Hiking Witches’ Mountain

When I was a kid (about 30 years ago) I missed out on family hike up to Babia Mountain. I kept hearing the same story from time to time about how windy it got on the top. My brother and his best friend who around 6 years old had to be hold tight by adults as they were almost blown away by the wind.  I love looking at black and white photos from their trip. A couple of days ago I finally got to experience the famous winds and beautiful views of Babia Gora.

Babia Gora, literally Old Wives’ or Witches’ Mountain, is a massif on the Polish borderline with Slovakia. Known as beautiful and capricious (unpredictable weather) queen of Beskidy Mountains. We went on a sunny, hot day. Early morning as I was worried how hot would it get later during day (that’s what living in Asia did to me).. It did not get hot! We were lucky,  we had great weather and managed to escape the mountain before the rain came, but got a nice reminder how cold it can get from one minute to another up in the mountains. We all had windproof jackets, but wished for gloves and hats. We chose the red trail from Przełęcz Krowiarki through Markowe Szczawiny. It wasn’t difficult. Nice and steady walk up the mountain. Great workout. Beautiful views.

Beginning of the trail.

Following my Mum.

Trees.

Trail up Babia Mountain is very well maintained and marked.

First lookout.

My mum. Very reluctant hiker.

My mother and her husband.

Almost at the top.

At the peak of Diablak (1725m above sea level). Diablak means ‘Devil’s Peak’. ‘The Devil’s Peak’ is the highest mountain in Poland outside of Tatra mountains. This spot is rumored to the be place where witches had their black sabbaths.

Mother & daughter fighting against the wind to take a photo.

This is were the wind was the strongest, coldest and at surprising speed. All grateful (for the recently built wall) hikers were hiding from the wind and taking a break before descending Babia Gora.

Stunning. It doesn’t show you how windy it was. It was hard work to resist the wind.

Viper’s warning.

It was a very windy walk along the ridge.

Love the green.

A must when hiking in Poland: apple pie at the mountain lodge.

Since then I learned about yellow trail (most difficult) from north called “Akademicka Perć” with very steep climb with chains anchored to the walls.. that sounds very tempting!

National Park entrance ticket: 5pln.

Tip: Windproof jacket is a must!

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