LEARN TO CLIMB ON MIXED TERRAIN IN TRUE WINTER CONDITIONS

Winter climbing is a style of mountain climbing which combines and use trad and multi-pitch climbing skills in winter condition. Climbers will encounter ice, snow, rocks and difficult conditions during ascent and they will need to place special protection, use crampons and ice axes to ascend the route.

winter climbing in the Tatra Mountains

Where: Tatra Mountains, Poland

The Tatra Mountains are the highest range in the Carpathian Mountains and Poland’s only alpine-type mountains. They form a natural border between Poland and Slovakia. The name of the mountains is derived from the Celtic word tetre which means “hill”. The highest summits are Gerlach (2655 m, Slovakia) and Rysy (2499 m, Poland). Thanks to the relatively small area of the Tatras compared to the Alps, there’s a cosy atmosphere, but you can also feel like you’re in really high mountains. The lower parts of the Tatras are covered by a beautiful and dense spruce forest. The upper parts are wide meadows with steep, rocky crags above them, where you may find a lot of caves. The landscape of the High Tatras is very interesting and is dominated by an alpine type ridges, towering walls and rocky peaks, which is a testament to the strong action of glaciers.

The Morskie Oko hut is tourist base situated at Morskie Oko Lake, in the Rybi Potok Valley. It is located at an altitude of 1410 m above the sea level on the bank of glacial moraine. It was built in 1908 by the Tatra Society. Renovated in the years the 1988-1992 has 78 beds mostly in bunk-style dormitories. It’s only 2-3 hours away on foot from the main car park and therefore, is a good and very popular place for trekkers as well as an excellent base to reach the best climbing routes in the Tatra Mountains.

Winter climbing course price is €600

What’s included?: 7+ hours of climbing every day, winter climbing instructions and workshops, all climbing equipment: harness, crampons, ice axes, helmet, climbing gear, full support of the local qualified instructors, evening movies and lectures.

Dates in 2018:

6th February – 10th February ( 2 places available)

27t February – 3rd March (2 places available)

13th March – 17th March (2 places available)

3rd April – 7th April (2 places available)

**We don’t have fixed dates as we can run this course from almost any Tuesday until Saturday –  please email us your suggested dates 🙂 We prefer if you come together with your climbing partner if you want to change a date.

Important information:

  • Mountain hut: I’m happy to assist you in booking a friendly mountain hut “Morskie Oko”. I don’t collect monies up front for the hut. You will pay directly for the hut after your stay. The average price is €12 for a night (bedding, towel and local green tax included). You can buy breakfast, dinner and snacks at the hut. Since this is a bunk bed style hut, you will share the room with others.
  • Flights and transport. You are responsible for booking your own flight to the place where we run our course. Flights to Poland are at the average price of €120 return (check budget airlines Wizzair and Ryanair). Please book your flight to Krakow airport. From Krakow, you can take a regular bus to Zakopane. To maximise your time and have stress-free travel I strongly recommend to fly back the day after the course (Saturday).  Zakopane is a busy resort and traffic jams occur very often despite very good transport. I’m happy to pick you up from Krakow airport as long as you come on the first day of the course at early morning and fly back on Saturday. Getting from Zakopane to mountain hut “Morskie Oko” is quite easy. (all prices are subject to exchange rate fluctuations)
  • Experience needed: This is a high-level course in winter climbing. Winter mountaineering and summer mountain trad climbing experience are essential. A good fitness level is required.
  • The course is run by the very experienced Polish Instructor of Alpinism and is also overseen by me (read about us) so it means that you are benefiting from low ratio and small group and therefore excellent instruction. Instructor to student ratio: 1:2
  • Required personal clothes for winter and ice climbing course: mountaineering boots suitable for C2 (semi-automatic) crampons, gaiters, waterproof jacket and trousers, softshell trousers, insulated jacket, base layers, warm fleece, warm socks, warm external gloves, thin inner gloves, hat or balaclava, head torch, flask, good backpack (this is an absolute minimum).

winter climbing in the Tatra Mountains

Winter climbing course program:

Day 1 (Tuesday): meeting in Krakow/pick up from the airport, 2 hours drive to the Tatra Mountains, 2,5 hours hike to the hut, general safety and avalanche awareness in winter, lecture about how to choose right clothes and gear for winter.

Day 2 (Wednesday): recap on using avalanche detectors and self-arrest, top rope ice and mix climbing, crampons and ice axes skills, climbing knots and rope work technique, lecture about planning winter climb.

Day 3 (Thursday): mix climbing on complex winter terrain, placing and removing winter protection, building stances for belaying using different snow/rock anchors, abseiling off, evening climbing movie.

Day 4 (Friday): ice climbing, placing ice screws and other ice anchors. We plan to finish a course at 17:00 and have a party in the hut 🙂

Day 5 (Saturday): Hike down and return journey.

Please note that program is subject to change due to weather conditions or other factors. If you think you are not ready for this type of intense climbing course check our winter mountaineering course!winter climbing and belaying

Why should I book a winter climbing course?!

A professional instructor has extensive experience and a deep knowledge of climbing and mountaineering. You will basically learn from the best. He will help each individual develop their technical skills and knowledge within a safe, structured and enjoyable environment. You will climb and develop under a watchful eye of a passionate climber, who will make sure that you will achieve more than you think was possible. A professional instructor will build your confidence and enhance your skills. After the course, you could become an independent winter climber!

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