The ski season has started in the Beskids on Friday. However, it is better not to ignore the weather in the mountains – in Babia Góra, in the Tatra Mountains and the Bieszczady Mountains, the first level of avalanche risk is in force. The authorities of the Bieszczady National Park advise against hiking in the mountains.
On Friday, one of the ski lifts on Biały Krzyż was put into operation. As reported by the owners of the local ski complex, the conditions are very good. For several days, cannons have been producing artificial snow. Additionally, about 15 centimeters of natural snow fell.
– I like this place a lot. I always come here for the first time – a tourist from Katowice, who came to the beginning of the ski season in Szczyrk, told TVN24.
Avalanche danger at Babia Góra
Rescuers of the Beskidzka Group of the Mountain Volunteer Rescue Service announced on Thursday the first degree of avalanche danger at Babia Góra in the Beskids. Snowfall and strong winds caused drifts to form there. In the area of Babia Góra, the snow cover is uneven. “On average, it lies approx. 30 cm, but it can be up to 70 cm in points where it is wound. At the shelter in Markowe Szczawiny, it is 27 cm” – reported the rescuers of the Beskidzka Group of GOPR.
The avalanche risk is defined on a five-step, increasing scale. The first degree of avalanche risk means that snow cover is generally well-bound and stable. An avalanche can only be triggered with a high additional load in a few places on very steep or extreme slopes. A spontaneous descent of small and medium-sized avalanches is possible. “You should be especially careful on very steep slopes” – reported the gopowiec owners.
In the Tatras “there is ice under the fresh layer of snow”
As reported by TVN24 reporter Konrad Borusiewicz, there are no conditions for winter sports in the Tatras yet. He added that the conditions for hiking are “demanding”. There are even 70 centimeters of snow in some places.
“The trails are covered with a fresh layer of snow under which there is ice. It is still slippery. In the ridge parts the wind has created snow drifts in places, and in other places it has blown snow into the ice layer. The course of many trails is invisible. Moving in winter conditions, in higher parts of the Tatra Mountains, requires experience in assessing the local avalanche risk and having appropriate equipment (crampons, ice ax, helmet, ABC avalanche) and the ability to use it “- informs the Tatra National Park.
As the TPN emphasizes, it is slippery on the lower routes and access roads to the shelters. “When going to the lower parts of the mountains, we recommend taking handles and poles with you” – it was written. The first level of avalanche risk is in force in the Tatras.
Tourist conditions in the Bieszczady Mountains
According to the authorities of the Bieszczady National Park, due to heavy snowfall in the mountains, the conditions for mountain hiking have deteriorated sharply. There are fallen trees and overhanging branches on the trails. The trails are untouched, and the trees are covered with snow, threatening with further tree floods. “We strongly advise against going to the mountains at the moment!” – park authorities are warning.
There is 25 to half a meter of snow in the Bieszczady Mountains. Also there is an avalanche “number one”. Avalanche danger occurs mainly on leeward slopes. It concerns, inter alia, Wetlińska and Caryńska, Tarnica, Halicz, Wielka Rawka and Szeroki Wierch pastures.
As noted by the lifeguard on duty from the Bieszczady GOPR group, Jakub Dąbrowski, on Friday morning thermometers, incl. in Cisna and Ustrzyki Górne, they showed two or three degrees of frost. – It’s no wind everywhere. Visibility in the valleys does not exceed one kilometer, he added. In the opinion of GOPR, tourist conditions are difficult; some slippery mountain trails.
Ski lifts are not yet working in the Bieszczady Mountains and the Low Beskids.
When going to the mountains, you should have a charged mobile phone with the application “Rescue” with you. When planning a trip to the mountains, you should take into account that nightfall falls early. In the event of an accident, GOPR can be called on the free emergency phone number: 985 or 601 100 300.
We should take caloric food, warm drinks, flashlights, spare gloves, a hat and socks with us.
Main photo source: TVN24