Winter has already arrived in the higher parts of the Tatra Mountains, and in the lower parts it is even summer. Mountain rescuers and employees of the Tatra National Park warn against expeditions, among other things, due to the constantly changing weather.
– We have two seasons at the same time. Above v Tatra Mountains there is a dark layer of snow, in many places ice, while lower down it is wet and muddy. So we have some summer conditions, some winter conditions – said Jan Krzeptowski-Sabała from the Tatra National Park.
– We must remember that these are very difficult conditions, sometimes even more difficult than in a typical winter. […] There is little snow, there are a lot of protruding stones, there is a lot of icing and you need to pay special attention to this – added Edward Lichota from the Tatra Volunteer Emergency Service.
Only for experienced people
For now, there are no concerns about avalanches, but as Lichota noted, the snow layer will hold worse in all places with grassy surfaces.
An additional element that makes hiking difficult is the dynamic weather. It is windy, there is precipitation, cloud cover significantly reduces visibility, and the aura often changes. Lichota said that hiking conditions are “very demanding” and “only for really experienced hikers.”
Krzeptowski-Sabała noted that because the wind is much stronger in places, snow may be blown in. Both mountain experts recommend appropriate winter equipment.
– It can be expected that the first snow deposits will form. So the conditions are difficult to move around in crampons, but on the other hand, without crampons you can slip and fall, so if someone is still prepared for summer conditions – they don’t have winter equipment, they don’t have experience, they shouldn’t go to those areas where they are already white, come in – said Krzeptowski-Sabała.
– Before going to such mountains, you should definitely check the conditions on the trails, weather forecast and adapt the plan to current conditions. Not sick ambitions, just common sense – added Lichota. – Let’s remember that the days are shorter. Please note that wind gusts are very strong in the mountains, often making hiking impossible, especially in such peak areas. And you should take it to heart that in such conditions you don’t necessarily have to go higher, but stay lower – concluded the rescuer.
Main photo source: TPN