Gazeta.pl sponsored the project “Tatrzańskie Stories” by Mateusz Waligóra. While wandering along all the marked trails of the Tatras, Waligóra looked at nature, people and asked questions about the future of our mountains. His team spoke to writers, scientists, naturalists and told the fascinating stories of this place.
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 trail – 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. The purpose of this trip was to go through all the marked trails in the Polish Tatra Mountains while looking at the condition of the highest mountains in Poland, which are visited by more than 4 million tourists every year.
Waligóra started hiking in the area of the Chochołowska Valley at the end of June, then he moved to the Kościeliska Valley, and then he worked in the High Tatras in the area of Hala Gąsienicowa and the Valley of Five Polish Ponds. Finally, he left the longest and most demanding passages in the High Tatras. Mateusz Waligóra wandered in the heat for most of the journey, but the weather has changed in recent days.
– We went out with Karolina today [fotografką] heading for Rysy after 5 a.m. Clouds hung over Mięguszowiecki and Mnich, but the sun was shining from the other side, so we were hopeful. Not only that, when we arrived at Czarny Staw, near Bula pod Rysami, we suddenly found ourselves above the clouds. It was an incredible spectacle. Around us is the sea from which sprang some bends. Something absolutely wonderful – he reported on Thursday. The day before he climbed the Mięguszowiecka Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem, and the week started with a long route that was crowned with the climb to Kozi Wierch.
“I didn’t really want to go to Kozi,” he says. – I’ve been there so many times, in all seasons, that he treated me. But if you have to, then you have to. After all, I made such rules myself. I went. And I was deeply disappointed.
Waligóra gives a poor verdict on the recently completed renovation of the track.
– To say the least, the effect leaves a lot to be desired. The course of the route is not clear, there are no markings, the whole thing looks like homework written on your knee. I was sorry to walk on such a rubble, so localized to the TPN. It’s a shame – he sums it up.
The last, thirty-second day of Waligóra’s expedition was Friday. The traveler “worked out” the backlog – routes he had previously missed: the green path from Kasprowy Wierch to Polana Kuźnicka (with a fast bend to Nosal) and also the green one – in Dolinka za Bramką. In total he ran 483 km.
– Apart from the fact that I estimated the total length of the crossings at about three hundred kilometers, and it came to almost four hundred and fifty, everything went according to plan – says Waligóra. – I have been on every trail, I have not suffered any injuries, the trip was completely successful. I am very happy and go home with a satisfied feeling. As with any trip through Poland.
Who ignores the Tatra Mountains
As with his previous expeditions, Waligóra wandered not only to cover the next few miles, but also to talk to people – tourists, scientists, naturalists, TOPR people, TPN employees and residents. Mateusz and his team did not shy away from difficult and inconvenient problems. As in a conversation with Bartłomiej Gąsienica-Józkowy, a professional TOPR rescuer and mountain guide in the Tatra Mountains, led by Dariusz Jaroń at the end of the expedition.
– Especially foreign tourists ignore the Tatra Mountains – says an experienced lifeguard. – The biggest problem now is blindly relying on Google maps. For example, the application shows that it takes two hours to walk part of the valley Dolina Pięć Stawów to Kuźnice via Orla Perć. It is not possible. Probably flat, but there are mountains! There are suitable applications, mountain maps, and they correctly calculate the time of passage in the Tatras, but not everyone uses them. We had many accidents and phone calls to foreign visitors at night. They were stuck on a ledge somewhere in the rain and cold, they had to be returned.
How do they explain themselves in such situations? With the naked eye you can see the rock face from the valley Dolina Pięć Stawów.
– They show us that the sailing time on the chart was completely different. They hadn’t expected the mountains, and they certainly weren’t aware of such a demanding passage.
The expedition # TatrzańskieOściowie started on Tuesday 28 June. Waligóra literally left for the Tatra Mountains right after returning from Greenland, so he had a pretty good workout, although – as he noted – he had to change the body from laboriously wandering on a plane to the challenges of overcoming really big waves. . For most of the tour, Waligóra was accompanied by the photographer Karolina Krasińska, and the filmmaker Damian Ochtabiński, the journalist Dariusz Jaroń and the editor Piotr Tomza helped him in his # TatrzańskichOpowieści on Facebook and not only.