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Overview

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.

Skalna Brama
Skalna Brama
Looking east from Rogowiec
Looking east from Rogowiec

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. 

Borowa & Chełmiec from Rogowiec
Borowa & Chełmiec from Rogowiec
Approaching Rogowiec summit from NE
Rogowiec - the last few metres of an ascent from the northeast
Rogowiec - southern path
The southern path just below the summit of Rogowiec
Rogowiec NE side
Approaching Rogowiec from the northeast

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.

Jeleniec Mały: NE landslide
The upper part of a landslide located between Jelenia Grań and Jeleniec Mały
NE from Rogowiec
The NE spur with another ridge-top graben

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Getting There

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.

Summit Views

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.

Suche Mts from Borowa
Suche Mts from Borowa
Sowie Mts from Borowa
Sowie Mts from Borowa

Getting There, Maps & Routes

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.

paper map 1:35,000
digital map 1:35,000

Red Tape

No red tape except that camping is not allowed.

Mountain Conditions

  • At weekends there can be crowds.
  • Mountain rescue phone number: +48 601 100 300
  • Weather forecast for Wałbrzych on accuweather.com
Jizera

NW Carpathians

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.
High Tatras Vysoké Tatry (High Tatras) from Nízké Tatry (Low Tatras) - fall
Apart from the Tatras (which can be subdivided into the Western, High and Belianske Tatras), known in both Poland and Slovakia as Tatry, only the Low Tatras (Nízke Tatry) – a discrete mountain range that runs parallel to the Tatras between the valleys of the Váh and Hron rivers – exceed 2000 m in elevation. Despite there being plenty of crystalline ranges and massifs in the Northwestern Carpathians, the third highest mountain range in this part of the Carpathians stands inside the flysch belt, just north of the Tatras, and bears the name of High Beskid (Beskid Wysoki, more often called Beskid Żywiecki in Poland, after the town of Żywiec). Its highest massif tops out at 1725 m. The other three ranges that rise above timberline are the Little Fatra (Malá Fatra), the Great Fatra (Veľká Fatra) and the calcareous Chočské vrchy, all situated west of the Tatras or the Low Tatras. Like most of the other crystalline ranges in the Northwestern Carpathians, both the Fatras have vast areas formed of limestone and dolomite, within which some bold mountains stand. The most interesting of them is spectacular Veľký Rozsutec sitting at the north end of the Little Fatra.
High-Börzsöny panorama  Börzsöny - spring

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.

White Carpathians (Veľká Javorina, 970 m) Javorníky (Veľký Javorník, 1071 m) Moravskoslezské Beskydy (Lysá hora, 1323 m) Beskid Śląski (Skrzyczne, 1257 m) Beskid Mały (Czupel, 933 m) High Beskid (Babia Góra, 1725 m) Oravská Magura (Minčol, 1394 m) Skorušinské vrchy & Pogórze Gubałowskie (Skorušina, 1314 m) Beskid Makowski (Lubomir, 904 m) Gorce (Turbacz, 1310 m) Beskid Wyspowy (Mogielica, 1170 m) Beskid Sądecki (Radziejowa, 1262 m) Spišská Magura (Repisko, 1259 m) Levočské vrchy (Čierna hora, 1289 m) Čergov (Minčol, 1157 m) Little Carpathians (Záruby, 768 m) Inovec (Inovec, 1042 m) Strážovské vrchy (Strážov, 1213 m) Little Fatra (Veľký Kriváň, 1709 m) Western Tatras (Bystrá, 2248 m) High Tatras (Gerlachovský, 2655 m) Branisko (Smrekovica, 12000 m) Tribeč (Veľký Tribeč, 829 m) Greater Fatra (Ostredok, 1592 m) Low Tatras (Ďumbier, 2043 m) Veporské vrchy (Fabova hoľa, 1438 m) Stolické vrchy (Stolica, 1476) Volovské vrchy (Volovec, 1284) Vtáčnik (Vtáčnik, 1345 m) Kremnické vrchy (Flochová, 1317 m) Štiavnické vrchy (Sitno, 1009 m) Javorie-Ostrôžky (Lažtek, 1044 m) Poľana (Poľana, 1458 m) Börzsöny (Csóványos, 938 m) Visegrádi-hegység (Dobogókő, 700 m) Mátra (Kékes, 1014 m) Karancs-Medves (Karancs, 727 m) Zempléni-hegység (Nagy-Milic, 894 m) Slanské vrchy (Šimonka, 1092 m) Súľovské skaly (Veľký Manín, 891 m) Chočské vrchy (Veľký Choč, 1611 m) Belianské Tatry (Havran, 2152 m) Pieniny (Trzy Korony, 982 m) Muránska planina (Kľak, 1409 m) Slovenský raj (Ondrejisko, 1270 m) Gömör-Torna karst (Matesova skala, 925 m) Bükk (Istállós-kő, 959 m) Bratislava (SK) Budapest (HU) Košice (SK) Poprad (SK) Kraków (PL)
Gerlach seen from Rysy ridge
High Tatras - spring
Real skyscrapers
High Tatras - summer
Nizke Tatry - Dumbier summit
Low Tatras - winter
View of Rozsutec from Stefanowa
Little Fatra - summer

 

Flysch belt Crystalline belt Volcanic belt
Northern ranges (Western Beskids)
Moravskoslezské Beskydy Lysá hora 1323
Beskid Śląski Skrzyczne 1257
High Beskid Babia Góra 1725
Gorce Turbacz 1310
Beskid Sądecki Radziejowa 1262
Beskid Mały Czupel 933
Beskid Makowski Lubomir 904
Beskid Wyspowy Mogielica 1170
Western ranges
White Carpathians Veľká Javorina 970
Javorníky Mts. Veľký Javorník 1071
Inner ranges
Oravská Magura Minčol 1394
Skorušinské vrchy &Pogórze Gubałowskie Skorušina 1314
Spišská Magura Repisko 1259
Levočské vrchy Čierna hora 1289
Čergov Minčol 1157

The High Beskid, which straddles the Poland-Slovakia border, is called Beskid Żywiecki in Poland and Kysucké a Oravské Beskydy in Slovakia.
Western ranges
Little Carpathians Záruby 768
Inovec Mts. Inovec 1042
Strážovské vrchy Strážov 1213
Tribeč Veľký Tribeč 829
Northern ranges
Central ranges
Southeastern ranges
Veporské vrchy Fabova hoľa 1438
Stolické vrchy Stolica 1476
Volovské vrchy Volovec 1284
Branisko Smrekovica 1200

The Western Tatras (mostly metamorphic rocks and limestone) and the High Tatras (granite) are in fact one range. The SE ranges except Branisko are often grouped together as Slovenské rudohorie or Spišsko-gemerské rudohorie (Slovak), i.e. the Spiš-Gemer Ore Mountains.
Northern (Slovakian) massifs
Vtáčnik Vtáčnik 1345
Štiavnické vrchy Sitno 1009
Kremnické vrchy Flochová 1317
Javorie-Ostrôžky Lažtek 1044
Poľana Poľana 1458
Southern (Hungarian) massifs
Börzsöny Csóványos 938
Visegrádi-hegység Dobogókő 700
Karancs-Medves Karancs 727
Mátra Kékes-tető 1014
Eastern rim
Slanské vrchy Šimonka 1092
Zempléni-hegység Nagy-Milic 894

The Slanské and Zemplén Mountains actually make up a single range, cut in half by the border between Slovakia and Hungary - hence the two names. The whole range is also sometimes referred to as the Eperjes-Tokaj Mountains, after the two towns at opposite ends of the range (the Slovak name of Eperjes is Prešov). However, the traditional name of the range was the Sátor (meaning Tent) Mountains, after the shape of its mountains.
 
Hrubá Kopa-2166 mWestern Tatras
 
Above Kezmarska valley
High Tatras
 
Zdiarska Vidla and HavranBelianske Tatras
Babia Gora 1725mHigh Beskid
 
The highest segment of Velká FatraGreat Fatra
Vadálló kövekVisegrád Mountains
The most spectacular limestone areas in the north:  
  • Belianske Tatry (Havran, 2152 m) - named after the town of Spišská Belá, the distinct limestone-and-dolomite ridge adjoining the High Tatras. The Belá Tatras along with the High Tatras are sometimes called the Eastern Tatras
    Rock window
    Low Tatras
  • the north of the Western Tatras, especially their Polish part with the massifs of Czerwone Wierchy and Giewont, and the Sivý Vrch Group at the west end of the Tatras (Slovakia)
  • Veľký Rozsutec and its vicinity in the Little Fatra
  • Pieniny (Wysoka/Vysoké Skalky, 1052 m) - the most outstanding group of the limestone rocks scattered along the inner rim of the flysch belt (nice crags also stick out of flysch within the Orava-Podhale Basin and in the White (Bílé/Biele) Carpathians), right opposite the outer edge of the crystalline belt. The Pieniny are cut in half by the winding Dunajec River, which has created a scenic gorge through which one can travel on a locally made raft, on a bike or on foot
  • Chočské vrchy (Veľký Choč, 1611 m) - a link between the Western Tatras and the two Fatras
  • Súľovské vrchy(Veľký Manín, 891 m) - the northern half of the Strážovské vrchy, especially its northernmost part called Súľovské skaly - plenty of rock towers made up of limestone conglomerate
  • the massifs of Ohnište, Krakova hoľa and Salatín in the north of the Low Tatras
  • Bralná Fatra in the southwest, Šípska Fatra in the north and some other parts of the Great Fatra
 
Dolina Małej Łąki
Polish W Tatras
Veľký Choč (1611 m)
Veľký Choč
Cukorová Homolá (Cukorsüveg) Slovak Karst
Súľovský hradSúľovské skaly
Dunajec river gorgePieniny
Vršatec rocksWhite Carpathians

Limestone plateaus and canyon lands on the peripheries of the Slovenské rudohorie:  

Slovensky raj, Slovakia Slovak Paradise 
  • Spišsko-gemerský kras ('kras' means karst in Slavonic languages) - consists of two distinct parts: Muránska planina (Kľak, 1409 m) and Slovak Paradise / Slovenský raj (Ondrejisko, 1270 m). Slovak Paradise is famous for its trails which lead one up narrow canyons and waterfalls with the assistance of metal or wooden ladders, bridges, steps and chains. (Such trails have also been built in other places in the Northwestern Carpathians, but nowhere is their network so vast.)
  • Gömör-Torna karst - cut in half by the political border between Slovakia and Hungary: Slovak karst (Matesova skala, 925 m) in the north (including Zadielská Dolina) and Aggtelek karst (Fertős-tető, 604 m) in the south.
  • Bükk (Istállós-kő - 959 m) - within the Hungarian volcanic belt.
Belian Tatras Belianske Tatry (Belá Tatras) - fall

Key Statistics

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)

Rank 1 2 3 4 5
Range High Tatras (NW) Făgăraș (S) Retezat (S) Parâng (S) Bucegi (E)
How many 9 5 2 1 1

 

Gerlach from Poľský hrebeň
Gerlach (Gerlachovský štít)

Ranges ranked according to the prominence of their highpoint

Rank Range Highest summit Prominence (meters)
1 Tatras (NW) Gerlachovský štít  2355
2 Parâng (S) Parângul Mare 2101
3 Făgăraș (S) Moldoveanu 2046
4 Retezat (S) Peleaga 1760
5 Rodna (E) Pietrosul Rodnei 1572
6 Bihor (SW) Cucurbăta Mare 1483
Gorgany from Grofa
Gorgany

Ranges ranked by the number of summits with more than 500 m of prominence

Rank Range Number of summits
1 Gorgany (NE) 13
2-4 Low Tatras, Marmarosh Mountains (NE), Polonyna Krasna (NE) 3

 

Headings

Piatra Craiului (Romanian)    Fogarasi-havasok (Hungarian)   Fogarascher Gebirge (German)

Munţii Parâng (Romanian)   Páreng-hegység (Hungarian)  

Munţii Parâng (Romanian)   Páreng-hegység (Hungarian)  

 

Полонина Боржава (UA) Borzsa-havas (HU) Polonina Boržava (ČS) Połonina Borżawa (PL)

Baníkov (Slovak)   Banówka (Polish)   Bánya-hegy (Hungarian)

Waligóra Old German name: Heidelberg Elevation: 934m Prominence: 366m

video

 

 

 

Climate table

Bucegi mountains - Clincea-Tiganesti ridge
February - photo by Cristina
  Sinaia Omu
Highest temp. recorded +32°C +22°C
Lowest temp. recorded -27°C -38°C
Days with fog per year 23 258
Snow lasts 78 days 208 days
Annual precipitation 808 mm 1346 mm
On Albisoara Gemenelor
February
Sunset from Omu
November (Bucura Dumbravă in the foreground)
  • coldest month: January; warmest: July
  • wettest month: June; driest: October
  • first snow falls in October, last in May
  • on La Verdeaţă in Valea Albă you can sometimes ski until July

Sokolica

 

Sokolica
West face - by Tomek Lodowy
South face of Sokolica
South face

 

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.

Dunajec
West face - by visentin
Dunajec
River Dunajec and Trzy Korony seen from summit - by visentin

 

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. 

From Sokolica toward Wysoka
Photo by Konrad Sus
Tatras from Sokolica
Towards the Tatras
SE view from Sokolica
SE view
Westerly view from Sokolica
Towards Trzy Korony (W)
 

OLD Pop Ivan

Pip Ivan (Marmarosh)
Pop Ivan (RO)


Піп Іван (UA)


Iván-havas (HU)

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.

The top of Pop Ivan peak (1938m)

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.

 
Lost world
Craggy NE face
 
Pop Ivan with alpine roses
N face
 
Pip Ivan Marmaroskyi (1937m)
Gentle NW face

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.

Mount Pip Ivan from MezipotokyThree corries of Pip Ivan

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.

 
Glacial cirque of Pip Ivan Maramoroskyi
Morning under Pop Ivan
 
Pop Ivan massif (1938 m)
UA Pip Ivan
 
Blossoming paradise
Alpine roses with Pop Ivan
Mount Pip Ivan over Bilyi valley