Can you get something for free in the Tatras? The traveler found out the hard way

It was not an easy time for Mateusz Waligóra. A traveler who has been wandering through the Tatra Mountains for several days with the intention of crossing every inch of signposted trails in the highest Polish mountains, at first was bothered by the Tatra currents through the water, then he doubted whether he liked the mountains at all. no, but he was also extremely lucky.

  • The traveler Mateusz Waligóra began his journey through the Tatra Mountains on June 28
  • He plans to travel the route from the west – from the Chochołowska Valley – to the east, as far as Rysy. In total, more than 300 km of marked tourist routes, several tens of thousands of meters up and down, past seven shelters
  • Remember how I praised you for drinking water from the Tatra streams? Do not do this! The water tastes great, but unfortunately I was wasting away – reports the traveler
  • During his travels, Waligóra talks to tourists, scientists, naturalists, TOPR rescuers, employees of the Tatra National Park, residents
  • – If nothing changes, Morskie Oko will stop freezing – warns the researcher Prof. Joanna Pociask-Karteczka, hydrologist and geographer of the Department of Hydrology of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management of the Jagiellonian University
  • You can find more similar stories on the homepage of Onet.pl

Mateusz Waligóra is best known for his journeys to the polar regions and marches through the deserts. In recent years he has also discovered Poland. He has already hiked the Vistula route – from the source of the largest Polish river to its mouth – and witnessed climate change in the Baltic Sea as he marched along the Polish coast. Now he started # TatrzańskieOpowieści.

Tatras stories by Mateusz Waligóra

He started wandering along the trails in the area of ​​the Chochołowska Valley and a few days ago moved slightly to the east, to the Kościeliska Valley. Last Sunday he set an ambitious pace and covered more than 33.5 km despite the heat in the Tatras. – Without the streams along the way, I would feel in hell – said Mateusz Waligóra. – This water is a real treasure and it’s completely free!


Mateusz Waligóra during a hike in the Tatra Mountains

Photo: Karolina Krasińska / private archive of the hero

Unfortunately, although it was cold, it relieved and quenched thirst, by drinking it straight from the stream, without proper filtering, it affected Mateusz’s health. On Monday he went from Hala Ornak to Czerwone Wierchy, but in the evening of the same day he was seized by the “curse of Janosik”.

– Today I want to admit my mistake – he reported. – Remember how I praised you to drink water from the Tatra streams? Do not do this! The water tastes great, but unfortunately I was almost finished. One time I didn’t want to disinfect it anymore, I just scooped it from the stream into a bottle, added electrolytes, drank it and… it was a very bad idea.

Mateusz Waligóra during a hike in the Tatra Mountains

Mateusz Waligóra during a hike in the Tatra Mountains

Photo: Karolina Krasińska / private archive of the hero

On Tuesday, Waligóra only had enough strength to walk to Smreczyński Pond, luckily it was better the next day. In the shelter on Hala Ornak that crowns the Kościeliska Valley, the traveler was accompanied by the filmmaker Damian Ochtabiński and together they passed through the Iwaniacka Przełęcz and the Ornak peak to Starorobociański Wierch.

– We walked long distances in complete fog and saw nothing around us. I did not complain, because in such conditions there were few people on the trail, and because of this you can feel loneliness even in the Tatra Mountains. That solitude for which we often go to the mountains – he said.

At the end of the week, Waligora was in doubt. Somewhere between Siva Przełęcz and Iwaniacka, he began to wonder what he was doing here.

Mateusz Waligóra during a hike in the Tatra Mountains

Mateusz Waligóra during a hike in the Tatra Mountains

Photo: Karolina Krasińska / private archive of the hero

– When I got to Iwaniacka Street, I heard a lady who had just entered the pass say, “And what? It’s here? And what can you see from here? Hopelessness!”. I realized that I feel exactly the same – Mateusz says. – I felt very tired and fell into a nap. When I woke up after 40 minutes, it hit me. I realized it was just a bad dream, a rebellion of the mind. And that I don’t have to stare at mountains in the world for at least a day.

However, before taking a day off on Saturday, the traveler had the opportunity to admire those who do not think about what they are in the Tatras for. Because they’re in it – hopefully! – Permanently. Namely chamois that live in the upper parts of the Pyszniańska Valley and … a bear.

– He was rummaging in the bushes, he ate something and, absorbed in himself, had in his gray-brown shaggy bottom that for a brief moment someone looked eagerly at him, or even absorbed his eyes – describes Mateusz. – He was young, so I wasn’t too scared, but I quickly ran away alone

What’s next?

On Sunday, Waligóra climbed Giewont – unlike a week ago in the Western Tatras, this time a cold wind was blowing and it was raining freezing cold. And what will happen next week – after all, it will turn out that in the Tatra weather it is only certain that it is changeable.

As with his previous expeditions, Waligóra wanders not only to cover the next few miles, but also to talk to people – tourists, scientists, naturalists, TOPR rescuers, TPN employees, residents. Mateusz and his team do not shy away from difficult and inconvenient cases. And so, the main topic of last week’s interview with Prof. Joanna Pociask-Karteczka, a hydrologist and geographer from the Department of Hydrology of the Institute of Geography and Spatial Management of the Jagiellonian University, led by Dariusz Jaroń, there were climate changes and their negative impact on the hydrology of the Tatra Mountains.

Mateusz Waligóra during a hike in the Tatra Mountains

Mateusz Waligóra during a hike in the Tatra Mountains

Photo: Karolina Krasińska / private archive of the hero

– If nothing changes, Morskie Oko will stop freezing – warns the researcher. – We have not found values ​​anywhere as in the case of this lake. The duration of the ice sheet is shortening by nearly 10.5 days per decade. It is much.

Climate changes, of course, do not only apply to the Tatra waters.

– Research shows that the increase in air temperature changes the range of factory floors. The top rack, the kosówka floor, the hall floor – everything goes up. The top edge of the forest rises. “The Tatras are getting greener” – this is what Paweł Skawiński, then the director of the TPN, said several years ago. And the Tatras of my youth are the Tatras with a predominance of ashen color – says Prof. Stick-note.

The expedition # TatrzańskieOściowie started on Tuesday, June 28. Waligóra literally left for the Tatra Mountains right after returning from Greenland, so he’s had some pretty good training, although – as he says – he has to change the body from the laborious roaming on a plane to the challenges of overcoming real big waves. The end of the trip is planned for the last weekend of July. The route from the west – from the Chochołowska valley – to the east, up to Rysy. In total more than 300 km of marked tourist routes, several tens of thousands of meters up and down, seven shelters. Waligóra will be accompanied by the photographer Karolina Krasińska, and the filmmaker Damian Ochtabiński, the journalist Dariusz Jaroń and the editor Piotr Tomza will help him with the # TatrzańskichOpowieści on Facebook and not only.

Daily reports of the expedition are available at: facebook.com/MateuszWaligoraOfficial.

Mateusz Waligóra – a specialist in high-performance expeditions to the most remote places on Earth. He is especially fond of deserts: from Australia to Bolivia. He has a bike ride through the longest mountain range in the world – the Andes, a lonely bike ride on the hardest road on earth – the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia, a solitary passage through the largest salt desert in the world – Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia and the first solitary crossing of the Mongolian part of the Gobi desert. Member of the scout club. In the spring of 2022, he and Łukasz Supergan made a trip through Greenland – Polish travelers took 35 days to ski from west to east on the largest island in the world.

See also: “I wish Warsaw looked like this every day”. Equality Parade 2022

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