Tatra Mountains Will be Safer in Winter

A new elevated highway will be constructed in the Polish Tatra National Park to minimize the risk posed by snow avalanches in the region of Morskie Oko, the biggest lake in Tatra.

Such an investment will allow tourists to get to the lake safely.
The new winter route is to be ready next year. This is another change in the Tatra Mountains after the introduction of one-way traffic on the Orla Perc, a paved hiking trail in the High Tatras.

In winter, when it’s snowing heavily, the area of Morskie Oko is particularly susceptible to avalanches rolling down from the mountain peaks. The avalanches are so powerful that they can break through the lake’s thick ice and cover the surface of the lake.

In recent winters, avalanches even cracked window panes in the mountain shelter on the bank of the lake. The avalanches also often reach the road leading to the lake, the site of one of the most popular hiking trails in the park.

Many times hikers have been forced to wait in the shelter for a few days until the Tatra Voluntary Rescue Service determined that the avalanche danger had decreased.

“We want to limit the danger of avalanches in this mountain area,” said Zbigniew Krzan, the vice director of the park. “We are planning the construction of the special winter bypass from the Wlosienica Glade to the Morskie Oko. The special platform, which will be constructed on this route, won’t destroy the unique flora of the Tatra National Park.”

The switch to one-way traffic in the Tatra Mountains has been successful. The introduction of this regulation on Orla Perc helped to reduce congestion and the risk of serious accidents on the route.

“Nevertheless, the danger of fatal accidents is always a part mountain trips,” cautioned Pawel Skawinski, a mountain rescuer.

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