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Weekends 3 and 4
Over the last two weekends of the course we focused on implementing what we had learnt. Don an I, we lead several mixed routes. The climbing was all absorbing and very rewarding. Krzysztof, this time almost imperceptible, observed our improving styles and again he proved to be alert rescuing us from the occasional glitches.

We completed the following routes:
1. The Prawy Zebro (Right Rib) on Granaty a 300m buttress of UIAA III grade.
2. Zebro Czecha (Czech's rib) 3 pitches long with a 5 m chimney crux of the route, at UIAA V.
3. The Polnocny Filar Swinicy (North Pillar of Swinica) was done up to the col, it is a striking 600m buttress at UIAA IV, and a renowned classic winter outing in the area. It is perhaps the best classic winter route in the Gasienicowa Valley.
4. "Zalupa H" on Zadni Koscielec (3 pitches UIAA II) with Don leading the whole route.

When we said goodbye to Krzysztof at the railway station we all felt sad that it was over. It had been an unforgettable experience for Don and I, and we felt privileged to have spent so much time with a climber like Krzysztof. In 27 separate visits to the Tatras over a period of 5 years I feel I got to know them quite well, but I couldn't help feeling as we boarded the Warsaw train that winter is what really makes them the 'Polish' Tatras.

Summary:

  • You can get there good value on a 1to1 or 1to2 individual course with high calibre guides
  • Winter weather conditions and mixed character of the routes resemble that in Scotland
  • The Poles like English, Welsh and Scottish have a liking for strong alcoholic drinks