I realized they weren’t walking through the forest, but through a sawmill

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Gazeta.pl is the patron of Mateusz Waligóra’s Tatra Tales project. While wandering all the marked trails of the Tatra Mountains, Waligóra observes nature, people and asks questions about the future of our mountains. His team talks to writers, scientists, naturalists and tells the fascinating stories of this place.

Mateusz Waligóra is primarily known for his travels in the polar regions and his marches across deserts. In recent years he has also discovered Poland. He has already wandered the Vistula route – from the source of the largest Polish river to its mouth – and witnessed climate change in the Baltic Sea as he marched along the Polish coast. Now he has started # TatrzańskieOowieści.

The traveler arrived in Zakopane on Monday, by train from Wroclaw. The journey took him, nonsense, eight and a half hours and ended in … a temporary railway station.

– Zakopane is perhaps the only tourist destination in Poland that plans to renovate the resort mid-season – laughs Waligóra. – Although I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out he wasn’t the only one.

The sawmill towards Wołowiec

During the first days of the expedition, Mateusz’s base was the refuge of Polana Chochołowska. On Wednesday he left for the mountains. First, take the green Chochołowska valley along the green path towards Wołowiec. – Physically I was doing great, there was a nice fresh wind, but I didn’t go very far when I realized that I was not walking through the woods, but … a sawmill. Many trees have been cut down and stacked – recalls Mateusz. – It’s hard for me to find another comparison. An unpleasant sight and an unpleasant feeling. Hopefully someone will pick it up in the media and do an eco-investigation. In any case, I’d like to know how such a thing is possible in this place.

After reaching Wołowiec, Waligóra headed towards Jarząbczy Wierch and in the vicinity of Łopata, between these two peaks, he saw the Wawa chamois with his family. He was not afraid of people, just like the fox he had met the day before in Chochołowska.

– Unfortunately, these are the sad effects of the activities of tourists who think they feed them in the wild life animals and what people eat is a good idea – says Waligóra. – Okay, foxes and fawns are cute. But by feeding them we sign a death sentence against them. Animals therefore not only lose the ability to forage for natural food, but also become an easier target for predators and poachers.

At all times, there was no crowd on the paths, which many people warned Matthew against before he set out.

– I only met more people when I went down from Jarząbczy towards Kończyny, and then through Trzydniowiański Wierch through the Jarząbcza valley along the Jarząbczy Potok – he says. – But it didn’t bother me, I liked green: it’s wonderful to look at such intense colors, all these fascinating plants, especially after more than a month on the Greenland ice sheet, where there is no green at all.

Awareness of the storm

On Thursday, photographer Karolina Krasińska joined Mateusz and together they went to Grześ and then along the ridge to Rakoń. – We were positively surprised that tourists and people on the trail are very aware of the dangers of the storm – says Mateusz. – Several people coming down from the mountain informed us, they warned us of the situation on the ridge, of the fact that a storm was about to break out. I am very happy with it, because it shows that in the mountains, even on the famous Tatra trails – contrary to stereotypes – people who are not lacking in imagination and who behave responsibly dominate.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough. A man died again on Wednesday due to the storm over Giewont. Struck by lightning, TOPR rescuers transported him by helicopter to Zakopane, but he died in the hospital.

Mateusz spent an extremely hot Friday entering Trzydniowiański Wierch (along the red path), then … returned to Zakopane, where he was invited to the opening of the BNP Paribas Kino Letnie film festival.

Are you planning for the next few days?

– Already on Monday I am moving to the Kościeliska valley, to the Hala Ornak refuge. This will be my second Tatra base – says Mateusz, who on Sunday “finished” the Chochołowska valley, crossing the section of the Path on the Reglami that is there.

Tatra Mountains without women

As in the case of his previous expeditions, Waligóra wanders not only to cover the next few kilometers, but also to talk to people: tourists, scientists, naturalists, TOPR rescuers, TPN employees, residents. Mateusz and his team do not avoid difficult and uncomfortable problems. And so, the main theme of the interview conducted by Dariusz Jaroń with Agata Komosa-Styczeń last week was the radical differences between the male and female point of view on the history and current events of mountaineering.

– Women linked to the mountains, when they talk about their successes, are first of all worried not to offend men – the author of the book Taterniczki told the journalist. The place of women comes first. “Before they started talking about themselves, my characters built a foundation: they remembered how much they owed to men and stressed that they were not accusing anyone of anything. How much women have helped him in his professional growth.

300 km of slopes

The # TatrzańskieOściowie expedition began on Tuesday 28 June. Waligóra left for the Tatra Mountains literally right after his return from Greenland, so he’s got a good workout, although – as he puts it – he has to change the body from the arduous wandering on a plain to the challenge of overcoming big waves. The end of the trip is scheduled for the last weekend of July. The route from the west – from the Chochołowska valley – to the east, to Rysy. All finished 300 km of marked trails, tens of thousands of meters of ups and downs, seven refuges. Waligóra will be accompanied by photographer Karolina Krasińska, and director Damian Ochtabiński, journalist Dariusz Jaroń and editor Piotr Tomza will help him in # TatrzańskichOpowieści on Facebook and beyond.

You can follow the daily reports of the shipment here >>

After the Tatra Mountains, Waligóra will depart towards the South Pole. You can support his journey.


Mateusz Waligóra – specialist in high-performance expeditions to the most secluded places on the planet. He is particularly fond of deserts: from Australia to Bolivia. He has a longer mountain range cycling trip on his own behalf shed – Andes, a lonely bike ride on the most difficult road marked on Earth – Canning Stock Route in Western Australia, a lonely pedestrian crossing of the largest salt desert in the world – Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia and the first lonely crossing of the Mongolian side of the Gobi desert. Member of the Scouts’ Club. In the spring of 2022, together with Łukasz Supergan, he crossed Greenland: it took Polish travelers 35 days to ski on the largest island in the world from west to east.

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