Horská záchranná služba, the Slovak equivalent of TOPR, has published an important announcement for tourists. On November 1, some trails in the Tatra Mountains were closed. There is an entry ban here that must be respected.
Horská záchranná služba is a state professional service in Slovakia, dealing primarily with mountain rescue. It works, among others: in the Tatra Mountains, where he often conducts operations in cooperation with rescuers from the Tatra Volunteer Emergency Service. Slovak officials have just issued an important announcement regarding the operation of some trails in winter and spring 2024. Some of them have been closed and entry to these trails is strictly prohibited.
Closed trails in the Tatra Mountains
The summer season in the mountains has been replaced by the winter one. Conditions – especially in the higher parts of the mountains – are not favorable, the temperature has dropped, rainfall is recorded, and it is becoming slippery. During such a period, many trails on the Slovak side cease to operate above a certain height. They are closed until next summer. And it was in this case that the Slovak mountain rescuers issued an appeal.
“Last weekend was the last time tourists could visit the peaks and valleys that will soon become inaccessible again due to the winter closure. It will come into force in the High Tatras, as in previous years, from November 1,” they wrote in a statement.
The hike is only possible in June
The closure of the trails is effective from November 1 and applies to the trails located above the shelters, as well as the access to the cottage under Rysy. Some time ago, such a rule was introduced by TANAP – the Slovak equivalent of TPN, the Tatra National Park. These trails will not be reopened until June 15. Until now, tourists will be able to walk through the valleys and roads located below the shelters.
This annual change is related to the upcoming winter. Changing the time makes the day “shorten” by an hour and darkness falls sooner. In addition, it gets simply cold in the mountains at this time. There is a possibility of rain, snow and frost, which may turn the roads into an ice rink.
“At this time of year, it is advisable to always carry at least some chain ‘hooks’ or climbing irons. In the event of a sudden deterioration of the weather, significant cooling or strong wind, which is not uncommon in the mountains with the coming winter, it is worth purchasing equipment adapted to winter conditions,” Slovak rescuers recommend.
We would like to remind you that going to the mountains in autumn and winter requires not only appropriate equipment, but also clothing. It is also worth checking the weather forecast regularly and reacting to the changing weather on an ongoing basis. In the mountains it can be unpredictable.