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    Avalanche three in the Tatra Mountains

    In the Tatras, there is a third, significant avalanche risk. The conditions for hiking are unfavorable, the trails are covered with a thick layer of fresh snow, under which there is older snow. The Tatra National Park: “We advise against going above the upper limit of the forest”.

    The trails are covered with a thick layer of fresh snow, under which there is older, hard snow. The trails are unpaved and blown by the wind, which in some places has created deep drifts, and snow overhangs on the ridges. The low ceiling of clouds significantly reduces visibility.

    In addition, there is a strong, gusty wind, which makes it very difficult to move around and causes blowing snow and blizzards.

    According to TOPR avalanche bulletin Tatry Polskie, the snowpack is moderately to poorly bonded on many steep slopes. Triggering is possible, even from low additional loads, particularly on the indicated steep slopes. In certain situations some large, and in isolated cases very large natural avalanches are possible.

    Mostly unfavourable conditions. Activity in the mountains requires extensive experience and skill, as well as significant ability to adequately assess avalanche danger locally. Steep slopes should be avoided, particularly those indicated in avalanche bulletin as unfavourable in regard of aspect or altitude. Following the elementary principles of safety is indispensable.

    On Kasprowy Wierch and in the Five Polish Ponds Valley, the snow cover has already exceeded 120cm, and in Zakopane, there is over half a meter of white powder. IMWM issued a first-degree warning for Podhale and Sądecczyzna about snowfall and blizzards caused by strong winds with gusts up to 65km/h. We expect also intense rainfall in the Tatras in the coming days.

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