In 1889, Kniaz Ferdinand initiated the first organized climb of the highest peak on the Balkans- the Musala. The “expedition” included some 20-25 people.
In 1924, based on the initiative of the Samokov senior high school principal – Ivan Velchev, through donations and volunteer work, the first cabin was built – Musala, also known as, Klekova Hija (dwarf-pine cabin).
“I remember how the wooden Musala cabin was built. With principal Velchev, a few more teachers and the principals of the Junior tourist association, we decided on the location during a winter march in the deep snow. All the area was then the King’s property and he not only gave his permission to use the land but also had his superintendent dismiss a platoon from the Kings guard to help with cutting the dwarf-trees and preparing the terrain. We, the students were camping near the Velchovo Moste on weekends. We carried the cut trees out the ravine to a more even terrain and from there Vasil Arnautino took them with his horses, to the Musala lake.
As funds were also needed, a group of students and teachers organized a fund raising campaign with all of the wealthy local businessmen, such as the owners of Badashtnost, Musala factories and the tobacco warehouses. Some 5 000 Bulgarian levs were raised, which was quite a large sum for that time. A local forest worker – Andon Blajov – was in charge of the construction works. To resist the powerful winds, the cabin was surrounded on the outside by hollow columns, which the students filled with stones. The construction works started in the summer of 1921. In two-to-three years, the cabin was completed and it was there that we celebrated the 1925 New Year’s Eve. (memories of Dimitar Vajarov)