Poland is a central European country. Poland's national capital is Warsaw, which is also the most important city financially and culturally, as well as the most populous. The polish is the dormant ethnic group making up 94% of the entire population. It is a parliamentary state with an executive president. The continental collision between Africa and Europe which happened 60 million years ago is responsible for shaping the geological structure of the country. Poland has a diverse range of natural features which include over seventy mountains with an elevation of over 6,600 feet. The Polish Tatra Mountain, found near the Slovakian border, is the highest mountain in the nation. In this article, we take a look at some of the highest mountains in the country.
Highest Mountains in Poland
Mount Rysy is a granitic mountain which is part the Polish Tatra Mountains, lying on the border between Poland and Slovakia. The mountain has three main peaks, including the southeastern at 8,114 feet, the northwestern at 8,199 feet, and the middle peak at 8,213 feet above sea level. The Northwestern is the highest peak in Poland while the other two peaks are found on the Slovakian side of the border. The name Rysy is loosely translated to mean scratches or crevices and is assumed to have emanated from the series of gullies on the slopes of the mountain. The first documented ascent happened in the year 1840 by Ede Blasy and his guide Jan Ruman-Driecny. However, the first winter ascent took place later in 1884 by Jacob Horvay and Theodor Wundt. Tourists and hikers visit the mountain in huge numbers for climbing. The route via the Polish side is hard and steep, and many prefer to ascend using the Slovakian side. In 2007 Poland and Slovakia signed the Schengen agreement that created a border crossing at the foot of the mountain.
Mount Svinica stands at an elevation of 7,549 feet as part of the Tatras ranges. It is also referred to as Mount Swinica in Poland which, when translated, refers to a swine or a pig. The name came into use in the 19th Century and may have emanated from the look of the peak which resembles a silhouette of a swine. Another version says that the summit was given the name since it was hard to reach. Although the mountain is in the Poland-Slovakia border, the entire official marked trails are located in the Poland side. Few unmarked trails are on the Slovakian side, and only a few people use them. The rock climbing routes on the mountain are only authorized to people with club licenses. During the summer, huge crowds are experienced in the area as it provides the best temperatures for hiking. Apart from recreation, Mount Svinica is also used for training of Polish alpinists and Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue (Tatrzańskie Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe (TOPR)) rescuers.
Kozi Wierch is the highest peak in the High Tatras, and the highest point that lays entirely within Polish territory at an elevation of 7,516 feet above mean sea level. Shepherds named the mountain due to numerous herds of mountain goats’ formerly found in the area. The first documented ascent was done in 1867 by Eugeniusz Janota and his guide Maciej Sieczka while the first winter ascent took place in 1907 by Jozef Borkowski and Mariusz Zaruki on skis. There is a high probability that some Highlanders including shepherds and hunters may have ascended the mountain earlier, but no documentation is available to that effect. The mountain is popular with tourists, alpine climbers, and alpine skiers, offering all manner of attractions to high mountains enthusiasts. The mountain’s vertical 600 feet granite North Face offers a real challenge for experienced climbers.
Mieguszowiecki Szcyzt Wielki
The mountain known as Mieguszowiecki Szcyzt Wielki has an elevation of 7,999 feet above sea level, and is also part of the Tatra Mountains. The first ascent took place in 1877. The winds of the summit of the mountain makes it challenging for hikers to ascend. The temperatures drop to -40 Degrees Celsius, with the maximum recorded thickness of snow cover being 161 inches. In the 19th Century, logging became rampant in the mountain to make way for humans. Although it banned, the effects are still being felt.
Territorial Disputes in the Tatra Mountains
Many of the greatest mountains in Poland are part of the High Tatra Mountain Range that stands along the border between Poland and Slovakia. Ownership of the mountain range has been an issue of contention and at one point, it was occupied by the Austrian Army, in 1867, Hungary claimed part of the range, and the mountains became the border point between the two countries. Numerous disputes were forwarded to the an international court which determined the exact curse of the border, ensuring that Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Poland each got a share of the mountain range.