The initial Świnica page was made by the user sokolxxx. Following discussions about improving the content of some Carpathian-related "abandoned" pages, and thanks to the Elves, I was granted the editing rights on Świnica.
I'll start with the tribute the previous author wrote about deceased SP member Rahel Maria Liu :
|The page is dedicated Rahel Maria Liu. She was very nice and helpfull person. I've got acquainted with her last year when I looked for information about the Weisshorn.|
The page is currently under reconstuction. Given the importance of this peak, all suggestions are highly welcome !
Lying on the main ridge of the Tatras, Świnica (Svinica in Slovak) is an emblematic mountain, and more precisely on the Polish side of the range.
A first explanation for that is that Świnica, beating the 2300 limit just by one meter, all of granite, is the very first high peak of the High Tatras, coming from west and the lower range of the Western Tatras, from where its striking shape can be recognized everywhere. The mountain is composed of three summits, like a trident, a shape that we particularly see well from the rest of the ridge of Orla Perć, with Świnicka Szczerbina Niżnia (2278m), and Świnicka Kopa(2291m).
This prominence is enhanced by the majestuosity of its NW face, overlooking Dolina Gąsienicowa by more than 700 meters. On the South, it ends the famous Five Lakes Valley, while on the West, it overlooks the wild and unfrequented Ticha Dolina, Tatra's longest valley.
For this reason, and despite the top lies on the border, all marked official trails to ascend it are located on the Polish side (which explains the fame mostly in Poland).
A non authorized trail, but still in very good state, runs along the Slovak side on the mountain, from Przełęcz Liliowe (Laliové sedlo) to Závory (Zawory), making an obvious contuinity between two green-marked trails. Gładka Przełęcz (Hladké sedlo), just under the peak, goes from Slovakia, but is not continued in Poland, despite a story of hundred meters would allow connecting it to the trail of the Five Lakes valley.
There are ongoing discussions about ending these absurdities, officially covered under the pretext of "nature conservation", but unofficially, as many know, for the reason the Slovak TANAP fears an invasion of Polish crowds.
Additionally, Świnica owns many unmarked rock-climbing routes on excellent granite rock. But these, one must be aware, according the the TPN, are authorized only to people owning a club licence, or guided, on both Slovak and Polish side.
The main red-marked official trail running to the top is usually considered as a part (and beginning) of the Orla Perć route, featured with fixed chains, like a via-ferrata. Since 2008, in order to avoid traffic jams and accidents, this route is allowed only from West to East after Zawrat, hence Świnica, despite not being in this one-way section, is the usual start and most likely to be visited.
More sadly, we can explain the popularity of Świnica, visited by crowds on nice sunny days, by a last factor. Few hundred meters on the West is located the not less famous Kasprowy Wierch, served from Zakopane by the very famous cable-car. Many of the tourists, and most of them not equiped for such hike, decide to head in this direction, and Świnica becomes the goal, as obvious than improvised. Świnica is not really the place to enjoy quietness on the summits, unless one wakes up extremely early, which we can only recommend for many other reasons.
Ironically, the name of the peak, means "pig mountain", and this meaning seems to have never been so up-to-date... (real meaning below)
Fortunately, Świnica is also a fine goal out of the season, during winter time and late spring, when ice and snow is covering it. It is then defended like a major high peak of the Alps, and provides a gorgeous satisfaction.
This area always used to be a kind of training centre for both TOPR rescuers, and famous Polish alpinists and himalayists. Wanda Rutkiewicz, Jerzy Kukuczka and many others started their climbing adventure here, which belongs nowadays to the Polish Alpinism History.
As for the peak itself, Charles Yorke made a first unsuccessful attempt in 1805. Austrian geodesic officers reached the secondary top in 1822 to make measurements, despite not explicitely mentionned it is likely that they ventured to the main. The first recorded ascent occured not earlier than in 1867 by Maciej Sieczka, Eugeniusz Janota, Bronisław Gustawicz and Stanisław Librowski. The first winter ascent took place on the 30th December 1907, by Jerzy Maślanka, which was quite a feat at that time. More than 30 people lost their lives on fatal accidents on Świnica, the most notable being a storm lightning which killed 6 in 1939.
Świnica is called so only from the 19th century. Before, it was also called Dźwinia Skała, Szwinia Skała, Świnnica, wich tends to mean "stupid mountain", and share a common meaning with Hlúpy Vrch, for the reason the mountain was dangerous.
Depending on which trailhead we choose, the drive is different.
Zakopane (and Kuźnice) are the usual places to start if we choose to reach it from the valley Dolina Gąsienicowa (despite a starting point also exists in Cyrla, via the Sucha Woda valley). Zakopane is also the simpliest place to reach with public transports (bus, train from Cracow)
Łysa Polana is the start if we choose the Five Lakes Valley for the approach. From Cracow, it is reached very conveniently, much better than through Zakopane, using the shortcut of the Jurgów-Podspady border, like the map below shows.
From the Slovak side, despite it is very rarely done, the mouth of the Ticha valley, and trailhead, is located in Podbanské, in the middle of the south side of the Tatras.
Agrandir le plan