Where to go for skydiving in Poland?
Although downhill skiing still reigns in the Polish mountains, you don’t have to go to the Alps at all to get a taste of ski tourism. There is no shortage of trails to practice it in our country. The most opportunities for skydiving can be found in the Tatra Mountains, but also in the Bieszczady and Karkonosze Mountains on seals you can get really tired.
This is undoubtedly the number one spot on the skitouring map of Poland. In winter in the Tatra National Park, skiers are bound by summer trail markings.
The Tatras, both on the Polish and Slovak side, are perfect for skydiving (fot. Piotr Sztaba, PZA instructor)
However, when moving through the mountains on skis, one must remember that some routes (due to avalanche danger) change their course in winter. Therefore, a good knowledge of the terrain from summer excursions will come in very handy.
One of the most popular places for seal tours is the region of Hala Gąsienicowa – it’s a good place to start a skitouring adventure in the Tatras. When snow conditions are good, it’s easy to get here via an evenly sloped trail (through Boczań and Skupniów Upłaz) from Kuźnice.
PTTK “Murowaniec” hostel on Hala Gąsienicowa (fot. Aneta Żukowska)
A convenient base for skiers here is the hut „Murowaniec”. From here you can go to the Black Pond Gąsienicowy, Karb Pass or even Kasprowy Wierch and Beskid. This is a good solution for those who are not yet skilled in off-piste descents – you can get to the bottom, for example, through the Goryczek Basin and ski all the way to Kuźnice. But also for more ambitious region of Hala Gąsienicowa has a lot to offer. It is worth recommending, for example, going to the Krzyżne Pass and from there descending to the Roztoka Valley.
Many easy trails can also be found in Chocholowska Valley, the largest on the Polish side of the Tatras. Western Tatras is also a good alternative when the weather gets too dangerous in other areas in worse weather. At the beginning it is worth recommending for example a picturesque trip to Grześ from the Chochołowska Glade, and from there along the ridge to Rakoń and further to Wołowiec, as well as a tour to Trzydniowiański or Starorobociański Wierch. The effort put into the ascent will be rewarded by the magnificent view of the gentle outline of the Western Tatras stretching from the summit.
Great diversity is offered by the area of Hala Kondratowa – from a very easy walk to Kalatówki to a difficult climb to Czerwone Wierchy.
A beautiful skytouring region, although requiring a lot of experience, is also the Morskie Oko area. You can find unforgettable views here, but remember that in winter it is one of the most dangerous places in the Polish Tatra Mountains in terms of avalanche danger. For the most experienced there awaits m.in. turn to Rysy, but there are also easier routes – e.g. walk to Dolinka za Mnichem (it is also very avalanche-like here).
Tatra skitoury (fot. Piotr Sztaba, PZA instructor) Views during a skydiving trip in the Slovak Tatras (fot. Piotr Sztaba, PZA instructor)
When you feel stretched enough, it’s worth tempting to go on a longer trip – for example, starting from the shelter in Morskie Oko to Dolinka za Mnichem, from there to Szpiglasowa Przełęcz, then downhill to Dolina Pięciu Stawów and further through Zawrat to Hala Gąsienicowa.
Detailed descriptions of skitouring routes in the Tatras can be found in guidebooks: High-mountain skiing in the Polish High Tatras Karol Życzkowski and Józef Wala or Tatras. Skytour guide by Wojciech Szatkowski.
It is obligatory to start every trip by checking weather conditions and avalanche danger on www.topr.en and www.tpn.pl. Directions to high-mountain guides can be found at www.pspw.pl.
Skitouring is also worth trying in the Beskids. The mountains here are a bit lower, but when winter is good, there is no shortage of interesting places for skiers. We most often visit the areas of Pilsko, Rysianka, Skrzyczne, Rycerzowa and Babia Gora (org!), or places located at the highest.
The Beskydy Mountains offer a dense network of hiking trails, as well as paths and forest roads that allow easy access to lesser-known places. Orientation in the terrain is very easy, due to the intimate nature of these mountains and a lot of development. Nevertheless, the glades and some of the rarer forests are a tasty morsel for freeriders, and the multitude of mountains and trails, as well as the relatively low objective danger, make the Beskids a great place to start a skitouring adventure.
Skitouring in Beskid Śląski (fot. outdoormagazine.pl)
Babia Gora, called by some „Queen of inclement weather”, got its nickname not by accident. You can often find strong winds and thick fog here, but it’s still worth a try. With a bit of luck we can count on unforgettable views. Babia is also a good alternative to the Tatra Mountains for a short day skydiving trip.
Unfortunately, there are restrictions for skydivers in Babiogórski National Park. The once open and most attractive areas have been excluded from skiing due to the need to protect the fauna and flora. Breaking the rules may result in a fine. Only short sections of trails remain open to skiers.
There are three trails for ski touring in BPN:
- Green route: Zawoja Markowa – Markowe Rówienki – Górny Płaj length 2,3km*.
- Black Route: Zawoja Lajkonik – Rybna – Sulowa Cyrhel – Upper Plaj length 3km*
- Red trail: Sokolica – Krowiarki length 1.5km*
* – length of the entire trail (within and outside the BgPN area). These are trails officially approved for skydiving.
„Though the mountains are small, the views are unforgettable” – that’s what many skiers say about the Karkonosze. The range on the Polish-Czech border is one of the most popular areas for ski tourism. Many of the approaches here are gentle, evenly sloping and wide, so ideal for the first seal hikes, but there are also all-day, more difficult routes.
An excellent base is the Samotnia mountain hostel, picturesquely located by the Small Pond. You can set off from here to the Pod Sněžkou Pass or to Sněžka (only in good conditions), but also make shorter trips around the Little and Big Pond or to the Sunflower Rocks.
The second starting point is the lower station of the lift to Szrenica in Szklarska Poreba. From here you can start a very pleasant ski trip along the yellow trail to Hala pod Łabskim Szczytem. The expedition can continue towards the Vrbatova bouda chalet, located on the Czech side, and on to Špindlerův Mlýn. It is possible to return to the Polish side through the Labský Peak.
Detailed descriptions of the Karkonosze routes in the guidebook Jizera Mountains, Giant Mountains on cross-country and touring skis (Sandra Nejranowska, Marcin Białka).