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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Tatras. Powerful avalanches in the TOPR lens. Photos from the helicopter deck

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It is still dangerous in the Tatras, and the avalanche risk is very high. The power of the element is illustrated by photos taken by TOPR rescuers from the rescue helicopter. They show, among others, snow masses covering trees, the road to Morskie Oko cut by an avalanche and a number of cracks in the snow cover.

From Friday to Monday, the entire area of ​​the Tatra Mountains was closed to tourists. Such a decision was made for the first time in history. Although the avalanche danger level has dropped from “four” to “three”, the situation is still very dangerous, so Some trails are still closed to tourist traffic on Tuesday. Why? The photos published by the Tatra Volunteer Rescue Service show what could happen if people were on them at the wrong time. The photos were taken from the deck of the TOPR rescue helicopter.

Read also: TOPR rescuer died during the operation. His daughter writes to tourists after many years

Avalanche on the southern slopes of Goryczkowa CzubaT. Caterpillar Mikolajczyk, TOPR

Photos of avalanches from the TOPR helicopter

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As TOPR reported on Monday afternoon, there is a lot of snow in the higher parts of the mountains, which can “cause spontaneous descent of large and very large avalanches”. According to rescuers, starting avalanches by skiers or hikers on steep slopes is “highly likely”, and moving in such conditions requires a lot of experience.

Read also: The Tatras are open, but with exceptions. “The avalanche situation is still serious”

On Saturday, when the avalanche “four” was in force in the Tatras – in practice the highest degree possible in the Polish Tatras – a series of avalanches descended in the area of ​​Morskie Oko. On Sunday, another, powerful one came down, crossing the road between Włosienica and the shelter. Massive snow broke the forest. Photos of the devastation caused by the element can be seen in the photos from the helicopter.

Avalanche in the area of ​​Morskie OkoT. Caterpillar Mikolajczyk, TOPR

An avalanche in the Gendarmerie Gully crossing the road to Morskie OkoT. Caterpillar Mikolajczyk, TOPR

– The forest in this area has practically ceased to exist. The tree stand is broken down after Rybi Potok. The head of the avalanche is about 8 to 10 meters high, and its width is about 100 to 150 meters, Grzegorz Bryniarski, a forester from Morskie Oko, assessed on Sunday.

The photos also show an avalanche on the eastern slopes of Goryczkowa Czuba, Czubik and Konczyty Wierch – there, too, the trees are covered almost to the top with white down. In other photos, you can see cracks in the snow cover threatening with avalanches on the southern slopes of the Intermediate Wierch Goryczkowy and on the slopes of Bobrowiec.

Avalanche on the southern slopes of Goryczkowa CzubaT. Caterpillar Mikolajczyk, TOPR

Closed trails in the Tatra Mountains and TOPR appeal for reason

TOPR rescuers appealed in their entry for a reasonable choice of targets for the prevailing conditions and for “obligatory possession of an avalanche ABC (detector, probe, shovel) along with the ability to operate this equipment”.

TOPR-men remind that at their request, the Tatra National Park closed the hiking trails from Palenica Białczańska to Morskie Oko and from Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza to the Valley of Five Polish Ponds. Some ski trails around Kasprowy Wierch are also closed until further notice.

The third level of avalanche risk currently in force in the Tatras means that the snow cover on many steep slopes is moderately or weakly bound. Avalanche triggering is possible even with a small additional load, especially on steep slopes indicated in the avalanche message. In certain situations, large and in some cases even very large avalanches can occur spontaneously.

“Conditions largely unfavorable. Movement requires a lot of experience and skills, as well as having a very high ability to assess the local avalanche risk. Steep slopes should be avoided, especially those indicated in the avalanche report as unfavorable in terms of exposure or height. It is necessary to maintain elementary safety measures ” – reads the message of TOPR.

According to the data of the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management, the snow cover in the Tatra Mountains remains at a similar level as in previous days. On Monday, there was 182 centimeters of snow on Kasprowy Wierch, on Tuesday morning it was already 178 centimeters, while in the Valley of Five Ponds it is 162 centimeters (one less than the day before).

Main photo source: T. Caterpillar Mikolajczyk, TOPR

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