LEARN BASIC SKILLS TO TREK SAFELY IN THE WINTER CONDITIONS
Winter walking is activity in which trekkers walk on mountain terrain in winter condition, using crampons and ice axes when necessary. They can encounter difficult condition and snow and icy ground but usually, they move along marked trails.
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.
Our base will be in Zakopane town – “the winter capital of Poland”. It lies in the southern part of the Podhale region at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. The town can be reached by train or by bus from Kraków, which is about two hours away.
Zakopane is a centre of Polish mountain culture and is a popular destination for mountaineering, skiing and qualified tourism. After exiting time in the mountains you can enjoy a local food, culture, music and art in many restaurants and museums. We recommend staying for skiing!
Winter walking course price is €300
What’s included?: 6+ hours of guided winter walking every day, winter safety instructions and workshops, crampons, ice axes, helmet, full support of the local qualified instructors.
Dates in 2018:
5th January – 7th January
2nd February – 4th February
13th April – 15th April
- Hotel: I’m happy to assist you in booking a hotel but you are welcome to book your own accommodation in Zakopane. We will collect you every day or ask you to come to our meeting point.
- 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 (Monday). 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 Monday. (*all prices are subject to exchange rate fluctuations)
- Experience needed: To be able to take part in this course you should have summer mountain walking experience and good fitness level.
- 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: 1:4
- Required personal clothes for winter mountaineering course: mountain boots suitable for C1 crampons (basic 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).
Day 1 (Friday): pick up from the airport, 2 hours drive to Zakopane or meeting in Zakopane. Guided walk around the town and meal in the local restaurant. Evening lecture about how to choose right clothes for winter.
Day 2 (Saturday): 6 hours hike, avalanche awareness and winter danger consideration, reading maps, compass, GPS skills, lecture about planning winter trip.
Day 3 (Sunday): 6 hours hike, using avalanche detectors and rescue procedure, crampons and ice axe skills, self-arrest and stopping a slide skills, possible summit attempt.
We plan to finish a course at 17:00 and have a party in the local restaurant.
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 trek or 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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