacticoid crab)
- Brachydesmus peristerensis (Pelister Centrum)
- Alpaeus macedonica (Hardwood Insects)
- Cychrus attenuatus peristericus (Hardwood Insects)
- Duvaliotes peristericus (Hardwood Insects)
- Platyduvalius macedonicus (Hardwood Insects)
- Trechus hajeki (hardwood insects)
- Scythris crypta (small butterflies)
- Scythris similis (small butterflies)
- Hadena clara macedonica (Night Butterfly)
- Alchemilla peristerica (Pelister Sky)
- Sempervivum octopodes (one of the two endemic species of house-keeping)
- Jovibarba heuffelii var (one of the two endemic species of house-keeping)
- Crocus pelistericus (Pelister hornbeam)
- Festuca pelisterica
Pelister’s climate is mountainous and as such it is suitable for the development of mountain tourism (winter and summer). Tourism began to develop between World War I and World War II. On the slopes of the mountain are built more tourist recreational, mountain and sports facilities. The most attractive is the Hotel Molika, while there are also the mountains of Kopanki and Big Lake. At the top there is the antenna transmitter of the National Television, there is a working organization with capacity for counting 200-300 children, a funicular from Begova Cesma to Kopanki, ski lifts, several tourist organizations' capacities, and above the village Nizopole winter-summer recreation. HMS Center “Strezevo” with hotel accommodation, separate funicular and ski slope.