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Slovakia: Safely To The Mountains VI. - Small And Big Fatra

Published: 20.2.2012
In previous parts of our series, we focused mainly alpine mountains. Today we focus on the mountains nearly 1000 m lower. We will talk about Small and Big Fatra. This height difference is reflected in the character of the climate of the mountains and therefore also on slightly different of risk of movement in this area.

Small Fatra has about 100 m higher peak than the Great Fatra, and there is a bit cooler, but that both belong to the milder mountain climates, frost can be a serious threat in these conditions. Usually winter temperatures here are around -10 ° C, but not excluding or frost - 20 ° C, particularly in areas of Rozsutec, Stoh or Fatra´s Velký (Big) Kriváň. When there is the windy, can cause frostbite to the extremities and face, so you need at the first sign of tingling to increase the intensity of movement to accelerate the flow of blood circulation. We warm up and clapping and jumping ordinary. To protect the face should be used to protect high-quality cream.

If we are caught by an intense snowfall, which usually foreshadows the threat of loss of orientation, you must immediately stop tour. Already during the snowfall dramatically changes the stability of snow, so not good to rely on such pole signs, which is a good tool for orientation, but only until some of the missing rods. Rather, it is necessary in case of group tourism observe acoustic contact and gradually descend to the nearest hut or the valley.

If to the snow adds the wind, it may have for us to fatal consequences. The storm in the mountains of Small and Large Fatra is very difficult emergency descent from the ridge lots, mainly due to the large distances and slightly shaped terrain with a difficult orientation. Besides the aforementioned wind makes it difficult for us to move and reduced visibility, so you need at first signs of a hike as soon as possible to end, respectively begin to descend into the valley below to the nearest hut or village where the storm rather gives itself to survive. If trapped in a relentless storm, it is necessary to dig burrows or at least half of cover up and survive the weather, which has usually lasting until the next day.

In the mountains of Small and Big Fatra during the winter season is very prevalent and severe thaw, at which the underlying risk of fall avalanches. On the contrary, spring snow tongue risk is relatively low due to little steep slopes. It is important to avoid over heating slopes, where snow covered boric on the surface and form longitudinal cracks. In the case of avalanches, the issue of their symptoms and so complex that they devoted number of professional publications. The basic rules to prevent the risk of falling include information on the degree of avalanche danger from mountain rescue services and not to enter the unstable elements of snow (snow boards, drifts, pillows). A characteristic feature of avalanches, especially in Great Fatra is their relatively large size. Their destructive power can not destroy forest vegetation, but also to intervene and demolish buildings marginal human settlements. From the recent history are known disastrous consequences incompatible with life. The fall in the field is especially dangerous because of a human being on trees, which can lead to severe injury. Therefore, follow the instructions of the Mountain Rescue Service, do not enter into the field already in 3rd the degree of avalanche danger, not to enter an unstable snow elements. Of course there must be avalanche equipment (probe, shovel, the search engine).

Due to the extensive geomorphological area you can get to critical situation in case of emergency surviving the night in the winter. If you can´t descend into the valley in time, respectively to the nearest cottage or village, you need to prepare in advance. Instead of overnight stays should be in the lee. Ideally, you set up a tent, a tent if we do not have to dig burrows. If there are more people just build an igloo. After site preparation you put on your dress and everything that we survive this night.

Ridge of Small and Big Fatra offers spectacular views to the surrounding countryside. They are ideal for hiking, skiing and other winter sports, but you can never forget about safety. Sometimes, can be enough consistent training and information about conditions in the mountains, which ultimately can save lives.

Text: Oskár Mažgút
Source and photo: hory.sk

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