Góry Suche (Polish) Javoří hory (Czech)
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.
The most interesting part of these green dry mountains is their northeastern chunk between Sokołowsko (once a famed health resort of Görbersdorf) and the town of Głuszyca. This area contains several hills at 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. Nevertheless, part of any hiking route will also contain stretches of dirt roads, whose network is pretty dense there, just as the network of waymarked - hiking and biking - trails.
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 trees 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.
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.
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.
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 38m 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, whereas from very near Skalna Brama you have an excellent view towards the town of Głuszyca, with the Sowie Mountains in the background.
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).