Travel Safely in the Mountains
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How to move safely and considerately in the mountains

Don't underestimate the risks and the specifics of the mountain climate and be well prepared for both! Take care of yourself and your loved ones, but also the nature you are moving in. The fauna and flora of the Krkonose Mountains have become accustomed to harsh conditions, strong winds and low temperatures. Local species are resistant to the weather, but they cannot resist the reckless behaviour of visitors.

The biggest enemy of the Krkonoše nature is a human, who has forgotten that he is only visiting the mountains. 

How to prepare for a mountain hike

How to prepare for a mountain hike

Let's not forget that the Krkonose Mountains are the only Czech mountains with alpine character and their peaks are dominated by the inhospitable arctic-alpine tundra. The weather here changes from minute to minute, the clouds pass quickly and on a sunny day it is not uncommon to be clouded by fog and gripped by strong winds.

Of course, it's ideal to head into the mountains with at least two people, preferably three. If you're planning to go alone, tell someone close to you which route you'll be taking, or enter your route into the Zachranka (Rescue) app. This is done using the Electronic Hike Book feature. 

Both apps are nowadays among the basic equipment (not only) for mountain hiking. The Zachranka app makes it easier to deal with a crisis situation and can decide whether the integrated rescue system will actually get to you in time. At the touch of a button, you can send an emergency message with information about your exact location and dial 155 at the same time. 

Maps.cz will get you out of almost any trouble. Download not only the app, but also offline maps so you don't have to use data to navigate during the hike. 

Stáhnout Záchranku

We write and talk about it all the time - alpine weather is tricky, fickle, and not always predictable. There are stronger winds and this makes the weather change faster. So you can't completely rely on forecast apps or weather radar. Always be equipped for all possibilities in the mountains and don't be surprised. Check out webcams before your trip, many of them are also located on ridges and will give you an idea of the actual weather conditions. 

Webcams

Accurate information about the length, elevation and overall difficulty of the route is important. It is also advisable to check whether there are huts, shelters or other refuges along the route for rest or refreshment. Check to see if there are any current restrictions or closures along the route. This is common with trail maintenance, and in the spring, flowing grouse restrict access to some areas. For information about closures or impassable routes in the Krkonoše Mountains, just click on the Omezeni pruchodu na cestach layer on the KRNAP Administration's public map portal. 

Map portal KRNAP

What shouldn't be missing in your backpack when you head into the mountains? Definitely spare clothes (functional shirt, headband, hat, socks), waterproof top layer or raincoat, extra sweater or sweatshirt, first aid kit, sunscreen and sunglasses. Food and plenty to drink. 

Extra tips

  • Choose suitable footwear with sturdy soles and a good pattern. 
  • Always pack a jacket in your backpack. In summer, a lightweight, windproof jacket with a sweatshirt underneath will suffice. But it'll come in handy. 
  • Pack a neck warmer, a cap and a headband or wind hat. In colder weather, you'll be grateful for a pair of lightweight gloves. 
  • Trekking poles are also a great tool in mountainous terrain. 

Tips and rules of the road

For overnight stays and moments of discomfort, use a mountain chalet

In cooperation with the operators of selected lodges, we have prepared a network of accommodation that you can use for accommodation on the ridges. Even for one night. Of course, there are many more that serve as shelter or refreshments. 

In emergency situations and for moments of discomfort it is possible to hide in shelters. However, keep in mind that they are not primarily for overnight stays! Use them only for the necessary length of time.

Krkonose Chalets

Shelters in the Krkonose

Follow the rules in the national park

The nature of the Krkonose Mountains hides treasures of world significance, which is why it was declared a national park in 1963. The rules of behaviour on its territory are determined by the Visitor Regulations and the laws in force. In order to preserve the valuable natural heritage, it is necessary to observe them. They are simple, easy to understand and respecting them will in no way reduce the quality and intensity of the experience in the fragile landscape.

The basic rule is - stay on the path! You can read more about them on the KRNAP Administration website.

Thank you for your respect and consideration for other visitors and nature.

Rules of conduct in KRNAP

 

Beware of different rules in Poland

The nature of the Krkonose Mountains is also protected by a national park in Poland. However, slightly different rules and entrance fees apply. Keep this in mind if you are going to descend from the ridges to the Polish side. The fee can be paid online and excludes the Czech-Polish Friendship Trail. Also keep in mind that hiking is only allowed in the Polish part of the park from dawn to dusk, and dogs are only allowed with a muzzle and leash.

Buy a ticket

Familiarize yourself with the different types of signs

We are all familiar with the red, blue, green and yellow striped tourist signs of the Czech Tourist Club. On the Polish side of the mountains you will also see the colour black. The red metal Muttichovy znacky on poles can be a great help in winter or in low visibility. These "dumb" signs show the most important peaks, mountain huts, settlements or villages. The tall wooden poles, placed at several-metre intervals along the roads, are particularly useful in winter. When the Krkonose Mountains are covered with snow, you may not always know where a path begins and ends. The pole markings will help you to follow it safely. 

Walk without tracks

What to do when nature calls and a mountain hut is not in sight? Behave in such a way that the place you visit looks the same after you leave as it did before you arrived. What doesn't end up in the bag ends up underground. In quiet areas, don't go off-road, avoid water sources. The basic rules are summarised on the I Walk Without Tracks website.

Walk without tracks

Vlk v Krkonoších

What to do when encountering a wolf?

Who would be afraid of a wolf! After all, unlike a bear, a lion, or a cougar, it is shy of humans. He shies away from marked paths and is therefore unlikely to be encountered on them. It can happen in the woods off the beaten track. Even then, there's no need to panic. Just give the wolf time and space to retreat. The young ones may be curious. Alert them with a loud voice or noise. The presence of your dog can be a risk factor. So keep him on a leash to be on the safe side. 

So what's the right thing to do when encountering a wolf?

  • Do not approach, do not chase the wolf. 
  • Never lure a wolf for food or feed it. If the wolf gets used to humans, it will lose its shyness.
  • If he doesn't back away, try to retreat quietly. 
  • Back away, don't turn your back, don't run. 
  • If the wolf approaches you, continue to retreat, make noise (sing, clap, shout).
  • It is a good idea to report any encounter with a wolf to the KRNAP Administration by e-mail kmikslova@krnap.cz or by phone 731 533 895. Important information is the time and place of the encounter, and possibly photos or video. 

An encounter with a wolf is by no means the only crisis situation you can deal with in the mountains. There are others on the KRNAP website.

What to do when...

For more information:

Alena Cejnarová, marketing for Destination Krkonose, e-mail: acejnarova@krkonose.eu, tel.: +420 775 231 136