SVK: Safely On The Mountains II. - High Tatra
In the second part of our series of articles on safety in the mountains we will deal with little Alps High Tatra, which are characteristic of their unique alpine mountains in Slovakia. Their articulation and slope are among the most dangerous pitfalls that ordinary visitors must overcome not only in winter.
During the winter we go to the High Tatra, mainly due to skiing, but some of us like walking tours. Frost could be one of the dangers of winter tourism. During a day usually reaches -10 to -15 ° C. Even at temperatures of minus can be protected in low limbs to frostbite, but also some parts of the face (especially if it is windy). But at extreme temperatures (around -30 ° C), which in this area occur relatively frequently, it is necessary not only special equipment, as well as acclimatization.
If we got a feeling that we are numb fingers begin to move with them intensely to circulate blood again. Also the face we should check more often, because if there are irregular white spots, it's been a consequence of early frostbite. This affected place immediately massage and rub by protective cream.
Snowfall usually brings warming, but also significantly changes the stability of the snow and also reduces visibility and orientation in the field. Therefore it is necessary to end the tour as soon as possible and get to the next chat or meet in the valley. In the case of a group of tourism should also maintain acoustic contact. If snowfall combines with intense wind and storm occurs, it can have fatal consequences. In case that stuck in a constant storm buries you need to do to be firm and blocks of snow from the top cover. We must not forget either the vent hole. The burrows then we can safely wait out until the weather improves.
Danger could be in thaw time as well, where steeper slopes may be melting, which easily pulls as well as man and cause him injury. Therefore, visual inspection is necessary slope to prevent early intervention slippery snow. Otherwise, it's not even a spring snow, which is unlike the summer extremely soft, full of water and incoherent. If you walk through the snow field, we risk being thrown. If this happens, you need to immediately stretch your hands, and bend to go wrong. Perhaps the greatest danger is avalanche. Prevention begins before the actual hike in the form of information about the current state of the field to the Mountain Rescue Service.
Typical avalanches nature in the High Tatra is the smaller size against another mountain. Avalanches usually fall in the narrow troughs, but also in the valleys. If the declared 4.stupeň avalanche danger, is not recommended winter hike. Already in grade 3 would be less proficient skiers and tourists should not give into the mountains. If after all we go on a hike, we must not forget the obligatory anti avalanche equipment, such as shovel, probe and search engine. The suspect slope should always enter only one person who in any case not rise to the cornice, because it could have disastrous consequences. In the fall of avalanches is needed in the shortest time to find and rescue avalanche victims. If we fail to immediately contact the Mountain Rescue Service.
If you can reach us at night somewhere in the snowy ridge of Tatra, it is always a critical situation, because the night temperatures drop well below freezing. If one adds to the wind begins to literally fight for their lives. Therefore it is necessary in advance to prepare for emergency overnight stays. Ideally, you set up a tent, or burrows or igloos. It is important to wear everything that we have in the backpack. If we bring a candle, ignite it. In our shelter we can raise the temperature up to 4 ° C, of course contact the Mountain Rescue Service and as accurately describe our position. The fog could be another danger. Even while coming, we have to remember as many details, such as trees, rocks, forms the ridge. It is best to wait until the fog subsided. Should long-term nature, the ideal is not to risk and return back along the original route of the valley, or to the nearest mountain hut.
This article describes just a small amount of risk that exists in the high mountains. Responsible preparation and reliable equipment eliminate potential risks.
Text: Oscar Mažgút
Source and photo: hory.sk
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The one who loves adventure and is reasonably physically fit, undoubtedly would like a few tips about easy winter hikes Velka Studena Valley, located in the Slovak part of the High Tatras. A year-round open cottage, Zbojnicka Chata (1960 meters), which waits for us in this valley, offers a place to rest, refreshment and cozy accommodation. We can spend here a few days without getting away from the surrounding of Tatranian peaks. Keep in mind, however, that the motion in the Tatras in winter outside marked trails is very limited according to the TANAP rules!
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As many other places in the High Tatras (2314 meters) even Bystre Sedlo is not that well known among tourists. Perhaps, it is given to the fact that there is no cottage that would offer tourists some refreshments after being whole day on food. Or, perhaps, the route is not leading to any of the High Tatras’ peaks. There are only a few people but you will definitely enjoy your time in untouched Tatran nature.
It is advantageous to keep a couple of basic rules, in order not to be wounded and everything turned out well for your succesfull home-return. We are sure that nobody of us is planning some accident but in spite of all of this it occures, however. It is good to be ready for all occasions and overcome all situations with as small consequences as possible.
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