I met the ridgeline and immediately got pushed back by the wind. As I braced myself I looked across to the mountains and questioned my route for the day.
Dolina Chocholowska round 26.5km
With only one day left in Zakopane to go hiking I caught the bus to Dolina Chocholowska. I’d wanted to visit this valley so I could tick off all of the major valleys in the Polish Tatras and complete another round of mountains.
It wasn’t a great start to the day when I had to wait ages for the bus and then on arriving realised I didn’t have enough cash to hire a bike. ￼
The Chocholowska valley is pretty but has an 8km walk to reach the hut in the valley and the mountains. It’s possible to get a horse and cart in summer or a mini train in winter when the valley is like a magical winter wonderland. I was here in November between seasons.
Bike hire is still possible to cycle up the valley, but they only accept cash.
Having realised the mistake I’d made in not having enough I sulked as I walked down the tarmac road towards the hut.
Aware this had lost me quite a bit of time I also evaluated my route and decided to head towards Woloweic on the green path as this would give me more route options.
This was in hindsight a very good decision.
On leaving the hut I started to climb up the hillside towards the col. Being in the shade the snow here was still deep and icy.
I had intended to head from the summit of Woloweic (2064m), south and east along the ridge to Konczysty Wierch. On reaching the col I realised that I might have to adopt plan B.
The wind was around 60mph with gusts above that as I was knocked off my feet constantly as I battled up Woloweic and I decided to retreat from the summit back to the col to head north on the blue path following the lower ridge to Grzes (1653m).
While it was really annoying to miss the final section of the border-ridge mountains, this lower section of hills provided a pleasant change, with waist high vegetation and a wooded descent.
The descent back to the hut took me through a section of woods being felled and found myself being passed by off road tractors. A minor amusement before a mega long boring walk back to the bus stop.