Radunia, whose German name was Geiersberg (Vulture Mountain), is the second highest hill in the Ślęża Massif. At 582m, it stands just south of its grand, 136 metres higher neighbour Ślęża, from which it is separated by przełęcz Tąpadła (Tąpadła pass, 384m). On most hiking maps, the height of Radunia is mistakenly given as 573m, which is actually the height of the western summit (M. Koślacz, A. Robak, B. Sobaszek "Analiza pomiaru wysokości wybranych wierzchołków Masywu Ślęży"), where a wooden trig tower once stood.
Forest-clad and lacking an observation tower, Radunia offers very limited views, but it is my favourite climbing objective in the massif. Its advantages over Ślęża are as follows:
- there are no buildings on the mountain,
- its slopes are fairly steep and its summit ridge is relatively narrow,
- it is much less frequented than Ślęża,
- in winter conditions the steep stretch of the waymarked route (blue stripes against white background) dropping from the summit ridge down the northwest side of the mountain turns into a fun, quarter-hour scramble which can be difficult to do without crampons or mini-crampons.
My favourite route is a combination of the interpretive path marked with little white squares with a diagonal green stripe, which heads south from the village of Sulistrowiczki, with the blue stripe trail climbing the summit ridge of Radunia. (The elevation gain is about 290m.)
Radunia is formed of serpentinite, a metamorphic rock greenish in colour. Most of the gentler part of the hill above the 500m contour line was surrounded by an ancient (probably twenty some centuries old) , dry-stone rampart. The vestiges of the rampart (whose NW end reached the very summit) were cleared of vegetation in the 19th century, but now they have become overgrown again and can hardly be recognized. It is believed that the Moon was worshipped there (while the Sun was worshipped on Ślęża).
A drive from Wrocław, the capital of Lower Silesia (Dolny Śląsk), to the foot of Radunia takes approximately forty minutes. You can take either DK (national road) 35 heading for Świdnica (leave the road at Mirosławice, angling left to follow the signs for Sobótka; from Sobótka drive south to Sulistrowiczki/Tąpadła) or E67 (at Jordanów Śląski turn right and head west to Świątniki, then follow the signs for Księginice Małe and Będkowice; in Będkowice turn left). The nearest car park to Radunia is located at Tąpadła pass, just about one kilometre northwest of the summit. As for public transport, there is a bus route Wrocław–Sulistrowiczki. In summer, the bus may go to Tąpadła.
Red Tape & CampingThe summit area is a nature reserve, so you are supposed to keep to the waymarked trail. Another nature reserve named Łąka Sulistrowicka (Sulistrowice Meadow), situated just south of Sulistrowiczki, is crossed by the interpretive trail mentioned in the Overview.
Camping on the mountain is forbidden; it wouldn't make much sense anyway. The nearest campsite is in Sulistrowice, by a little dam. At Tąpadła pass, there are guesthouses and self-catering chalets to rent.
When To Go & Essential Gear
If possible, do not go at a weekend unless you feel like joining crowds of weekend tourists from the city of Wrocław.
In winter crampons or mini-crampons are advisable. Besides icy paths on the northern slopes, in some places the dirt roads turn into ice-rinks. Beware of verglas on the innocent-looking paths near the foot of the mountain too.
As for the warmer seasons, just bear in mind that ticks are not uncommon in the area.