What You Need To Know Before Visiting the Slovak Mountains in Winter
2019, 29 Nov / Author: Xenia K.
Proofread by: Sherry R. / www.iproofing.net
November 2019 in Slovakia is extraordinarily warm, but the winter is coming.
Many of you will visit the Slovak mountains, which are beautiful throughout the whole year, but visiting them in winter deserves special attention.
Usually there is cold weather in Slovakia until February – March, depending on the season.
In some mountain areas the temperatures can even drop below minus 20° Celsius. This kind of temperature combined with a bitter wind, can turn into a real nightmare up in the mountains.
The number of tourists visiting the Slovak mountains increase year on year, especially in High Tatras, and so does the number of accidents.
Based on the statistics kept by the Slovak Mountain Rescue Service, in 2018 there were 32 fatal incidents. However, up until the beginning of November 2019, there have already been 34 casualties. And the winter season has not yet started...
The main reason for accidents is that the tourists underestimate these trips. They think the High Tatras are not the Himalayas, the highest peak is only 2.655 metres high, so why worry...
Well, that´s true, the High Tatras are not the Himalayas, but many Slovak mountaineers could spend hours telling you stories about how the weather in these mountains can turn within 2 hours to a complete disaster and cause very dangerous situations.
Speaking of which, here are some tips that you need to know before you head off to the Slovak mountains in winter:
1. Plan your trip properly.
2. Check the weather ahead of the tour.
3. Plan your route, note that some trails can be closed in winter.
4. Check the current information published by the Mountain Rescue Service
(English version: https://www.hzs.sk/pokyny-hzs#UK)
5. Never go alone.
6. Check your insurance – you may need extra insurance for your planned winter activities.
7. Inform your hotel/dormitory about your route when leaving the facility.
8. Save the phone number of your hotel and Mountain Rescue Service.
9. Make sure that you are equipped properly - warm clothing, boots, cap, raincoat, gloves, hiking poles, climbing equipment, headlamp, sunglasses etc.
10. Take hot drinks and some food with you as some mountain cottages can be closed.
11. Never enter zones marked as dangerous or closed for tourists.
12. Be careful on rocky and steep trails so that you don´t slip.
13. Do not overestimate your abilities.
Please remember that many Slovak mountains are located in National Parks, so please conduct yourself in line with the following recommendations:
· Protect mountain nature
· Do not throw away any garbage
· Do not scare animals
· Do not touch animals
· Do not pick mountain flowers or fruits
· Follow only marked trails
· Do not make a fire
· Follow the rules of a particular zone
When you are in a real trouble, call the Mountain Rescue Service.
We wish you a pleasant stay in Slovak mountains.