We have learned many times that online maps can fail. Tourists who rely solely on routes provided by apps may be at risk of problems. Recently they were led right to the edge of the abyss.
Some time ago, the media reported that a tourist from China was at Orla Perć instead of Morskie Oko. He was guided by Google Maps and did not realize that he had long since strayed from the straight and easy path. If it weren’t for the help of two experienced Poles, it’s scary to think how his expedition would have ended.
Piotr Mazik, the president of the Tatra Guides Association, recently drew attention to such problems and revealed in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza that many similar cases were reported last weekend. One group of tourists was led to the precipice and miraculously avoided tragedy.
The map led the tourists to an abyss
An experienced guide reported that public awareness of routes determined by applications is still very low. Because we absolutely trust online maps, we often ignore basic signals and do not realize how difficult the areas we are in.
Due to such lack of caution, a tragedy was miraculously avoided last Saturday, when the traveler was in the area of Gerlach – the highest peak of the Tatra Mountains with a height of 2,655 m above sea level. It turns out that there is no tourist trail leading there, and you cannot go up the mountain on your own, but only with a guide.
Guide Piotr Mazik told Gazeta Wyborcza that when he was near the mentioned peak, he noticed that a couple was following him without the support of an experienced person. She couldn’t find her way. Although withwere near a broken gully above a precipice, the route map loaded into the interactive watch directed them straight to the cliff.
They miraculously avoided tragedy. It’s hard to believe what they wanted to do
After the guide warned the stray tourists and tried to dissuade them from continuing this route, the couple stubbornly argued that the map and watch were definitely right and they did not intend to give up the trip. Only after a while they managed to dissuade them from this tragic idea.
Piotr Mazik emphasized that the map with the route led them straight to the abyss and they miraculously avoided tragedy. Thus, he witnessed how many of us operate. “Many people who go to the Tatra Mountains do not realize how difficult the terrain they are entering. Guides should guarantee safety, but also slowly teach independence. This is part of this profession – education in the mountains. But we live in times when professionals are underestimated. Instead, one prefers to imitate the so-called influencers,” said the guide.