Holidays are a time when central Poland empties and wild crowds haunt the south and north. Nothing unusual. Free time from studies or school and the temperature that encourages people to stay outdoors are reason enough. And while at the seaside you usually lie down on a blanket, in the mountains you usually have to walk around a bit. We talked about it with Andrzej Bargiel. The ski mountaineer, famous for skiing from the highest mountains in the world, and at the same time TOPR-sheep, told us a little about how to do it safely. He also revealed where he is most often found in the summer.
Are you happy when tourists come to the Tatras?
Everyone would surely prefer to have such a place all to themselves. But it is heartening to see that people are becoming more active and better prepared for these activities.
True, some people from all over Poland also come to you. And not just friends. After all, you take part in charity events, during which you can win a day on the mountain at auctions in your company, which is certainly not only a mega attraction, but also very safe – after all, you are also a mountain rescuer. And when someone comes to see you in the summer, where do you take them? Do you have a place that still works and makes a good impression?
It depends on someone’s ambition. There are a number of easily accessible routes, where you can walk freely without special skills. But they are also more demanding. If someone wants to try rock climbing or other more technical activities, I can take someone to Morskie Oko or Mięguszowieckie Szczyty area. Zamarła Turnia or Kościelec are places where we can be picked up by a competent person who will take care of us.
Definitely yes. It is a terrain that is not very steep. It is suitable for jogging. I often run there when going to Czerwone Wierchy, Kasprowy or Giewont. Running through Kalatówki and Kondratowa is usually the start of my training when I climb higher. And if it’s a walk or a short run, after reaching Kondratowa, I go home.
The holidays are coming. There will be more tourists everywhere in the Polish mountains. What are the safety rules to follow scrupulously in order to then be able to return home with joy?
Now we have a lot of tools that can increase our security. There are even many pages where you can get information about the current conditions in the mountains. But we definitely need a charged phone, and in it Rescue requestwhich allows the emergency services to locate us more quickly. If we are planning ambitious goals, it is worth letting someone know – telling that person where we are going and when we will be back. If we don’t come back on time as planned, that’s the first signal for that person to call for help for us when we can’t. For this you need to dress properly, plan and avoid the dark when you go out. It gets much harder after dark. And you have to watch the forecasts, take climate change into account and avoid thunderstorms, which are very dangerous. You should also have plenty of drink and something to eat with you. There are quite a few things to keep in mind. It all depends on the ambition of our goal. Perhaps the route from Kalatówki to Kondratowa is not very demanding, but the more ambitious the goal, the more things you have to take care of.
See also how Andrzej Bargiel goes up Kasprowy in winter:
Skiing in Kasprowy in 48 minutes? See how Andrzej Bargiel trains!
Watch Andrzej Bargiel train at a Polish ski cult venue, where the Red Bull Szybka Tura will take place on March 15.
Strava recently introduced new trail planning options. When you move in the mountains, do you use applications that allow you to plan routes, is it always a map?
If I am traveling in unfamiliar, particularly difficult terrain, or if I know the weather may change, I always have with me paper map and compass. But there are also a number of different apps that work with GPS, which is great. I have a special device for this and I have something like this on my watch. I also have a phone and applications that allow us to locate ourselves precisely on a map background with contours, where we can closely observe the topography. There are a lot of these things. Of course I use them and it’s a big help. Even when we have no visibility, we can see where we are and where we need to go. It is also useful in less characteristic terrain, for example when we walk on snow or in very repetitive terrain.
Have you noticed any pitfalls when planning a route using the app?
First, you need to do it in small steps. It’s fun and easy to plan routes using the app, but we still have to take a correction on our condition, and especially on the mountain conditions. Usually, the application does not take these conditions into account when planning. You need to be aware of it and use it additionally knowledge of current mountain conditions from appropriate sources. It is very important to forecast and observe the conditions. The app will simply guide us through the specific places our route passes through, but there are many other factors that affect the safety of our activity.
DOO SAR: A Karakoram Ski Expedition Film
Andrzej Bargiel and Jędrek Baranowski travel the Karakoram in search of new lines, creating history in their own way.