With Mountain Spirits in dense fog. Hiking Skalnik from Czartak – Crown of Polish Mountains.

I woke up that day with a fever and terribly running nose. Dull pain in my sinus pulsated towards my head, I felt an unpleasant itching in my throat. Pajamas were sticking to my sweaty skin. Here’s the result of walking in deep snow up Wielka Sowa a few days before, despite the fact that it was end of April. It’s crazy.

I look outside of the window. It’s raining. Weather forecast optimistically says it’s not going to stop before early afternoon. What would a normal person do in such situation? Wrap in a blanket and pretend to be a pancake for the whole day.

What did I do?

I got up, swallowed a big piece of garlic and some crappy medications. I squeezed a lemon and drank the juice with water, dressed in my thermoactive underwear and decided I feel better. And the weather… oh well, at least it’s not snowing. A hike to Skalnik is just a walk after all.

It is not a very demanding mountain indeed. According to the map it’s only 2h of walking and 280 m of elevation. But it seemed to me we walk much longer and that it is not as easy as I expected. I guess I noticed the results of the fever after all.

trail to skalnik crown of polish mountains

We started our hike from an old mountain hut called Czartak and took a foggy blue and green trail up the mountain. Foggy forest has a very specific atmosphere. We walked in a group of a few people but because I take pictures, people die of boredom before I find the right settings and frame so I stayed behind quite a lot.

In these moments when there was nothing and nobody except for me, the fog and the forest I felt like the Mountain Spirit is watching me. I expected him to appear as a dwarf, give me a hand and take me to the heart of the forest to show me his world.

trail to skalnik crown of polish mountains

trail to skalnik crown of polish mountains

Don’t laugh, I really did look around…

Also I didn’t lose my hope that maybe before we reach the summit, the fog will disappear and we will see something from a viewing platform on Ostra Mała. The fog stayed the same and I just have to believe Google there’s an amazing panorama of Sudetes from there. We just saw this:

trail to skalnik crown of polish mountains

From Ostra Mała to the top of Skalnik we still needed to walk fifteen minutes through the forest. The peak itself is covered by trees and doesn’t offer any views. Not that we would see any that day anyway 🙂

trail to skalnik crown of polish mountains

After turning right to the yellow trail the weather started to improve and when we reached Czartak we saw blue sky. Damn, we should go back to the viewing platform now… 🙂

Crown of Polish Mountains – Skalnik from Czartak through Ostra Mała – practical information

trail to skalnik crown of Polish mountains

Distance: 6,2 km

Elevation gain: 280 m

Time: 2h (with the time to rest and in a group of “sporadic mountaineers” 🙂 we did it in 2,5h)

For whom? It is a perfect hiking for everybody, also for beginners. An easy and pleasant walk through the forest and a great viewing point (unless it’s foggy 🙂 ). It joins the list of Polish trails suitable for beginners.

It is good even for the ones with fever. The trip didn’t make me feel worse. On the contrary – dull pain in my sinus didn’t pulsate towards my head anymore. And even though I still felt an unpleasant itching in my throat and pajamas were sticking to my sweaty skin the next night – my mood improved significantly. Pancake day wouldn’t have such a magical power 🙂

If you are around Skalnik don’t miss another amazing place in Rudawy Janowickie – Colorful Lakelets. These are artificial ponds with green, crimson and azure water in an old mine. Also check my other posts about peaks belonging to the Crown of Polish Mountains and if it’s going to be your first hike in a long time (or ever!), check how to prepare.

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