Winter conditions still prevail in the high parts of the Tatra Mountains. The second level of avalanche danger applies. There is 1.8 meters of snow on Kasprowy Wierch. Tourists planning high-mountain trips on the May long weekend should buy tourist equipment such as: crampons, ice ax, helmet and avalanche set, i.e. probe, detector and shovel.
– In the upper parts Tatras We are still dealing with winter. If someone is planning high-mountain expeditions, they must have the right equipment, warned Tomasz Zając, a guide from the Tatra National Park. – Forecasts for the May weekend are quite cold for the Tatra Mountains, and snowfall may occur in the peak parts – he added.
On Thursday, the snow cover on Kasprowy Wierch was 181 centimeters of snow, the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management informed.
In the Friday communiqué of the TPN, it was emphasized that “in the higher parts of the Tatra Mountains there are still large amounts of snow, which in the morning is frozen and hard, while in the afternoon, especially in sunny places, it gets wet and muddy”.
“You should be especially careful because it is slippery in many places. Moving in winter conditions in the higher parts of the Tatra Mountains requires extensive experience in winter mountain tourism and the ability to assess the local avalanche risk and have the appropriate equipment – crampons (not crampons!), ice ax, helmet, avalanche ABC with the ability to use it.
Level 2 avalanche danger
In the Tatra Mountains there is a second degree of avalanche danger. As explained by the Tatra Volunteer Rescue Service, “the snow cover is generally well bound, but on some steep slopes it is moderately bound. Avalanche triggering is usually possible with a large additional load, especially on steep slopes indicated in the avalanche report. Spontaneous descent of very large avalanches is unlikely”.
In the message, TOPR warns that in such conditions “moving requires the ability to assess the local avalanche risk, select the route appropriately and maintain elementary safety measures on all steep slopes, especially on those indicated in the avalanche message as unfavorable in terms of exhibition or height”.
You can meet bears while hiking in the valleys. In the event of such an encounter, you need to calmly move away in the opposite direction, because if you run away, the bear may start chasing you – reminded Tomasz Zając. Due to the fears of black grouse, the popular trail from the Chochołowska Valley to the Grześ peak is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Crocus Lover’s Codex
During the long weekend in the Tatra pastures there will be another opportunity to admire the crocuses. This year, due to the recurring winter, the flowering of purple flowers was delayed and interrupted by snowfall. Crocuses partially bloomed in the Tatra clearings already in the second half of March, when there was a temporary warming up. At the turn of March and April, snow fell, stopping further flowering. Last weekend it got warm again, and the halls turned purple, but on Tuesday the weather conditions became winter again. Blooming crocuses attract crowds of tourists to the Tatra Mountains every year, which is why the Tatra National Park conducts an action informing about the basic rules when admiring protected flowers. As part of the action entitled “Hokus Krokus”, naturalists from the TPN created the “Code of crocus lover”:
1. Admire and photograph crocuses from the tourist trail; 2. Do not enter the clearings so as not to trample the crocuses; 3. Do not sit or lie down in the crocuses when photographing or posing for photos; 4. Do not pick crocuses, let photos be a souvenir; 5. Don’t park on crocuses; 6. Take your garbage with you; 7. Use the toilets in the shelter or portable toilets along the trail; 8. Be the keeper of the crocuses. If you see inappropriate behavior, react.
When admiring the crocuses, watch out for poisonous vipers that like to bask in the sun in the Tatra clearings. Although Polana Chochołowska is best known for the mass blooming of crocuses, purple flowers can also be admired, e.g. in the Kościeliska Valley, Kalatówki, Polana pod Kopieniec, Droga pod Reglami, Olczyska Valley or Toporowa Cyrhla.
PAP, TOPR, TPN, tvnmeteo.pl
Main photo source: camera.topr.pl