A 32-year-old tourist from Poland tried to reach the peak in the Low Tatras in Slovakia on his own, but was defeated by difficult weather conditions. The man hid from the snowstorm behind a rock and called for help. When rescuers reached him, he was “slightly hypothermic.” Rescuers also had an exceptionally busy day on the slopes – in one day they intervened in as many as 60 accidents, mostly involving skiers and snowboarders.
The incident took place on Tuesday (December 26) in the evening. A 32-year-old tourist from Poland went on a lonely hike along the ridge of the Low Tatras. He planned to cover the route from the top of Kráľova hoľa to the top of Andrejcová, where the shelter is located. The 32-year-old wanted to spend the night there.
The Pole’s plans were thwarted by the weather. Near the top of Stredná hoľa, still very far from the destination, the man lost strength. Exhausted, he hid behind the trail and called the number of the Tatra Volunteer Emergency Service.
The tourist was “slightly hypothermic”
TOPR operates in the Polish Tatra Mountains, so the rescuers asked for help from their Slovak colleagues from Horska Zachranna Serwis (HZS). Five rescuers set off into the mountains.
“The tourist described his location and finally sent his coordinates. He stayed on site and was found relatively quickly in the fog and strong winds. Because he was slightly hypothermic, rescuers warmed him up, provided him with food and warm drinks,” we read in the HZS press release.
After warming up, the 32-year-old, assisted by rescuers, returned to the top of Kráľova hoľa, from where he was transported to a safe area by a tracked vehicle. Nothing happened to the Polish tourist and his hospitalization was not required.
Accidents of skiers and snowboarders in the mountains
As HZS rescuers informed in a statement, Wednesday (December 27) was a particularly busy day for them. As many as 60 accidents occurred in Slovak ski resorts. They occurred mainly as a result of collisions between skiers and snowboarders, although serious falls also occurred.
“On the northern side of Chopek (a peak in the Low Tatras – ed.), skiers suffered as many as 30 injuries on the slopes, which had to be treated and then transported (the injured – ed.) from the slopes. In total, today (Wednesday – ed.) on the southern side Chopek’s side suffered 14 injuries,” HZS rescuers calculate. Chopok was the site of the most frequent accidents, although injuries also occurred in other centers: Donovaly (near Banská Bystrica, five accidents), Kubínska hoľa (four injuries), Roháče Spálená and Tatranska Lomnica (three accidents each).
One of the injuries on the Chopek slope was so serious that the seriously injured skier had to be transported to hospital by helicopter.
“The reason for the large number of skiing accidents is to be found both in the number of visitors to ski resorts and in the more demanding, icy conditions on the slopes, which surprised holidaying skiers. The melted layer of snow, formed during the Christmas warming, solidified last cold night and on a sunny day caused problems , especially for less technically skilled skiers,” HZS rescuers informed.
Main photo source: Horská záchranná služba