Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Skiing to Kotel Mountain (1435m)

The weather forecast had predicted a full day of clear blue sky. It was not wrong. Our classic skis were waxed. We prepared tea for the journey ahead (black and lemon tea with rum and honey). We packed rolls, strudel and tatranky (a special czech chocolate wafer biscuit).
We planned to ski from the town of Harrachov, across some of the Krkonose Mountains to Kotel Mountain (1435m), before turning back to the town again. Along the way we planned a stop at Dvoracky Bouda (cottage) for some of their famous Drskova soup (Tripe soup).

We started at 12pm, sun shining above us, and returned home at 7pm exhausted! We covered just over 30km on some seemingly isolated, stunning trails.

Below is our whole ski trip (Images from Google Earth):

The view from Vysoke Kolo (1506m) towards Kotel:

Vysoko Kolo in the foreground, looking towards Kotel, and then heading right, down to Dvoracky Bouda:

Our trip started with a steep climb up into the mountains:

Arriving at Vosecka Bouda (~1290m). Here we found many tourists stopping for lunch as the cottage was still accessible to many less-fit skiers, and still relatively close to Harrachov. I wisely decided against the 105Kc bottle of water (normally sold for 20Kc).

The trail towards Vysoko Kolo follows the Czech-Polish border East, and is called the "Czech-Polish Friendship Trail:"

Some of the animals we saw on the way:

The long poles mark the trails on the mountains to help skiers when the fog settles in and navigation becomes difficult - the idea is that you ski from one pole to the next:

Vysoko Kolo:

An isolated weather station:

Looking down from Vysoko Kolo into Poland:

Skiing South towards Kotel:

Skiing downhill felt more like alpine skiing:

The view back to Vysoko Kolo and the weather station from where we skied:

Kotel Mountain:

Skiing down next to Kotel Mountain towards Dvoracky Bouda:

Sunset as we ski the last section home:

The above photos were taken by Jan Venca Francke

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