High Tatras
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Roger Z
February 14, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Read a Powder magazine today at Borders Books, which had an article on the Polish High Tatras outside Zakopane (to continue a discussion on skiing in Slovakia by Johnfmh from a few weeks ago). Apparently no skiing is permitted in the National Park in the forest, hence the reason the ski area is so small there. There are a lot of other little ski hills in the area but none would have the 3000 vert that you can get off the tram. As a matter of fact, in the national park, any "disturbance" of nature is forbidden, including loud talking. Foreigners, it is alluded in the article, have been known to be thrown in jail for violating rules in the park.

So you think we have a debate going about MPC in West Virginia? Imagine if you weren't even allowed to ski *in* the trees on the Allegheny Front, much less cut them down. Sheesh!

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 14, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
I read that article. There were some errors in it.

1. He mentioned that a cold front was coming in from Russia. Weather in Europe moves West to East.

2. He also claimed that the High Tatras extend all the way to Romania. The High Tatras are the smallest high mountain range in the world. These mountains form part of the border between Poland and Slovakia but do not cross into any other countries. It is the Carpathian arch that extends from the Czech Republic into Romania (the Tatras are a subset of the Carpathian Arch).

Hiking and skiing outside of marked trails in the High Tatras National Park (both in Poland and Slovakia) is only permitted with a certified UIAGM mountain guide: www.tatry.sk.

The Slovak and Polish National Park system was established to protect a fragile environment and not for skiing. Therefore, skiing is very limited there. Most slopes are relatively short and not very steep. Better skiing can be found in Jasna in the Low Tatras and places like:

http://www.slovakspectator.sk/clanok.asp?vyd=2004001&cl=14797

http://www.slovakspectator.sk/clanok.asp?vyd=2004005&cl=15059

http://www.slovakspectator.sk/clanok.asp?vyd=2004004&cl=14984

http://www.slovakspectator.sk/clanok.asp?vyd=2004002&cl=14857

[This message has been edited by johnfmh (edited 02-14-2004).]

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 16, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Here's my newest Slovak ski resort article:

http://www.slovakspectator.sk/clanok-15126.html

Roger, this is the one to go to next time you are in that neighborhood.

Roger Z
February 16, 2004
Member since 01/16/2004
2,181 posts
Thanks for the links, John. The resorts are definitely growing over there, which is good, but these don't look like Austria/Switzerland style destination resorts yet, no? Anyway it's always fun to ski at places like this if you find yourself in the neighborhood-- you won't be rubbing elbows with fellow Americans and Brits, etc. in the liftlines!
johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
February 16, 2004
Member since 07/18/2001
1,914 posts
Roger:

Comparing skiing in Slovakia to the Alps is like comparing New Hampshire to Colorado. Sure, there's some good runs in NH, but the skiing does not compare to CO in terms of most major measures such as snow conditions, lifts, vertical, etc.

I tell people not to expect St. Anton or Ischgl when visiting Slovakia. Interestingly, the people who seem most interested in going are UK and German tourists looking for cheap accomodations, food, and beer. For them, the skiing is secondary. They just want a fun place in the mountains to hang out and Slovakia works well in that regard.

But for a serious-minded American skier, I'd never recommend going to Slovakia over Austria. It's apples vs. oranges.

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