Thursday, August 16, 2007

Climbing to RYSY in Poland

Climbing to Rysy was a very interesting experience for us. We do not have any skills on rock-climbing, but we really wanted to try something different we're used to in Estonia (a flat country!). Rysy sounded challening - the highest peak on Polish Tatras - although, "if it's your first trip to High Tatras, don't start it with Rysy...". Well. I guess we thought why not to start with Rysy? As it was the first hike what we did there.
Rysy is 2499 metres high. It is a very steep uphill, but does not require technical climbing - so it meant we can do it, if we're strong enough to fight with the rocks.

We started from a huge parking lot - 9 km's to walk uphill on a paved road with many other people. Not that those other people go to Rysy... No, they just want to go to a beautiful mountain lake Morskie Oko, where they make a small hike and go back. Some don't even want to walk that much - they take a horse carriage (on the photo).


Here we are almost reached the Morskie Oko lake, only a few kilometres to go. Beyond, you can see the High Tatra mountains... One of them is Rysy summit.


When we reached the Morskie Oko lake (see on the photo above; elevation: 1395 m), we just enjoyed the lovely view and had our lunch. It was about 1 or 2 p.m by that time. Only then, realizing that the day is beautiful and shiny, Erik got an idea we should really conquer Rysy. I was sceptical - it was already too late... if the weather gets bad, do we have enough time to come down? Usually, people start very early in the morning... But well, I guess our curiousness was so high, that we couldn't stop us at least trying...

So we first hiked to the other lake, in higher level (1583 metres) - Blacklake. There, we could still see quite many people. But not as many as near Morskie Oko...

This photo is taken beside the Blacklake, but beyond, what you can see on photo, is Morskie Oko lake from 188 metres higher point than the lake itself lies.

And now we start the "real" climbing... It's easy from time to time, but most of the time it's exhausting...

Many breathing space have to be taken to get the energy to go further...


As we get higher, the view gets more and more breathtaking - it's such a powerful feeling to be so high up, and see the view over everything... Climbing to Rysy offers one of the widest and richest summit panoramas in Tatras; and we were lucky with the weather - it was stable and shiny. We took many breaks to enjoy the view!
The higher we got, the more we felt that we are "in clouds". And finally we really were!
Unfortunately in almost the top, we lost our way... We didn't see the marking anymore, and were too impatient to look for it, so we just climbed further... Until we realized, we're totally lost and cannot go down or up anymore. It was a bit scary, as it was very steep. But finally, we saw some people coming down... We needed to reach them to find the marking again. And we did:) Then, nothing stopped us to climb till the end...

The very top is so steep, that you need to use several ropes to get higher and higher... And then, it's not much until ....


...the Rysy summit has been conquered:)


We are on the top, having our "own" band to play music for us.... Wow, what a feeling! We just stare the tops of the other peaks, listen to the guitar playing and feel the happiest feeling one can imagine! It's 5.30 p.m.

Going down isn't easy either. It's not physically demanding anymore, but the legs hurt a lot! And you need to be careful not to slip...
But after some hours, we're back near Blacklake again. NO people besides us... and some other climbers who started together with us. What a difference compared with daytime! From there, 30 minutes to Morskie Oko lake, and some 2 hours to reach other car again... It starts to rain... quite heavily. We're lucky we descended just in right time. When we reached the car, we're wet, exhausted and it's totally dark... We have walked+climbed about 30 kilometres - 15 uphill, 15 downhill.
Good-bye Poland, and welcome Slovakia! It's only 5 km-s to the border.

3 comments:

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Midhun George said...

Hooh! Starting to climb at 2 PM? You were really lucky. We did the Gerlachovsky Stit with no climbing experience(2655m). This one is a moderate difficulty for a climber and extreme for a person with no climbing experience including high wall traverses and probes. We and wanted to the Rysy ascend from Poland into Slovakia. The weather was too bad so we did not risk it.

Why I write so much is because we were with a mountain guide who is also a mountain rescue brigade on the Slovak side. He told us never start any ascend after noon as 95% of his rescues are involving people who start climb late and get stuck in bad weather. You never can predict bad weather. I hope you take this advice seriously for your next hikes!

However, your Rysy experience is commendable and we will attempt it again the next time we visit Slovakia :-)