Kasprowy Wierch

It is impossible to imagine visiting Zakopane and not climbing to the top of Kasprowy Wierch. Virtually everyone knows that this iconic peak is a must. In summer, hike all the way up there from Kuźnice. In winter, take your skis and ride in the iconic Polish cable car.

Let’s start with some history, which is unique and quite fascinating. The cable car to Kasprowy Wierch was built thanks to the great effort of the entire society before World War II. Construction started in 1935. It was the first investment of this type in Poland and the sixtieth in the world. Although it is hard to believe even today, it was built in a record time of 7 months. The first passengers rode up to Kasprowy Wierch in the cable car on 15 March 1936.

The Kasprowy Wierch cable car route consists of two independent sections: from Kuźnice to Myślenickie Turnie and from Myślenickie Turnie to Kasprowy Wierch. In each section, there are two cars suspended on one cable - as one car rides uphill, the other one moves in the opposite direction. The ride takes 12 minutes. The cable car transports 360 people per hour in wintertime. In summer, the capacity is reduced to 180 people per hour to protect the natural environment.

After the project was completed, skiing quickly became very popular in the Tatra Mountains. The Gąsienicowy chair lift was built in 1938. It has been overhauled twice since then - in 1962 and 2000. Today, it takes 8 minutes to ride to the top of the ski piste, and the lift seats 4 on one bench. It can transport 2,400 skiers per hour. This is how the highest-located ski centre in Poland was created.

The Goryczkowy lift was created in 1967-1969. Each chair in the lift seats 2 people. It is only open in winter. Unfortunately, the unstable weather conditions and the specificity of Kasprowy Wierch (strong winds and its location in the Tatra National Park) make using artificial snow impossible, and often there is not enough natural snow to open the Kocioł Goryczkowy piste. It takes 15 minutes to get to the top station of the lift. Lift capacity: 730 people per hour.

Several pistes with various difficulty levels are available on Kasprowy Wierch:

- 2 black pistes (very hard);

- 3 red pistes (hard).

The overall length of all pistes on Kasprowy Wierch is 16 kilometres. The longest one runs through Hala Gąsienicowa down to Kuźnice and is 9.7 km long. The route to Kuźnice through Dolina Goryczkowa Valley is 5 km long. The Kasprowy Wierch - Hala Gąsienicowa piste is 1.5 km long, with a difference in elevation of 352 metres. The ski route from Kasprowy Wierch to Dolina Goryczkowa is 2.6 km and has a difference in elevation of 595 metres.

It needs to be stressed that no artificial snow is used on the pistes at Kasprowy Wierch, because they are all located within the Tatra National Park. Such interference with the ecosystem was considered especially harmful to animals and the local vegetation. However, all the pistes are groomed. The nature of the slope requires a snow cover of several dozen centimetres so that it conceals any dangerous rocks and hollows.

A recently renovated restaurant is located at the summit. Remember that it closes half an hour before the departure of the last car. Of course, a station of the TOPR Mountain Rescue Service is also located at the summit. Above the top station of the cable car, there is the High Mountain Meteorological Observatory. In the building, which houses the offices of the cable car operator, you can find a ski equipment workshop and storage. If you are looking for accommodation, try the PTTK Murowaniec Tourist Shelter in Dolina Gąsienicowa after skiing down the Kocioł Gąsienicowy piste.

To get to the piste in Kocioł Gąsienicowy, you can take the gondola lift from Kuźnice or walk up to the bottom station of the lift in Dolina Goryczkowa through Kalatówki. Cars are only allowed to drive to Jan Paweł II Roundabout; the route is closed to them further on. You can get to the bottom station of the lift by taxi or mini-bus. The mini-buses depart from the bus terminal or from the bus stop in ul. Zamoyskiego (in front of the church). A ticket costs PLN 3 per person.

difficulty - hard

2015 prices:

- One-day Ski Pass:

Regular price (16-64 years) - PLN 138,

Concessions (5-15 and 65+ years) - PLN 110,

Family pass (2+1) - PLN 354,

Each additional child - PLN 55.

- Six-day Ski Pass:

Regular price (16-64 years) - PLN 665,

Concessions (5-15 and 65+ years) - PLN 485.

- Single ride on the ski lift: PLN20.

Children under 4 years of age - free.

Zakopane, Kuźnice

Credit cards: Accepted

Distance from Chałubińskiego Residence: 2,5 km

Opening hours: detailed information is available on PKL’s website.

luksusowe apartamenty na wynajem w centrum Zakopanego