Tuesday, 13 November 2007

thick socks required

I enjoy a hike in the mountains. A heavy pack, fresh air, sore quads, beautiful semi-alpine scenery, utter exhaustion at the end. Hiking in winter is even more pleasurable for the abovementioned reasons plus many more: frozen snot, constantly slipping in the waist deep snow, sliding on your arse, drinking cold water in minus 5 temperatures, reading the ‘warning avalanches’ signs, sweating inside your wet weather gear, wondering if there is a hungry bear still not in hibernation. And the mind blowing landscape. Nothing beats it. I had an excellent weekend.

Krakow is also covered in snow. If this is early to mid November we will all be so rooted by December.

We went hiking with Konrad and Aga who came down from Wroclaw on Friday night to our place. They returned home on the Sunday after the hike. The trip usually takes 2.5 hours from Krakow to Wroclaw on the freeway. It took them 7. The ploughs hadn’t cleared the freeway from the snow and all the heavy semi-trailers couldn't make it up the small inclines. Plus they were still on their summer tires. For those not in the know – you have to switch your tires to winter ones for the snow (deeper grooves), for better traction. Because the snow has come early, tire change places are booked up with massive queues and there are plenty of spazzos slipping and sliding all over Krakow’s streets.

this is the mountain shelter we stayed at on Sat night - at about 1000m

first icicles - they can be lethal in the city and pierce skulls

ascend begins


in the end there was no need for cramp-ons because the snow was still very fluffy -
good thing too beause we didn't have any


Anonymous said...

100% envious. They have to be some of the most beautiful photos ever! Unlike your fairytale surroundings, it's only 8.30am here and I already have sweat patches from my 20 minute strole to work. Can't wait to see what Dec/Jan brings us.


m said...

oh yeah, that IS winter. Great photos Jazz - that 'sigh' said it all...

Karen said...

am totally impressed by your toughness. looks like a beautiful way to kill some time.

Nosey said...

You're still my hardcore hero. Today Anthony and I were reminiscing about your canoe water polo days. Sigh (another kind of sigh).

That mountain hut looks like something out of Hansel and Gretel.

liamski said...

Reminds me of my much-missed winter in Czech Republic. For someone who had spent 23 years in (primarily) Western Sydney, to see 3 foot of snow and trees dusted icing-sugar-like - was magical. ..and to feel flakes landing on your eyelashes... amazing.

Right - out to lunch now. It's 30 degrees c.

Kukus said...

David Guterson called... he wants his imagery back :) hahaha beautiful shots!