The night went well and was pretty much windless; despite cold feet, I slept well until about 4am after which kept daydreaming.
It took a while for the sun to reach out behind Śnieżnik. When I saw the first sunrays, I came out of the tent and put on with some difficulty my hard, frozen shoes… not a pleasant experience but I do not like to put my shoes in my sleeping bag as they are snowy and wet. I had some breakfast, packed my things and got ready to get on the move again. I had a significantly longer day ahead of me today, with about 19km planned (12km the day before).
Before setting off, I turned on my GPS unit - the lowest temperature during the night was -14…
I passed the Śnieżnik mountain hut, which had just recently reopened due to relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in Poland.
The plan for today to reach Śnieżnik was to hike around the mountain and reach the other side, from which I would then climb up. On the way, I stopped by a non-guarded hut. It used to be a hunting lodge and is certainly not far from a century old… I slept there a few times before but the danger is you never know which company you’re going to get for the night, and I didn’t have only good experiences in such situations!
The climb up to the summit was steep and tiring; once at the top, I celebrated my victory with a cup of tea and a piece of chocolate!
I setup my equipment and made only 5 contacts over FM, despite spotting and trying different local frequencies… an activation on a week day is certainly more challenging that at the week-end.
Instead of coming down the valley directly to the town where I had parked, the plan was to go to Mały Śnieżnik (Small Śnieżnik) visible in the background, and then take another path down to the valley. It was a very pleasant walk, mostly flat until the last 500 meters. Mały Snieżnik used to be a SOTA summit (which I previously activated), but being in the Czech association, it was removed from the database last year as it didn’t meet the P150 rule.
I noticed on the map another group of rocks with a viewpoint. I decided to look for and have lunch. This proved again a great idea. The view was stunning, the sun was shining and there was no wind whatsoever: the silence was total. It was one of those moments suspended in time. I listened to the local repeater while enjoying a bowl of pasta and a coffee. I relaxed there for almost an hour!
I reluctantly set off on the road again, and after another 3h uneventful walk down the valley, I was back at the parking again, short after sunset…