The beautiful Tatra mountains

The beautiful Tatra mountains
Zakopane Day Tripper

Sunday, 26 March 2017


The approach to Schronisko PTTK Murowaniec

Granaty is part of Orla Perć. There is no one way system on it so in theory it has two possible access routes. However, due to a serious, tricky chimney climb at Żleb Kulczyńskiego, it is best approached from Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy. This massif actually consists of three peaks and is the easiest section of Orla Perć.
To access it involves tramping up the blue trail signposted for Schronisko PTTK Murowaniec from Kuznice. From Murowaniec mountain hut keep following the blue trail, but this time it is signposted for Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy. Once at the lake, follow the shoreline to your left for around 800 metres.
 Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy
Presently you will arrive at markers for a yellow trail which gains height quickly as it crosses diagonally over a scree filled gully. Once this is crossed, proceed up the path to the right of the gully onto the western rib of Skrajny Granat. The path then zig-zags upwards to the summit with some areas secured with chains for extra security.
The yellow trail zig-zags up the final stretch to Skrajny Granat
From the summit of Skrajny Granat (2225 metres), follow the ridge in a southerly direction, crossing Pośredni Granat (2234 metres) to access the highest point at Zadni Granat (2240 metres).

Pośredni Granat and Zadni Granat as seen from the yellow trail
There is a slightly awkward bit which involves stepping across an open gap between rocks, but there is a chain to grip on to. If you choose to continue to follow the ridge from here, there are two descent options. The first and easiest is the green trail down the south west slope. The second is more challenging. It involves continuing on the ridge until you meet a very abrupt descent in the form of a long chimney. This does present difficulty as one has to reverse down it backwards hanging onto chains and making use of metal, stapled steps into the rock. Although exhilarating, it is not for the faint hearted!
Chimney down to Żleb Kulczyńskiego

From the base of the chimney, you proceed down the black trail at Żleb Kulczyńskiego which via a green leading onto yellow trail, eventually connects you back on the blue trail back to Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy.

Monday, 16 January 2017


Visitors to Zakopane for skiing should probably be warned, this is NOT a ski resort in the same sense as those one might venture to in the Alps. It is a town that has some areas for skiing. These areas are located separately and your choice of location must very much be governed by your ability and experience. It is probably not somewhere to select for a week of skiing. Rather, it is somewhere you can go and include skiing in other outdoor pursuits.
The skiing recommendations listed here starts with the biggest, most alpine area but then goes on to review some of the other complexes the town has to offer for all abilities.


Kasprowy Wierch Ski Website
This is the absolute BEST place to ski in Zakopane. It is alpine, located in two valleys fanning out from Kasprowy Wierch mountain which reaches an elevation of 1,987 metres. Since it is national park area, no snow cannons are allowed as they would disturb wildlife, so skiers must accept the snow conditions nature flings at them. This ski area, in lot of ways, is wonderfully undeveloped. I read somewhere that is is reminiscent of Austria at the end of the 19th century. However, that is not to say that it lacks the necessary uplift and infrastructure. Indeed, recent changes to how day passes operate has made this a super day out in some stunning scenery.
However, Kasprowy is only for intermediate and advanced skiers. Beginners, do not go here!

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Orla Perc - Tatra Terror!

Adventurous visitors to Zakopane and the Tatra mountains will definitely love Orla Perc ridge. It is documented as a via ferrata, but it actually isn't in the true sense as there are no cables to clip into. The ridge itself is best attempted in sections due to the long access walks to the marked routes, however, each segment of it certainly won't disappoint if you enjoy hanging off chains over sheer cliff faces and exposed gullies. Route descriptions are practically non-existent in English so click on this High Peaks page link to find out more detail and images.
Essential map for Orla Perc
Dramatic section of Orla Perc

Contemplating the looming obstacle ahead!
Looking down onto the Buczynowa Dolina (Beech Valley)

Views across to the High Tatras
Views over the Five Polish Ponds from Orla Perc
Scrambling Orla Perc stylee

Monday, 21 March 2016

Zakopane Easter Madness

If you happen to be in Zakopane on the 28th March, don't miss out on the Easter Monday madness at the Kalatówki  mountain hotel. It is quite a spectacle.
Locals dress up in old fashioned garb, don antiquated ski gear and hurtle down the ski slope fuelled by vodka. Singing, hilarity and craziness guaranteed.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Skiing in Zakopane? It would be rude not to!

Awesome skiing on Kasprowy, Zakopane today! Who needs the Alps!
These pictures are from the PKL Kasprowy Facebook page -  PKL Kasprowy - a useful link for checking out the ski conditions.

For more on skiing in Zakopane, check out the skiing page.

Monday, 8 February 2016


Zakopane style buildings are unique. They make for a lovely festive scene in the winter months.
Click the pages above to access the wonderful world of Zakopane.


Peaks detailed below involved plodding up marked trails to mountains which are big grassy lumps (unless otherwise stated). Although I have graded them as easy, in winter conditions they would be very challenging and therefore should not be attempted in the snow unless you have a map, compass, can navigate, are equipped with ice axe and crampons, and are experienced in handling mountains at this time of year.
However, in the summer, they present little difficulty apart from needing reasonable levels of fitness. Be warned though, in summer thunderstorms commonly bubble up and bring obvious hazards.

Kasprowy Wierch
This mountain is very well known across Poland and beyond because it offers the only area of alpine skiing in the country. As a result it boasts a cable car and two chairlifts. However, it is also an easy mountain to trek up in summer conditions (don't attempt in winter unless you are experienced in winter mountaineering as there are some dodgy areas where the snow hard packs, and ice axes and crampons are needed).

Breaking trail on Kasprowy in winter
In summer though, it is perfectly accessible for all abilities. I guess the down side is that after all your effort and sweat, you arrive at the top cable car station where there are hordes of people.
To get to Kasprowy, jump on one of the numerous minibuses from outside the bus station in Zakopane to Kuznice. Take the green trail which will eventually zig-zag you to the top after a couple of hours.
There are a variety of options to use to descend, one of them being to simply hop on the cable car!
Views to the High Tatras from Kasprowy