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mcrtchly
2013-02-03 22:12:18
"Hut at Popradské Pleso lit by moonlight" from mcrtchly Contract pics
Picture: Hut at Popradské Pleso lit by moonlight (Contract pics)

Snow Shoeing in Poland and Slovakia
Eager to escape the wet Irish winter and to practice our skills in winter hill walking we booked a cheap Ryanair flight to Kraków in Poland. Our target was the Tatras mountain region in S. Poland and N. Slovakia. In winter the highest summits are difficult to reach and in Slovakia the high mountains are closed from November to June, but there are plenty of low level routes which are easily accessible in winter.

From Kraków we drove south to Sromowce Nizne on the edge of the Pieninski National Park on the border between Poland and Slovakia. The Dunajec River marks the border and a footbridge constructed in 2010 allows unrestricted access between the two countries. East of the Sromowce Nizne, the river enters a narrow limestone gorge and is popular for rafting in the summer. In the winter there is an easy walk through the gorge on the Slovakian side. On the Polish side is the Trzy Korony massif (Three Crowns) of which the highest peak is Okraglica at 982m. There is a fine circular walk to the top of Okraglica which took us about 4 hours. In Sromowce Nizne we stayed in the Hotel Nad Przelomem.

A drive into Slovakia lead us to the High Tatras mountains and the Slovakian ski resort of Štrbské Pleso. Many of the nearby towns also provide accommodation for skiers and these have an uneasy mix of pre-WW2 architecture and gaunt Communist concrete blocks. Keen to avoid the skiers, we headed for the mountain hostel (Horský Hotel) at Popradské Pleso. This hostel is used in summer by those climbing the highest mountains in Poland (Rysy at 2499m) or Slovakia (Gerlachovský štít at 2655m). A 5km walk is needed along a well marked track to get to the hostel.

Our next stop was in the Malá Fatra mountains about 25km east of the city of Žilina. We stayed in the Hotel Diery near to the village of Terchová on the edge Jánošík National Park (named after an early C18th Slovakian Robin Hood like figure). Here the main attractions are the spectacular Jánošík limestone gorges along the River Diery. We followed the gorges to a col at 1200m (Medzirozsutce) using a variety of fixed ladders, bridges and cables. From this col we climbed Malý Rozsutec (1344m). In winter the climb of Malý Rozsutec was exhilarating and challenging to say the least and crampons were needed in places. There are fixed aids on the steep parts of the route but many of these where buried in snow and ice, so protection from precipitous drops was minimal. From the summit of Malý Rozsutec, a very steep climb down a gulley is the prelude to a long descent through mature forest back to the hotel. Here the food and drink was exceptional, served in a traditional Slovak restaurant.

We highly recommend a visit to this part of Eastern Europe. There is plenty to satisfy the tastes of all hikers. Just as good is the great value of the accommodation, food and beer. If you are interested we have uploaded videos onto YouTube (http://youtu.be/ihEiWCBRsgM and http://youtu.be/hGhE785tBNE).


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>
Track
Camenabologue SE
Bunsen7 9 hours ago.
This shortish alternative track makes use of a forest ride (as heralded by Simon3) from Glenmalure to reach Camenabol... walk, Len: 10.6km, Climb: 664m, Area: Camenabologue SE Top, Dublin/Wicklow (Ir

  
Track
Mullaghcleevaun circuit
osullivanm 10 hours ago.
A very pleasant circuit although some difficult ground between Duff Hill and the return to start of hike. walk, Len: 17.3km, Climb: 792m, Area: Black Hill, Dublin/Wicklow (Ireland) Blac...

  
Forum: General
An Alp for OAPs...
Colin Murphy 2 days ago.
If you an ageing hillwalker like myself who might have liked to bag an ‘Alp’ but are too long in the tooth to contemplate such an adventure, fear not, there is a simple little Austrian Alp you can...

Summit Comment
Scrabo Hill: Hill with a tower on top
Wilderness 4 days ago.
The hill on its own is 160 meters high and the tower is 40 meters high. The tower is closed during the winter months.The hill can be climbed from the car park just below the Golf Clubhouse at J475...

  
Summit Comment
Divis: Great views
Wilderness 3 days ago.
The car park is quite high up on the west side of the mountain at J266741. There are a number of different trails to walk around on Divis and Black mountain. Divis is the highest point (478m), wi...

  
Track
Bonscale Pike-Wether Hill Loop
David-Guenot 4 days ago.
A beautiful route which takes in 6 wainwrights (Bonscale Pike, Arthur's Pike, Loadpot Hill, Wether Hill, Steel Knotts... walk, Len: 17.3km, Climb: 948m, Area: Swarth Fell (Ullswater), Lake District -

Forum: General
MOUNTAINVIEWS MEMBERS MEET APRIL 2018
liz50 3 days ago.
Not long now until the first Mountainviews members meet of 2018. We will be walking in the Galtee mountains on Saturday 28th April. If you are thinking of joining us and would like more details pl...

  
Summit Comment
Keelogyboy Mtn Far E Top: A small beautifully shaped mountain.
Wilderness 5 days ago.
This mountain is easy to recognise because of its shape. A good place to start is at Doon Lough car park at G794363. From here walk down the R278 towards Sligo and take the second country road on ...

  
Track
Great Mell Fell
David-Guenot 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 3.2km, Climb: 277m, Area: Great Mell Fell, Lake District - Eastern F...

Summit Comment
Cloghernagh: Snow Covered Plateau
davsheen a week ago.
Cloghernagh and Lug taken from Croghanmoira

  
Forum: General
The Independent State
BleckCra 5 days ago.
Independence of Ireland from Britain but not from Europe. Independence of Catalonia from Spain but not from a Spanish jail. Independence of Scotland from no one but definitely from England. Indepe...

  
Track
Little Mell Fell
David-Guenot 4 days ago.
walk, Len: 1.2km, Climb: 130m, Area: Little Mell Fell, Lake District - Eastern ...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 15 Next page >>