Suche/Javoří Mountains

Suche/Javoří Mountains

Page Type Page Type: Area/Range
Location Lat/Lon: 50.66805°N / 16.27989°E
Activities Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Elevation: 3064 ft / 934 m
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Maps

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Overview

Góry Suche (Polish)   Javoří hory (Czech)

Highest hills in Suche Mts The four highest hills seen from the south. From left to right: Włostowa (903m), Kostrzyna (906m), Suchawa (928m, centre) and Waligóra (934m)
 

The tablelands of the Central Sudetes (please see this map and study its description) are bounded on the northwest and the northeast by the Kamienne (Stone) Mountains - several ranges of hills made of hard volcanic rocks, namely porphyries, late-Paleozoic of age and reddish in colour. The eastern part of these mountains, which straddles the Czech-Polish border east from the upper course of the Ścinawka River (and the national road 35), is called the Suche (Dry) Mountains by Poles, whereas Czechs call them the Javoří (Sycamore Maple) Mountains. They are all covered with woods in which sycamore maple trees are not uncommon, so there is no mystery behind the Czech name. But one may wonder why such green hills have been labelled "dry." The answer lies in many dry valleys and few springs, which results from, as you may guess, the geologic features of the area.

At Top of Suchawa s CragCzerwone Skałki (Red Rocks) on the northwest side of Suchawa

The most interesting part of these green dry mountains is their northern chunk between Sokołowsko (once a famed health resort of Görbersdorf) and the town of Głuszyca. This area contains several hills rising around 900m. This is the highest part of the Suche/Javoří Mountains, the Kamienne Mountains, and also of what German geographers call Waldenburger Bergland (the Kamienne and Wałbrzyskie mountains). Thanks to what they are composed of these porphyry hills have surprisingly bold, often conical silhouettes, contrasting with the flat tops of the other mountain ranges of the Sudetes that surround them. Even on the waymarked trails hiking can be surprisingly challenging, owing to the steepness of the slopes. On a couple of trails, there can be plenty of man-made scree under your feet, since the local rock, despite being very hard, tends to be very crumbly. Also, off the beaten track there can be more and more bushwhacking involved as the hiking tradition fades. Nevertheless, part of any hiking route will have to contain stretches of dirt roads, whose network is pretty dense there, just as the network of waymarked - hiking and biking - trails.

Suche Mts from BorowaThe four highest hills seen from the northeast
 

Interesting Summits

Waligóra from Špičák
Waligóra seen from very near the summit of Ruprechtický Špičák

Waligóra

Old German name: Heidelberg

Elevation: 934m

Prominence: 366m

 

Despite being the highest summit in the Kamienne/Suche/Javoří Mountains as well as one of the highest mountains of all in the Central Sudetes, Waligóra does not seem to be a most attractive hiking goal since its top is covered with wood an does not provide any views. The mountain stands in the backyard of Andrzejówka Hut, from where it can be climbed in about twenty minutes. (I must confess to not having climbed it yet although I have visited the Suche Mountains several times.) There is an SP page by visentin focusing on Waligóra as well as the area at its foot, around the Andrzejówka Hut, which makes for a little ski resort in winter. 

 
 
 
Suchawa from Kostrzyna
Suchawa seen from Kostrzyna

Suchawa

Old German name: Dürreberg

Elevation: 928m

Prominence: approx. 65m

 
At 928m Suchawa is the second highest hill in these mountains. It is the highpoint of a three-summit massif which towers over the valley and dirt road linking the resort of Sokołowsko to the Andrzejówka Hut. The massif's western summit is called Włostowa (903m), the middle peak is Kostrzyna with a conical top (906m), whilst Suchawa forms the eastern part of the massif. Just east of Suchawa, beyond a relatively deep valley, rises Waligóra. The top of Suchawa only affords a limited view, to the north-west. Far better views are provided by the nearby top of Kostrzyna. But on the northwestern slope of Suchawa a unique phenomenon in the Sudetes can be seen: An active cliff-talus system within the forest zone. (! Please do not try to climb the rocks or tread on the talus cone for two reasons: 1- the place has been designated a nature monument; 2 - the rock is extremely chossy. However, one can climb up around the talus and cliff, which involves walking elusive deer paths as well as bushwhacking.) It has developed in the upper part of a deep-seated landslide. Ancient landslides, which are believed to have been active some 10,000 years ago, are common in the Suche Mountains as the igneous bulk of the mountains is underlain by clayey sedimentary rocks.

Suchawa Masssif
Suchawa s Red Rocks
Suchawa s Talus
Bushwhacking up Suchawa
Red Rocks from Kostrzyna
Walker erosion
On blue trail to Włostowa
Suchawa s NW Side
 
 
 
East side of Ruprechtický Špičák
The east side of Ruprechtický Špičák

Ruprechtický Špičák

Old German name: Spitzberg

Elevation: 880m

Prominence: approx. 190m

 
At 880m this hill is the highpoint of the Czech part of the mountains. Compared to Waligóra, it has a couple of advantages. It stands farther away from the villages and resorts and it has an observation tower on the top, which lets you climb an extra twenty two metres up and offers an excellent view of the highest summits of the Suche Mountains. The 360-degree vista consists of many other mountain ranges and massifs of the Sudetes: the Sowie Mountains not far to the north-east; the Ślęża Massif beyond the rim of the Sudetes, just left of the Sowie Mts; in the opposite direction, across the Broumov Basin, the outlines of each of the tablelands of the Central Sudetes can be recognized; on the eastern horizon looms the silhouette of the Śnieżnik Massif, whereas in the west a much nearer and clearer outline of the Giant Mountains is visible.
 
Ruprechtický Špičák from NWŠpičák from NW
Tower on Ruprechtický ŠpičákOn top
 
East from ŠpičákEast from Špičák
 
 
 
Gomólnik Mały, Jeleniec & Rogowiec
Rogowiec on the right, Jeleniec (902m) in the centre

Rogowiec

Old German name: Hornsberg

Elevation: 870m

Prominence: 19m

 
Rogowiec sits on the northeast ridge of the mountains , which can be called – after its highest summit – the Jeleniec Ridge. Rogowiec is located just east of Jeleniec, which is 32m higher, but less attractive for a few reasons. Rogowiec has ruins of a medieval castle on the summit (please see next chapter) as well as interesting rock formations such as Skalna Brama (Rock Gate) near it, is bold, conical in shape, and gives good views. The top overlooks Borowa, the highest massif in the adjacent Wałbrzyskie Mountains, and from very near Skalna Brama you have an excellent view towards the town of Głuszyca, with the Sowie Mountains in the background. 
 
NE from RogowiecNE of Rogowiec
Approaching Rogowiec summit from NEJust below summit
Borowa from RogowiecView of Borowa
Looking east from RogowiecLooking east
Skalna BramaSkalna Brama

 

Stożek Wielki from Unisław
NW side

Stożek Wielki

   Old German name: Groß Storch

Elevation: 841m     Prominence: 125m

This isolated hill is situated in the northwestern corner of the Suche Mountains, north of the resort of Sokołowsko, just by the village of Unisław Śląski. The hill takes its name, which translates as Great Cone, from its shape.

 

Morning light
E side

 

Historical Sites

  • Rogowiec Castle: The walls of Rogowiec Castle (German name: Hornschloss) built in C13/14 on a 870m summit in the northeast corner of the Suche Mountains, among sycamore maple trees, were partly natural. The castle was founded by a Polish prince Bolko I over 700 years ago. More images and info (in Polish) here.
  • Radosno Castle: Part of the dungeon is all that is left of the castle of Radosno (German name: Freudenburg) built in the 13th or 14th century. It is not known who founded the castle, whose ruins sit on a lesser hill at the foot of Suchawa, just about five kilometres west of Rogowiec Castle. It is possible that it was originally a Czech castle and the border ran a bit differently then. More images and info (in Polish) here.
  • 16th century wooden church in Grzmiąca, at the northeast end of the Suche Mountains
  • 17th century wooden church in Rybnica Leśna, in the northern reaches of the mountains
Ruins of Rogowiec CastleRogowiec
Where Radosno Castle StoodRadosno
Church in GrzmiącaGrzmiąca

Red Tape, Camping and Accommodation

  • No need to stick to waymarked trails.
  • Camping not allowed.
  • One mountain hut: Schronisko Andrzejówka
  • Guesthouses in Sokołowsko and other villages in the area.
  • Day trips from the city of Wrocław not much of a problem.
N View from somewhere near WaligóraNW part of the Kamienne Mts - photo by visentin

Getting There

The mountains lie several kilometres to the south of the Polish city of Wałbrzych (Waldenburg before World War II), which has good railway and road links with Wrocław, the capital city of Lower Silesia. From Wałbrzych minibuses or buses run to Sokołowsko and Głuszyca. Although the railway station in Głuszyca has been closed down, the railway line (Wałbrzych-Kłodzko) is still in use.

The Czech hikers will most likely start their walking trip in the village of Ruprechtice (bus terminus), which is situated just a few kilometres north-east of the town of Meziměstí (train, bus).

Weather

Green Dry Mountains The green Dry Mountains
Webcam by Andrzejówka Hut
Weather forecast for Głuszyca
Suchawa, Kostrzyna and WlostowaThe snowy Dry Mountains - photo by visentin


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SudetesAreas & Ranges