Polen: Rysy (2499 m)

 

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This
twin summitted peak is located in the central part of the High Tatras in their
main ridge, on the border between Poland and Slovakia.
The north-western summit of
Rysy(2499,2) is the highest point in Poland
, and therefore in the summer
the mountain is climbed by a lot of people from the Polish side.

It is a very steep uphill, but does not require technical climbing. Separate
climbing routes are some of the best in the country. The slopes on the
Slovakian side are a lot gentler and therefore not less crowded in the high
season.

Rysy is the highest peak of
Tatras accessible by marked tourist routes, which explains its great popularity
during summer season. Wonderful alpine flora.
Rysy summit offers one of the
widest and richest summit panoramas in Tatras. By good weather conditions one
can admire all prominent High Tatra peaks, several lakes, the Nizke Tatra
Mountain Range and the Western Beskidy Mountains.

 

 

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Czarny Staw (Black Lake) and
Morskie Oko (Eye of the sea) seen from Rysy

 

 


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The
magnificent 500 meter high eastern face offers long alpine climbing routes of
high difficulties .

 

 


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Rysy
in autumn colours from Svistova Valley

 

 

 

 

Rysy
is the 10th highest Tatra massif and a culminating point in the main High Tatra
ridge line. It rises high above 3 great valleys of Rybiego Potoku(Fish’s Stream Valley), Belovodska (White Water Valley) with its high section of Ceska Valley (Heavy Valley) and Mengusovska on the south.

Viewed from Morskie OkoRysy peak presents itself quite
inconspicuously being partly covered by Niznie
Rysy(2430)
peak which, though 70 meters lower, seems to be the higher
one.
From the west Rysy(2503) is
bounded by Zabia Przelecz(2225)
(Frog’s Pass) after which rises the legendary ridge of Zabi Kon(2291) (Frog’s Horse).

To the north there is Pod Rysami
Pass(2365)
and then Niznie
Rysy(2430)
peak.

Finally in the south-east the wide saddle of Vaha Pass(2337) separates Rysy from Wysoka(2560) massif (more precisely Cesky Peak(2520)).

 

 


Rysy
has got 3 summits. They are
situated very close to each other :

– North-western summit(2499,2) is the main culmination ,being a crossing point
for the prominent northern ridge. It is
the highest point of Poland

– Middle summit (2503), the
highest one

– South-eastern summit(2473), less known and prominent one

 

 

 

 

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Rysy massif from the threshold
of Ciezka Valley (summit in cloud)

 

 

 

 

Getting There

 

 

On
the Polish side the nearest town is Zakopane
– very good communication links with Cracow
city
and the rest of Poland.

The best base for all those who want to climb the highest peak of Poland is the
Morskie Oko (Eye of the Sea) Chalet, situated just upon the famous, beautiful
mountain lake of the same name.
Morskie Oko lake can be reached
by many variations of hiking routes on the polish side side of Tatra Mountains.

Tourists staying in Zakopane usually take one of hundreds of minibuses or buses
going in this direction. The drive ends 2 km after the Polish-Slovak border
crossing in Lysa Polana on Palenica Bialczanska meadow,
transformed nowadays into a giant parking place (horribly crowded during summer
season). After that you enter the National Park gate and have 9 km nice walk-up through the forests
of Bialki and Rybiego Potoku valleys before you
reach one of the greatest natural treasures of Poland, the most beautiful and
the greatest lake of Tatra Mountians – Morskie
Oko
.

In the summer season when the weather looks stable it is possible to climb Rysy
even from Zakopane (Zakopane – Palenica by bus) starting very early in the
morning of course!

 

 

 

 

If
you want to climb Rysy from the Slovak
side
of the mountains you have to get to Strbske Pleso – the highest situated town of Slovakia – 1335
meters above sea level, a beautiful tourist center and ski resort. Very good
communication with Poprad and
many other Slovak towns.

 

 

 

 

Marked routes

 

 

Polish side:

Palenica(990) – 3 km – 3/4 h – Wodogrzmoty Mickiewicza waterfalls(1099) – 4 km
– 1 h – Wlosienica(1310) – 2 km – 1/2 h Morskie Oko lake(1395) –  9 km ,400 meters of height difference, 2 1/4
h, road.

Walk around Morskie Oko lake – 2,5 km ,3/4 h ,red marks.
Morskie Oko chalet(1410) – 2 km – 3/4 h
– Czarny Staw Pod Rysami(1583) (Black Lake) – 1 h – Kociol pod Rysami(1950) – 3
km – 2 3/4 h – Rysy(2499) – Rysy(2503) – 5 km, 1100 m of height difference, 3
1/2 h, red marks.

 

 

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Slovak side:

“Popradske Pleso” (electric railway station)(1245) – Popradske Lake(1494)
– 4 km, 260 m of height difference, 1 1/4 h, road, blue marks.

Strbske Pleso (1335) – 2,5 km – 3/4 h – Drigant (ca.1500) – 2,5 km – 3/4 h –
Popradske Lake(1494) – 5 km, 150 m of height difference ,1 1/2 h ,red marked
Magistrala trail.
Popradske Lake(1494) – 1,5 km – 1/2 h – Mengusovska Valley – 3/4 h – Zabie
Lakes(1919) – 3/4 h – Chata Pod Rysmi Chalet(2250) – 1/4 h – Vaha Pass(2337) –
3/4 h – Rysy(2503) – Rysy(2499) – 6,1 km, 1000 m of height difference, 3 h,
blue and red marks.

 

 

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From the south

 

 

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View over the Frozen tarn from saddle Vaha on the way up to summit Rysy.

 

 

 

 

When To Climb

 

 

The best hiking season : August – September

In July frequent thunderstorms.

In winter the area is endangered by huge avalanches, but if the conditions are
stable (rather not earlier than April – May) it would be great climb (required
good winter equipment: crampons, ice axes etc.).

After heavy rainfall there is a serious danger of rock avalanches on the polish
side.

 

 

 

 

Where to stay

 

 

Polish side :

As I mentioned before the best place to stay overnight when planning Rysy climb
or other great hiking routes in the Morskie Oko area is Morskie Oko
chalet(1410)
situated beatifully on the morene of the greatest post-glacial
Tatra mountain lake – Morskie Oko – The Lake Eye Of The Sea. Behind the
main building there is a second hut-looking older chalet where You also can
find places for comfortable sleep.

As far as I am oriented prices are quite high and the cheapest beds cost about
35 zlotys (over 8 Euro) per night. 3 h to Rysy summit

 

 

 

 

Slovak side:

Chata Pod Rysmi Chalet (2250)

The highest situated mountain chalet of Tatra Mountains and Carpathians –
little box stuck to a rocky slope under Vaha Pass(2337), regularly damaged by
avalanches during wintertime (last time in winter 2003/04).

The chalet is open seasonally from 1.06 to 31.10 every year.

Very nice atmosphere, 250 SK (7 Euro) per night in season 2004.

1 h to the Rysy summit.

 

 

 

 

Popradske
Pleso Mountain Hotel (1500)

This hotel (prices definitely too high to call it a chalet!) is situated on the
beautiful Popradske Lake in Mengusovska Valley on the main marked route leading
to Rysy. Great scenery but the area is usually overcrowded in the summer.

If you’re lucky there is a possibility to get a place in a big touristic room
(360 SK – 9,5 Euro per night/2004) but if it’s full your choice is narrowed
only to much more expensive hotel rooms.

3 h to Rysy summit

 

 

 

 

 

 

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