|Śnieżnik (Polish) Králický Sněžník (Czech) Schneeberg (German)|
Śnieżnik is the highest peak of Śnieżnik Massif and the 17th highest peak in the Sudetes. Śnieżnik Massif is the second highest sub-group of the Eastern Sudetes, which are often called "Jeseniky" by Czech people. The rocks of the massif are very old - they were formed during the Proterozoic and Paleozoic eras. Śnieżnik is a water divide between three seas: the Black Sea (River Morava), Baltic Sea (River Nysa Kłodzka) and North Sea (Liptovský Stream). Śnieżnik is one of the peaks of The Crown of the Polish Mountains.
From the summit of Śnieżnik radiate the following six ridges:
- SW (also forms part of the border)- running to Mały Śnieżnik (1326 m) and Trójmorski Wierch (1145 m)
- W (Poland)- to Średniak (1210 m)
- NW (Poland)- to Czarna Góra (1205 m)
- N (Poland)- to Młyńsko (991 m)
- E (Poland-Czech Republic border)- to Płoszczyna Pass (817 m)
- S (Czech Republic)- to Sušina (1321 m) and Podbĕlka (1307 m)
Śnieżnik is the only mountain in the massif whose summit rises over the tree line. The lower flanks of the mountain are covered with spruce and beech forests while higher up the spruce takes over. Bilberries and lingonberries are also common. The highest parts are mountain meadows with many rare and protected plants. Among the animals which can be seen while hiking are: the mouflon (small, wild European sheep), red deer, eagle owl, corn crake (Crex crex), black grouse, capercaille, fire salamander, grass snake, and endemic species of beetles and arachnides.
To protect the forest and wildlife Polish authorities established Śnieżnicki Park Krajobrazowy (Śnieżnik Landscape Park) in 1981. The protected area is over 288 square kilometers. Within the borders of the park, in the highest parts of Śnieżnik there is a strictly protected area called Rezerwat Przyrody Śnieżnik Kłodzki. This nature reserve was established in 1938. On the Czech side there is also a nature reserve: Národní přírodní rezervace Králický Sněžnik established in 1990.
NameThe name of the mountain derives from the word snow. Śnieżnik is covered by snow over 240 days per year, the first snowfall occurs in August while the last can happen as late as June. Another Polish name for the mountain is Śnieżnik Kłodzki, taken from the town of Kłodzko.
The Czech name- Králický Sněžnik, after the town of Kraliky, distinguishes the mountain from another Sněžnik - Decinsky Sněžnik.
The German names Glatzer Schneeberg and Grulicher Schneeberg mean the same as the Polish Śnieżnik Kłodzki and the Czech Králický Sněžnik respectively. Glatz and Grulich are the old German names for Kłodzko and Kraliky. In Austria the most common name is Spieglitzer Schneeberg - Spieglitz is now part of Stare Mesto.
Buildings on Śnieżnik
There's a Polish hut just about a half-hour's walk from the summit: Schronisko "Na Śnieżniku"
There was a Czech hut named Lichtensteinova bouda and a viewing tower on the very top of Śnieżnik.
Routes & MapsThere are plenty of both marked and unmarked trails in Śnieżnik Massif.
A good paper map (and many more maps that aren't that good) can be purchased online or in any city/bigger town in Poland, also in Międzygórze.
The are two main routes to the summit of Śnieżnik from the Polish side: from Płoszczyna Pass (green, also a variant from Kamienica yellow, then green) and from Schronisko na Śnieżniku (green).
The standard route is marked yellow, runs from the village of Horni Morava, has been recently turned into an interpretive trail and really is interesting but is also the most frequented.
From Strbrnice by blue marks and then by red/yellow marks - much less frequented but the ascent is fairly boring until the trail nears the crest of the ridge.
From Prostredni Lipka by red marks - rather dull.
From Vojtiskov by blue marks via Susina and then by red/yellow marks - fairly muddy, concrete bunkers built before World War II between Sušina and Podbĕlka.
Czech map of the area
The biggest city in the Śnieżnik area is Kłodzko. The city is located just south from Wrocław. From Kłodzko drive south to Żelazno, in which take the road in the direction of Stronie Sląskie. Another option is to drive further south from Żelazno, past Bystrzyca Kłodzka and Niedźwiedna, then turn left to Międzygórze.
There's a through train from Wrocław to Międzylesie (and a bus from Domaszków to Międzygórze), and a bus from Wrocław to Stronie Śląskie.
Sumperk is the biggest city in Králický Sněžnik surroungs. From Sumperk drive north to Hanusovice and then to Strbrnice or Hyncice pod Susinou or drive north west to Kraliky and north to Velka Morava or Lipky.
The most conveniently located hut is Schronisko "Na Śnieżniku".
It isn't difficult to find a guest house or a hotel in the Polish or Czech villages around Śnieżnik. The standard varies, so do the prices.
One option on the Czech Side can be Chata Vilemina in the valley of the Morava River. Unfortunately, this hut stands in the village of Dolní Morava (the lower village) and is not the same as Chata Vileminka, much higher up in the valley, which doesn't seem to welcome anybody (no website, no info to be found on the Net).
Another Czech hut, on the slopes SE of the summit: Chata Návrší
Camping is not permitted within the borders of the landscape park.
Nearby atractionsWodospad Wilczki - Wilczka Falls.
Located in Miedzygórze Wilczka Falls is the second highest waterfall in the Polish Sudetes (Kamieńczyk in the Karkonosze is the highest). Easily accessible from the road (2 minutes) 22 m high waterfall is the local atraction. Until 1997 the waterfall had been 5 meters higher but the huge flood destroyed the artificial (as was discovered later) upper part of the waterfall. Wilczka Falls and its surroundings are a nature reserve. Unfortunately, the water still smells of sewage.
Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia - Bear Cave
Jaskinia Niedźwiedzia is 3300 meters long (longest in Polish Sudetes). Discovered in 1966 cave is located on the slopes of the mountain called Stroma, near the village of Kletno. The cave became famous after discovering the skeleton of cave bear and other animals from pleistocene in it.
Official site of the cave
Czech caves - There are also caves in the valley of the Morava River, south of the summit of Śnieżnik, on the Czech side. The most interesting is Patzelt Cave, named after a ranger who fell into an underground pond in there while walking through the forest. Bear in mind a visit can be dangerous as the: warnings by the entrance read . No marked trail leads to the cave, which is really hard to find (yatsek tried to reach it - backpacking without a good map or GPS - from the creek for nearly an hour and had to give up). The fastest way is probably via the path running from near the ski lift in the village of Horní Morava.
Red tapeCamping is illegal. Inside the nature reserve around the top you are only allowed to use the marked trails.
Górskie Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe- GOPR
ul. Poznańska 6,
Phone numer: (0-74) 84 23 414
fax (0-74) 84 23 414
Emergency number in the mountains:
+48 601 100 300
GOPR (Wałbrzych-Kłodzko) official site
GOPR (main) official site
In Czech Republic:
Stanice HS Velké Vrbno č. p. 39
78832 Staré Mćsto pod Sněžnikem
Phone numer: 583 294 110
Emergency number: 602 666 603
Horska Sluzba(Jeseniky) official site
Horska Sluzba (main) official site
When to climbWeather
Weather Forecast (GOPR)
Weather forecast for Międzygórze
Best time for hiking is summer season: June-September. In summer no special equipment is needed.
In winter: usual equipment for hiking in winter. Expect a lot of snow. Snowshoes advisable. Avalanches possible, especially on the Czech side.
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