The northeast ridge of the Suche Mountains culminates in Jeleniec at 902m, the fourth highest summit in the range. Jeleniec, before World War II called Lange-berg (Long Mountain), is a rather flat, not very attractive peak, although there are a few interesting little rock formations not far from its summit. Far more interesting is what lies to the northeast of Jeleniec – the eastern end of the Jeleniec Ridge, shattered by tectonic faults and covered in landslides, which were probably active just after the Ice Age had ended. The focal mountain in the area is Rogowiec at 864m (according to the latest measurements; 870m on most maps). Its summit is 150 metres north of the saddle at nearly 830m dividing it from Jeleniec.
Close to the saddle are two interesting objects. On the Jeleniec side sits Skalna Brama (Rock Gate) marking the line of the main scarp of a landslide which split a rocky knob in two, thus creating this rock formation. On the Rogowiec side is a vantage point with a wooden cross. The spot commands a splendid view across the town of Głuszyca, towards the Sowie Mountains.
Rogowiec, whose German name was Hornsberg, has less than 40 metres prominence, but nevertheless, due to its shapely and conical top, is a landmark. If the paths leading to its top are icy, crampons or mini-crampons are really helpful, especially on the southern slope. On the summit are ruins of a medieval castle founded by a Polish prince Bolko I.
Before it ends northeast of the summit of Rogowiec, the Jeleniec Ridge splits in half, thus forming its north and northeast tips. The north spur, whose summit has no name on today’s maps, is a hidden treasure, unique to the Sudetes: narrow and with steep sides, it looks like an arete even though it wasn’t formed by glaciers but by a landslide. It is a couple of hundred metres long, nearly all of it obscured by trees. Its east face is cliffy – most of it is the scarp of another massive landslide. Its west and north sides are also steep and covered by dense thickets of trees and shrubs. Before World War II this mountain/ridge was called Hirschberg (Deer Mountain). After the war that name was officially replaced with ‘Jeleniec Mały’, but the new name has stuck to the less interesting northeast spur, which marks the east end of the Jeleniec Ridge. The way I see it, an appropriate name for the sharp north spur, whose elevation is 776m (according to the latest measurements, not what you see on today’s maps), would be Jelenia Grań, meaning Deer Arete/Crest. It is readily accessible from the south. A faint path branches off from the marked trail just a couple of hundred meters from the crest. I made my first ascent from the north, in February, and it was much more of a challenge: on the last several metres before reaching the top of the ridge, which is wide here unlike at its south end, I did wish I had an ice-axe instead of trekking poles.
If you are driving, you have the following access points to choose from: - village of Grzmiąca (east of Rogowiec) - valley of Rybna (north) - Andrzejówka Hut (west) A convenient and pretty comfortable alternative is travelling by train and getting off/on at Głuszyca or Jedlina Zdrój. The trail from Głuszyca runs through Grzmiąca, where a quaint wooden church from the 16th century stands by the main road. The trail from Jedlina ascends a pass called Przełęcz pod Sajdakiem or Przełęcz pod Wawrzyniakiem (Sajdak and Wawrzyniak are the summits on the Jałowiec Ridge (part of the Wałbrzych Mountains) between which the pass sits). The trail crosses the pass at about 570m and drops into the valley of Rybna. The trail from Andrzejówka Hut is the least interesting and the least demanding, the main attraction being the hut itself.
Most hikers and weekend strollers – Borowa's summit is located on the administrative boundary of Wałbrzych – seem to climb Borowa in the evening in order to watch the sun setting behind the Giant Mountains (Karkonosze), crowned with the pyramid of Śnieżka that dominates the western horizon. But there is much more to see here: in the south the Suche Mountains unfold end to end; in the southeast is the massive, flat ridge of the Sowie Mountains with the landmark of an old, whitish viewing tower on Wielka Sowa; in the northeast Ślęża at 719m seems to be much higher than it really is; and in the northwest Chełmiec, the usurper, rises almost to the same height as Borowa.
Wałbrzych lies about 80 km southwest of Wrocław, the capital of Lower Silesia. (The rail and road links between the cities are good.) A hike to the summit from the train station called Wałbrzych Central, which is in fact on the outskirts of the city, takes approximately 1.5hrs. You can opt for either the red, gentle but rather mundane, or yellow marks. The latter climb Zamkowa Góra, i.e. Castle Mountain, which features old castle ruins, then take you to Kozia Przełęcz and the Route of Pain (please see Overview). To get to Kozia Przełęcz without climbing Zamkowa Góra, you have to follow some unmarked paths or forest roads.
By road, via Rusinowa and Kamieńsk, you can get close to Kozia Pass (just a few hundred metres away), which translates to about 40 minutes’ walk-up to the summit. It will take about the same amount of time if you approach from the west, having left your car in the hamlet of Kamionka, just north of Rybnica Leśna. There are also several options making your hike longer – just have a look at the map.
No red tape except that camping is not allowed.
|The Northwestern Carpathians are the widest and most complex part of the Carpathian mountain chain, stretching from the Danube River at Devín, east of Vienna (from the geologist’s perspective, the Carpathians extend a little beyond the Danube there, as the Hundsheimer/Hainburger Mountains at 480m, but we have decided to ignore such low hills on this page), to the valley of the Topľa River in the east of Slovakia. All three Carpathian lithologic belts – flysch, crystalline, and volcanic – are extensively developed here. It is also here that the the High Tatras (Gerlachovský štít, 2655 m) rise – the highest and most alpine in character mountain range in all of the Carpathians, which straddles the border between Slovakia and Poland.
In the southern chunk of the Northwestern Carpathians there are about a dozen hilly areas where volcanic rocks dominate. The highest of them, heavily wooded Pol'ana, reaches 1458 m and represents the remnants of a large stratovolcano. The volcanic belt of Northern Hungary crosses the Danube north of Budapest to extend further west, towards Lake Balaton, as the Transdanubian Hills, which are not regarded as part of the Carpathians except the Visegrád Mountains.
On the map below triangles indicate the highest peaks of particular ranges. If you hover the mouse over them, you will see the names of the ranges and peaks. Black pentagons indicate major towns (if available, links to airports open upon clicking). The table below the map lists the ranges of the Northwestern Carpathians west to east, sorted by the dominant rock type, in the following format: mountain range - highest peak - elevation (in meters). Ranges composed almost exclusively of calcareous rocks (white triangles on the map) are marked green in the table. More information about limestone areas is to be found below the table.
Limestone plateaus and canyon lands on the peripheries of the Slovenské rudohorie:
Ranges ranked by the number of summits higher than 2500 m with at least 100 m of prominence (in brackets the part of the Carpathians the range lies in)
Ranges ranked according to the prominence of their highpoint
Ranges ranked by the number of summits with more than 500 m of prominence
Munţii Parâng (Romanian) Páreng-hegység (Hungarian)
Munţii Parâng (Romanian) Páreng-hegység (Hungarian)
Полонина Боржава (UA) Borzsa-havas (HU) Polonina Boržava (ČS) Połonina Borżawa (PL)
Waligóra Old German name: Heidelberg Elevation: 934m Prominence: 366m
There are two outstanding mountains in the Pieniny: Trzy Korony and Sokolica. Both are located on the Polish side of the grand Dunajec Gorge. Sokolica - part of the Pieninki ridge divided from the broad massif of Trzy Korony by the valley of Pieniński Potok - is much lower and smaller than Trzy Korony, but proudly claims the title of the prettiest crag in the Pieniny. At just 747m (with 97m of prominence), the peak towers around 300m over the river not far from the lower end of the canyon. The summit gives sublime views into the canyon and towards the Tatras. Trzy Korony to the west and the highest summit in the Pieniny, Wysoka/Wysokie Skałki/Vysoké Skalky to the east can also be viewed from here. People admiring the views are protected by a guardrail, first set here at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The name of the mountain is a one-word version of what means Falcons’ Rock. Whereas the north side of Sokolica is fairly steep and forested, its south face is a sheer, bare, white limestone cliff. Big falcons have stopped nesting here, but kestrels are still around. On the summit grow some ancient pine trees, estimated to be up to five hundred years old. One crooked specimen was so pretty and brave that it became a top photography model (next two photos). Unfortunately, it was broken by a helicopter during a rescue operation in September 2018.
Straddling the border between Ukraine and Romania, Pop Ivan is the highest mountain in the main ridge of the Marmarosh Mountains as well as being the highest summit of what Ukrainians often call Rakhivskyi hory (the Rakhiv Mountains). The peak is often called Pip Ivan Trebushanskiy (by Czech people Pop Ivan Trebušanský),by Polish people Pop Iwan Marmaroski) so that it will not be mistaken for one of his neighbours - Pip Ivan Chornohirskyi - at 2020m, a conspicuous summit in the southeast corner of the Chornohora).In my opinion, Pip Ivan is the most spectacular mountain of all in the Ukrainian Carpathians.
Four cirques were carved in its sides in the Pleistocene. One of these corries, on Pip Ivan's northeast side, looks like a perfect rocky amphitheatre, composed of a range of cliffs and small tarns. No wonder that Pop Ivan's steep rocky face is where the most frequent avalanches in the Ukrainian Carpathians have been registered. The highest peak of this three-summit, massive gneiss pyramid is marked with a rather ugly, concrete pylon.
The Marmarosh Pip Ivan used to be a very popular destination for the passionate hikers of the interwar times (1920-1938). The atmosphere of that bygone time can be described as follows: It is hard to believe that on the top of Pop Ivan one can find carpets of blooming narcissuses and red alpine roses (Rhododendron kotschyi). A silhouette of a golden eagle can be seen high in the air. A spectator feels like he has been transferred to a lost world, surrounded by mountain ridges, submerged by divine tranquility of undisturbed nature.
Precambrian gneiss is one of the oldest rocks in the Carpathians and partly thanks to the location of the summit right on the international border, this picturesque scenery has remained virtually unmarred up to now.