Monday, 8 February 2010

Skiing in the Beskid Wyspowy

Yesterday, the piste at Kasina Wielka, on the north-west slopes of Śnieżnica, was packed with skiers from Kraków. Early this afternoon, it was quite empty. As I wrote last year, this piste is ideal for children and less-experienced skiers. Below: view from the four-seat chair lift. No queues whatsoever!

The Polish school holidays have been cleverly staggered so that the ski slopes aren't all overcrowded in a two-week burst. The sixteen Polish voivodships (provinces) have different breaks between 18 Jan and 28 Feb. Polish schools have two semesters (rather than three trimesters as in the UK). There are short breaks for Christmas and Easter, but the main holiday of the school year is in midwinter - so that winter sports can be enjoyed. This week, neither Małopolska or any of its neighbouring provinces are on holiday - an ideal time for winter holiday makers from Warsaw. Eddie is very happy with the conditions today, although it was cold (-8C) enough to numb my heavily-gloved fingers as we ascended on the chairlift.

After we'd finished our skiing, we descend on foot from the summit towards Gruszowiec.The forest on the south side of Śnieżnica is beautiful; the trees covered in szadź - the rime-frost brought about by the mountain-top fog freezing onto every needle of every coniferous tree. It's a comfortable half-hour walk from the summit to the main road.

To get to the bus stop, we had to choose between a long detour by road, or a short cut through a snowy field. The snow is knee-deep; the effort required to make it across this field turned out far greater than the long way round would have been - but as the bus arrived at the bus stop two minutes after us, this way worked best. All today's pics taken on my Nokia N95, I didn't fancy taking the Nikon D80 skiing with me.


Anonymous said...

Michael - actually great pictures from the Nokia

Anonymous said...

Why is Mr Edmund not wearing a skiing helmet ?

Michael Dembinski said...

The pic was taken after we'd returned all our kit to the wypożyczalnia and were heading up Śnieżnica for our descent on foot.