Take a BC ski tour along the national border!
When the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia joined the Schengen zone on 21 December 2007, tourism in the Beskydy mountains was changed forever. Now you can cross the borders at any point – by road, across fields, or through forests. There are no more No Entry signs and warnings – all that has remained are the red and white painted stones that mark the border
And above all: whether walking, cycling or skiing, you can move around with complete freedom. So why not take advantage of this new-found freedom and take a BC (backcountry) skiing tour along the national border! States are required to keep their borders free of tree cover, making them ideal corridors for BC skiing – so there is no need to struggle through thick vegetation in order to enjoy demanding climbs and glorious sweeping descents. Climbing skins are a must here, as are steel edges for the downhill runs. Cross-country skiing enthusiasts are also great fans of these ridge routes, but on backcountry skis the experience is even more intense. For BC tours we recommend using the marked hiking paths or – for an unforgettable experience – sticking strictly to the national border. There will surely be no lack of adventure along the way!
OUR TIP: the little-used cross-country ridge route through the Těšín Beskydy mountains
The ridge runs through the Těšín Beskydy range along the border through Čantoryje, Sošov, Stožek, Bukovec, Trojmezí, Gírová and Mosty u Jablunkova to Velký Polom and Malý Polom, and has a total length of 68 km. The starting point is the green marker at the train halt in Vendryně; from there the trail leads to the Polish border at ‘Pod Malým Ostrým’. At this point the trail does not follow the national border, but from Velká Čantoryje to Velký Stožek the border is the exact route of the trail. It then turns away from the border, rejoining it at Hrčava after descending from the ridge to the village of Bukovec and climbing back to the ridge at Komorovský grůň. At Trojmezí the trail reaches the meeting point of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, after which it continues through the Moravian-Silesian Beskydy range along the Czech-Slovak border. To get back to the Slovak border, the route returns to Hrčava and then passes through Gírová and Studeničné to Mosty u Jablunkova. There, the red marker leads from the railway station back up to the ridge over Skalka. The trail runs close to the Slovak border, finally reaching it at Velký Polom. The section between Velký Polom and Malý Polom (across Muřínkový vrch) used to be a popular route, though it is now less frequented because there are well-maintained cross-country trails elsewhere. The section from Malý Polom to Bílý Kříž is still popular, but lies outside the Těšín Beskydy region, so at Malý Polom the trail turns towards Horní Lomná. You can either descend along the blue marked route or – if you still have the energy – you can continue through Slavíč to Kamenitý and from there to Lomná. The route can be varied, shortened or lengthened according to your preferences. We warmly recommend planning the tour over two or three days and staying overnight in some of the hospitable and cosy chalets along the route.
Top tips for safe cross-country skiing:
- Never walk on a cross-country ski trail.
- On trails with several pairs of grooves, you can use any of the grooves.
- Overtake on the right or the left on an available pair of grooves or off the grooves.
- A skier being overtaken should vacate the grooves if requested to do so.
- When overtaking and passing other skiers, keep your poles close to your body.
- Pass other skiers on the right.
- On trails with just one pair of grooves, the skier going downhill has right of way.
- Behave in such a way that you do not endanger or injure anybody.
- Adapt your technique and speed to the local terrain, your level of proficiency, the condition of the trail, visibility and density of traffic on the trail.
- Keep a safe distance from the skier in front of you.
- If you stop, step out of the grooves. If you fall, try to get out of the grooves as soon as possible.