Got So High

Sometimes you just need to reset. Slow down for a bit and clear your mind. The mountains seem like the perfect place for that endeavor. So, as soon as I heard my friend was headed out to the Tatras, I knew I would follow in his footsteps.

I’d never ventured into the Tatran trails. I’d been in the mountains a few times, but it was nothing more than short trips. A few hours’ walk on easy terrain. I wasn’t expecting any exceptions to that rule and I carelessly left all the planning in my friend’s hands. When it started getting steeper and steeper, I still didn’t know how hard a trail we had chosen. The route to Świnica is one of the most difficult mountain trails in Poland, right behind the Eagle’s Path.

It was a damp, rainy day. There was mist all around, seemingly close enough for us to touch it. Now I’m glad it was there – it protected me from seeing the depths of the abyss right underneath. There were chains all over the rocks. Getting through that trail was hell… but heavenly at the same time. Purgatory. When I sat down on the mountaintop, with all of its 2301 metres of height underneath me, my legs were trembling. I hadn’t felt anything of this kind for a long time. The recognition that actually, quite a lot depended on where I’d place my hands. Maybe I’d never felt it at all.

After reaching the top of Świnica we set out in the direction of the Zawrat Pass and then to The Valley of the Five Lakes. The misty path led us amongst some unbelievably beautiful sights. Hollow and refreshing. I could keep wandering through there for hours and hours.

When we got to the mountain hut, freezing cold but happy, we found ourselves a bunkbed each and sat down in the main hall. There was fire all crackling at the logs in the fireplace, a crowd bustiling in merriment. I got high on the Tatras and truly fell in love.

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