Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring skiing - how to prepare our bike for a spring ski touring ride

The problem of spring ski touring is necessity to walk with a heavy backpack to reach the slope or culuoir covered with snow. 
On the other hand when everything is green all around, in the mountains we have the best conditions for skiing (exept for winter fresh pow of course). 
The snow is safe, because of stable snowpack and the low risk of avalanches. Moreover  the spring skiing is so awsome due to corn snow. It'a a wet but fast type of snow, usually found in springtime. Corn is so-named because of the large, rounded-off snow crystal structure that results from an ongoing melt-freeze cycle. Warm days melt the snowpack, allowing small cold grains to merge together, forming larger crystals. Clear, cold nights in the spring re-freeze these wet, larger crystals and they become slightly more angular (squarish, like a kernel of baby corn). The longer the melt-freeze cycle continues, the larger these grains become (
Spring days are longer, warmer and the slopes are less crowded than in winter time.
We should only remember to avoid the late day melt-down when the skiing becomes more like water floating and the frozen corn layer at the top of the snowpack during cloudy and cool or windy days after clear, cold nights because the snow is hard like a rock. 
But how to overcome the problem of a long and exhausting walk with a heavy backpack with skis, ski boots and other equipment attached to it. 
Today I came across an inspiring article about using our bike as a transport to our spring skiing goal. Sounds absurdly but it's very interesting alternative for walk. More at:
See below how to prepare our bike for a ski touring ride :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

High Tatras activities (aktywny wypoczynek w Tatrach)

Today I'd like to encourage all of you to come to Poland for ski touring, ski mountaineering, hiking, climbing (mixed, ice and summer). We have beautiful mountains - the Tatras (Tatra Mountains), with lot of high peaks above 2 000 meters, varied culuoirs, granite rock faces, multi - pitch climbing routes. 

"The Tatra Mountains are part of the Carpathian Range and run across the Polish-Slovakian border with about one quarter of the mountains in Poland. This beautiful area is geographically diverse and offers a wide range of recreational activities in all seasons" (

When to come - the whole year :) 
- ski touring, ski mountaineering, mixed and ice climbing - from December (but it depends on the snow conditions) till the May or even June (the best conditions for skiing from the Tatras highest peak - Rysy 2499 m above sea level);
- trekking, hiking, climbing - from May, June to October.

Below the short movie of ski touring and ski mountaineering activities - made by my friends in the Tatras in April 2014. 

... and nothing more to add :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Salatin mount (Salatyn) again

Last Saturday we were continuing to explore the Salatin Valley (Dolina Salatynska). 
This time we changed the most popular direction and instead of ascent via Central Culuoir of Salatin Mount we turned left to the small mountain pass. After a short rest we started climbing in a deep snow to the top of the short culuoir (see below on the pic). Because the weather was deteriorating hour by hour we decided not to climb higher towards the top of Small Salatin Mount (Mały Salatyn) but descend from the top of short culuoir (pic.)
The snow conditions were perfect, culuoir inclination - about 35 degree. It was short, but amazing descent. 
The possibility of skiing to the car park in Zverovka Ski Centre made us even more happier. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Crowded Salatin Mount (Salatyn)

2 weeks ago I spent Sunday with my friend on ski touring in Slovakia. 
At first we were going to ascend Babia Gora peak (Diablak). In the mountain hostel - Slana Voda they told us the snow conditions were good enough to do some ski tour (70 cm of snow above 900 above see level). Full of hope we came to the hostel on Saturday morning, where the mountain trail begins. 
Instead of winter conditions we saw snow... but only on the top, accessible after  2,5 hours of trekking with skis and boots on our backs.
Straight away we decided to travel to Zverovka in the West Tatras, only 54 km away from us. Our favourite place didn't let us down. The perfect snow and weather conditions were worth driving 2 hours more (in both sides) despite the fact the Salatin (the most accesible peak for ski alpinists in this part of the Slovakian Tatras) was crowded like never seen before. 

Salatin is 2048 m high, in West Tatras, close to Slovak/Polish boarder; locality - Zuberec (Zverovka), Salatin Valley.

Start: Rohacska Dolina, Ski Zverovka - 1030 m n.p.m.
Descent start: Salatin - 2047 m n.p.m.
Descent lenght: 2,6 km
Face: North
Inclination: 35 degree
Difficulty: S3
Ascent time: 2 h
Descent time: 50 min
Avalanche risk: huge
The best time: march - april

We chose the descent via the Central Culuoir (no 13 on the map below):

The culuoir was as crowded as the ski trail in the high season but I felt safety like never before because of a stable snow conditions and a lot of people :)