Saturday, 3 December 2011

High Tatras, Poland - (Land of wolf, bear and golden eagle)

The Tatras, situated on the border between Poland and Slovakia and with 25 summits above 2,500 metres, are the highest range of the Carpathian Mountains. This is a fantastic area for mountain walking. Your base could be Zakopane or the historic city of Krakow an hour away by car. This is a classic Alpine landscape with good trails. Rysy (2,499m) is Poland’s highest peak.

We only had two days walking/scrambling in the mountains in September 2007 but these were two full days with good weather and snow/ice on the tops from the previous winter. It was the rut so many stags were roaring in the woods on the mountain slopes. Wear a bell on your rucksack to make wild animals aware of your presence. On commencing your walk you will need to pay a small fee at a hut which is normally situated at the start of the marked trail.

Day 1 24-9-2007
Our first walk was to Suchy Wierch at 1,539m. We did not do Sarnia Skala 1,377m. We turned left at the col and then walked to Suchy Wierch and then went on to do another four mountains:
Giewant 1,894m
Maly Glewont 1,728m
Malolaczniak 2,096m
Krzesanica 2,122m.
You will see the Border marking posts.

At the col before reaching Kondracka Kopa 2,005m we turned to the left and took the path down to join the path we had taken in the morning and then back to the start of the trail.
o Left - Zakopane 10.10am
o Hut - 11.10am
o Col - 12.20pm
o 1st mountain – 1pm
o 2nd “ “ - 1.30pm
o 3rd “ “ - 1.50pm
o 4th “ “ - 2.15pm
o Col – 3pm
o Hut – 4pm
o Zakopane – 5pm
Thus seven hours on the mountains.

2nd Walk
We headed for Gzamy Staw Gasienicowy Lake, a beautiful location and went up to Skrajny 2,225m. This was very steep with a lot of snow and ice with chain grips in one section. You would not want to lose your footing and crampons are needed to be worn. We went along Eagle’s Ridge to Posredni Grana 2,234m and then to Zadni Grana 2,240m and then came back down to the Lake. I would recommend that Zadni Grana is done first with a walk along the ridge to Skrajny. Here you can make a decision, do you go down to the Lake or go back to Zadni Grana?
o Left Zakopane – 9.50am
o Hut – 11.20am
o Lake – 12.20pm
o 1st Mountain – 2.15pm
o 2nd “ “ - 3.00pm
o 3rd “ “ - 3.20pm
o Lake – 4.30pm
o Hut – 5pm
o Zakopane – 6.30pm

Thus eight hours forty minutes which was a long and hard day. We so enjoyed our two days in the Tatras.

Fraser Mackay

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