SKI TOURING IN THE BIESZCZADY AND LOW BESKIDS

We invite you to the winter Bieszczady and Beskid Niski, because when winter covers their peaks and valleys with white snow, these regions transform into a paradise for ski touring and cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Here, where gentle slopes meet vast mountain meadows, and nature takes the lead, every step on skis becomes an unforgettable adventure.

 

Following in the footsteps of Paweł Pabian, a renowned mountain guide, we discover the ski touring gems of the Bieszczady and Low Beskids. Ski touring, also known as backcountry skiing, is a fascinating form of winter activity that combines elements of downhill and cross-country skiing. It is a sport for those who wish to explore mountain landscapes away from crowded slopes, valuing freedom, adventure, and closeness to nature.

 

Ski Touring in the Bieszczady – Overview of Routes

The Bieszczady, known for their gentle slopes and vast highlands, are an ideal place for ski touring expeditions. Offering trails of varying difficulty levels, this region attracts fans of backcountry skiing, both for short, one-day excursions and longer escapades. For ski treks, you can utilize hiking trails. Recently, special downhill corridors from Połonina Wetlińska, Tarnica, and Mała Rawka have also been prepared. More information about them can be found on the Bieszczady National Park website.

 

Cezary Krupski_Wolna Republika Bieszczad_Skitury na bieszczadzkich połoninach... Luty 2018.webp [727.63 KB] The Bieszczady Mountains, photo: Cezary Krupski

Where to go ski touring in the Bieszczady?

Let's take a closer look at selected routes:

 

 

Przełęcz Wyżniańska – Mała Rawka – Wielka Rawka - Kremenaros

One of the most picturesque and popular ski touring paths in the Bieszczady is the route starting at the Wyżniańska Pass, leading through the PTTK Shelter at Mała Rawka, up to Wielka Rawka (1304m above sea level), and Kremenaros, and then back the same way. The total length of the route is about 13 km, with an elevation gain of 550 m.

The trail, located in the border massif of Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia, can be called the 'Mecca of Bieszczady ski tourers.' This is unsurprising, as it features convenient access (a large parking lot at the pass awaits snow adventure enthusiasts), and the PTTK Shelter on the route is open all year round, providing a convenient resting place.

The route itself begins from the parking lot at the Wyżniańska Pass, from where we set off through the forest, quickly emerging onto the open spaces of Wierch Wyżniański. It's worth stopping here to look around, as the views of Połonina Wetlińska, Caryńska, and Tarnica unfold around us.

After about 1.5 km of marching, we reach the PTTK Shelter "Pod Małą Rawką," where the actual ascent begins, measuring 350 meters. Through the beech forest and well-marked trail, we conquer the meters to reach the top of Mała Rawka.

From here, we look for the yellow trail and climb up to Wielka Rawka, which takes about 20 minutes. From there, we can descend to the north or continue the hike on the blue trail to Kremenaros, the tripoint of Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.

 

Where to go Cross – Country skiing in the Bieszczady?

Cross-Country Ski Trails in Muczne

Another option that will delight every ski enthusiast is the forest cross-country ski trails in Muczne. Surrounded by picturesque, snow-covered trees, these trails provide an ideal spot for a skiing excursion right in the heart of nature. The Bieszczady Ski Trails Association prepares cross-country ski trails each year, ranging in length from 1.8 to 6.5 km. The maintenance of these trails is aided by the reliable snow groomer 'Romek,' ensuring they are always in excellent condition. For those who do not have their own equipment, a rental service is available at the Forestry Promotion Center in Muczne.

However, Muczne offers much more than just skiing attractions. During a visit to this picturesque village, it's worth visiting the Bison Demonstration Farm or climbing the lookout tower on Jeleniowaty.

 

 

Ski Touring in the Low Beskids – Overview of Routes

If you are looking for smaller elevations but equally beautiful views and tranquility, we have something perfect for you – ski touring expeditions in the Low Beskids (near the Bieszczady Mountains).

The Low Beskids are the ideal place for those seeking peace and quiet, away from the crowds of tourists. In winter, this lesser-known region offers wonderful ski touring trails, enchanting with beautiful landscapes, geographical curiosities, and the history of the Lemkos, ensuring an unforgettable winter adventure.

 

20210223_120137.webp [301.69 KB] The Beskid Niski Mountains, photo: Archive of Rowery Madej

 

Where to go ski touring in the Low Beskids?

In the Low Beskids, we have two route suggestions for you:

 

Lipowiec - Kamień nad Jaśliskami – Lipowiec

The first route is from Lipowiec to Kamień nad Jaśliskami and back to Lipowiec. This 13 km long route with an elevation gain of 420 m is ideal for backcountry skiing enthusiasts and beginners.

The hike starts from Lipowiec, following the green trail. The ascent is long but gentle, making it enjoyable and not too strenuous. Along the way, we pass a landslide and a quarry, until we finally reach the summit, where a large dome of stones and a monument dedicated to John Paul II are located. After a moment of joy from conquering the peak and admiring the beautiful views, we can descend to the west, following the blue trail to Czeremcha, or return partially via the green trail and then turn onto the yellow trail to finish the descent in Lipowiec.

This route not only provides skiing experiences but also a substantial dose of local knowledge. Along the way, we encounter: three quarries that testify to the region's past, remnants of a now non-existent village, memorial sites that recall the history of the region, such as a World War I military cemetery. We will also visit Jaśliska, known as 'Subcarpathian Hollywood.' It is there that movies such as 'Strawberry Wine' and 'Corpus Christi' were filmed.

 

 

Olchowiec - Beskid Pass - Baranie – Olchowiec

The second proposal for ski touring fun in the Low Beskids is a picturesque ski touring route of 11 km with an elevation gain of 350 m, starting in Olchowiec. Starting from the beautiful Lemko church, you will follow the yellow trail to the Beskid Pass, located on the Polish-Slovak border. Here, you will discover trenches from World War I, adding a historical dimension to the route. Then, turning west, you will take on the challenge of a steep ascent to the summit of Baranie, where there is a covered shelter, perfect for a short rest, and a crossroads of trails. The return to Olchowiec is via the black trail. This route offers diversity: beginners can follow along the trail, while experienced skiers looking for interesting descents will find them to the east of the black trail.

 

 

20230212_145434.webp [949.66 KB] Ski touring, photo: Archive of Rowery Madej

Where to go Cross – Country skiing in the Bieszczady and Low Beskids?

 

However, these are not the only options. Favorable conditions for cross-country skiing can also be found on the following routes:

  • Świątkowa Wielka – Mareszka Ski Station (cross-country ski track lengths: 1.5km / 3km / 4.6km),
  • Ustjanowa Górna 'Pod Żukowem' (recreational 2 km / competitive 5 km),
  • Czarnorzeki (recreational: 400 m / competitive: 1.3 km),
  • Puławy – Kiczera Ski Winter Sports Center (a total of 7 km),
  • Wetlina (yellow 4 km, red 5 km, green 4 km, blue 5 km).

 

 

85074396_2616883798421974_8073437931110400000_o.webp [251.43 KB] Ski touring, photo: Archive of Rowery Madej

 

Ski Touring – Equipment Needed for Winter Treks

However, before you embark on your first ski touring expedition, it is important to understand the basics and prepare adequately.

Therefore, you will need:

  • Ski touring skis and bindings: Ski touring skis are the heart of all equipment. They are lighter than traditional downhill skis, weighing just 1 to 1.5 kg, significantly facilitating ascents. Their unique design allows for efficient descents, even in challenging terrain. Special bindings are used for ski touring skis, which allow for rigid attachment of the heel to the ski or its release, crucial during ascents.
  • Ski touring boots: Equally important as the right skis are the boots. Ski touring boots differ from downhill boots. They are lighter, more flexible, and allow a greater range of ankle movement, essential during climbing. It is important that they are comfortable and well-fitted, as they will be your main support during long treks.
  • Skins: Skins are special fabric strips that are attached to the ski's base. Their hairs are aligned in one direction, allowing the skis to glide forward but preventing sliding back during ascents. They are a key element of ski touring equipment, especially if you dream of conquering challenging slopes.
  • Helmet and poles: Safety is paramount, as the goal is to have fun without risks, so a helmet is a mandatory piece of equipment to protect your head in case of a fall. Meanwhile, poles should be sturdy and adjusted to the skier's height to ensure proper force transfer.
  • Appropriate clothing: If you are going on a ski tour, always dress in layers. Layers should be easy to remove or add depending on weather conditions and exercise intensity.

 

Remember, ski touring, although it may seem innocuous, is quite a demanding physical activity. Before you set off on a winter expedition on your own, it is recommended to seek the assistance of an experienced guide who will teach you how to use the equipment, techniques for traversing and ascending, as well as how to switch skis for descending and ascending. The skiing equipment in the Beskid Niski can be rented, among others, at the company Rowery Madej.

 

319803563_1161035651194420_5203582091083855470_n.webp [409.45 KB] The Beskid Niski Mountains, photo: Archive of Rowery Madej

Winter ski trips in the Bieszczady and Low Beskids are not only an active form of relaxation but also an opportunity for healing contact with nature and finding inner peace, which is hard to find in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It's a unique chance to slow down, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and enjoy the beauty that the Bieszczady and Low Beskids have to offer.

 

SKI EQUIPMENT RENTALS

 

BIESZCZADY

 

  • Rental at the slope of Arłamów Hotel

Arłamów 1

 38-700 Ustrzyki Dolne

Tel.: 13 443 14 06 ext. 3406

www.arlamow.pl

 

  • Rental at BIESZCZAD.ski Ski Station

Wańkowa 25c

38-711 Wańkowa

Tel.: 794 100 033

Email: wypozyczalnia@bieszczad.ski

www.bieszczad.ski

 

  • Rental at Lesko Summer & Ski Recreational Complex

Weremień 36

 38-600 Lesko

Tel.: 606 626 878

www.leskoski.pl

 

  • Rental at the ski lift in Kalnica

Kalnica 6

38-608 Wetlina

Tel.: 501 170 434

 www.kalnica.eu

 

  • Rental at Laworta Ski slope

Brzegi Dolne 122

38-700 Brzegi Dolne

Tel.: 533 340 754

Email: info@lawortaski.pl

www.lawortaski.pl

 

  • Rental at Gromadzyń Ski Station - Oster-Ski.pl

Naftowa 16 Street

38-700 Ustrzyki Dolne

Tel: 508 338 007

 Email: ostero@op.pl

www.oster-ski.pl

 

  • Ski equipment rental at Solny – Resort in Bieszczady

 Dołżyca 32

38-607 Cisna

Tel.: 603 894 159

Email: biuro@solny.com.pl

www.solny.com.pl

 

  • Ski equipment rental at Skalny SPA Complex

Zdrojowa 11 Street

38-610 Polańczyk

 Tel.: 785 522 011

www.skalnyspa.pl

 

  • (Only) Snowshoe Rental – BIESZCZADER Travel Agency

Mokre 54

38-542 Rzepedź

Tel.: 667 707 999

Email: biuro@bieszczader.pl

www.bieszczader.pl

 

  • (Only) Snowshoe Rental – PAWUK Travel Agency

Bieszczadzka 5 Street

38-540 Zagórz

Tel.: 13 306 78 88 Tel.: 721 215 453

Email: biuro@pawuk.pl

www.wycieczki-bieszczady.pl

 

  • Cross-country skiing and snowshoe rental at the Bojko Museum

Myczków 46

38-610 Polańczyk

Tel.: 13 463 15 69

 Email: poczta@muzeumbojkow.pl

www.muzeumbojkow.pl

 

  • Ski (cross-country and downhill) and tourist equipment rental at Przystanek Smerek

Smerek 8

38-608 Smerek

Tel.: 512 486 845 (Marta) Tel.: 13 468 47 06

Email: przystaneksmerek@gmail.com

www.wypozyczalnia.bieszczady.pl

 

  • Bieszczady Ski Experience – ski touring equipment rental

Ustrzyki Górne 1

38-713 Ustrzyki Górne

Tel.: 533 807 061 Tel.: 660 720 457

Email: biuro@bieszczadyskiexperience.pl

 

  • Biegówki Muczne –ski and snowshoe rental

Muczne 2

38-713 Muczne

Tel.: 608 469 289

E-mail: biegowki.muczne@gmail.com

www.biegowki-muczne.pl

 

 

BESKID NISKI

 

  • Cross-country ski rental - Rowery Madej

Floriańska 167B Street

 Iwonicz Tel. 723 111 764

 Email: rowerymadej@gmail.com

 

  • Rental at Kiczera.ski Resort

Puławy 16

38-480 Rymanów

Tel.: 13 435 90 01

 

  • Rental at Chyrowa-Ski slope

Chyrowa 40

38-450 Dukla

Tel.: 785 354 308

 www.uschabinskiej.pl/chyrowa-ski/

 

  • Krosno Bicycle Service: Sport Winter and Summer – Skis and Bicycles

Wojska Polskiego 41 Street

38-400 Krosno

Tel.: 518 821 501

www.sportwinterandsummer.business.site

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