GAIN ULTIMATE MOUNTAINEERING SKILLS TO BE SAFE IN ANY MOUNTAIN IN WINTER CONDITIONS.
Winter mountaineering is the type of advanced trekking in which mountaineers climb or scramble easy grade mountain terrain in winter condition, using crampons and ice axe and occasionally rope. They need to have very good level of navigation skills and avalanche awareness as terrain usually is challenging. If there is a glacier they need a special set of skills to move safely on this terrain.
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.
Advanced winter mountaineering course price is €450
What’s included?: 6+ hours of mountaineering every day, winter mountaineering instructions and workshops, all climbing equipment, harness, crampons, ice axes, helmet, full support of the local qualified instructors, evening movies and lectures.
Dates in 2018
15th January – 20th January (6 places available)
22nd January – 26th January (2 places available)
12th February – 17th February (4 places available)
5th March – 10th March (6 places available)
26th March – 31st March (6 places available)
- 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: To be able to take part in this course you should have summer walking experience, good outdoor climbing experience, ability to belay and tie knots would be desirable. Good fitness level required. Check as well our winter walking course.
- The course is run by the very experienced Polish Instructor of Alpinism and is also overseen by me personally (read about us). So it means that you are benefiting from low ratio and small group and therefore excellent instruction. Instructor to student ratio: 1:3
- Required personal clothes for winter mountaineering course: mountaineering boots suitable for C1 or 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).
Advanced winter mountaineering course program:
Day 1 (Monday): meeting in Krakow/pick up from the airport, 2 hours drive to the Tatra Mountains, 2,5 hours hike to the hut, re-cap on maps, compass, GPS skills, lecture about how to choose right clothes for winter.
Day 2 (Tuesday): avalanche awareness and rescue procedure, using avalanche detectors. Crampons and ice axe skills, self-arrest, top rope ice and mix climbing, climbing knots and rope work technique, lecture about how to choose the right gear for winter.
Day 3 (Wednesday): moving together when roped on complex winter terrain, using running belays and placing basic winter protection, abseiling off the snow anchors, digging a snow cave (overnight sleeping is not permitted in the national park), lecture about planning winter trip.
Day 4 (Thursday): moving together when roped on steep slopes and more exposed ridge. Building stances for belaying using different snow/rock anchors. Possible summit attempt, evening climbing movie.
Day 5 (Friday): crevasse rescue practice, self-rescue and moving up and down on a fixed rope.
We plan to finish a course at 17:00 and have a party in the hut 🙂
Day 6 (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 course check our winter walking course!
Why should I book a winter mountaineering 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 independent winter mountaineer!
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