Sunrise from the top of Babia Góra

Sunrise from the top of Babia Góra
KrakowLesser Poland VoivodeshipNo price limitPolandUnder EUR 10Under EUR 25Under EUR 5

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Babia Góra is the second highest peak in Poland. For some mountaineers, getting it is a piece of cake. For us, climbing to its top at night is like planting the flag on Mount Everest. Pride and feat. Are you wondering why we went there in the dark? To see one of the most unusual natural spectacles available in Poland – the sunrise from the top of Babia Góra.

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Babia Góra – sunrise

At the beginning, we would like to point out that we are only amateurs of mountain trips – not professionals. We will tell you about our adventure with the night climb to the top of Babia Góra. There is a lot of positive emotions in it, but only a little expert knowledge. So don’t treat this as a guide, more as a diary. 🙂

Babia Góra Zawoja village

Dear Diary… 😉 On Sunday, May 1, 2022, at 01:50am we set off from Zawoja, (specifically from the Przełęcz Krowiarki) to the top of Babia Góra. We choose red trail which is considered by many Internet experts to be the easiest. Sounds perfect for inexperienced mountaineers like us. It leads through Sokolica – Kępa – Gówniak / Wołowe Skałki straight to Babia Góra (planned return along the same route). We wanted to see the majestic sunrise – so far we’ve only seen spectacular sunsets. Before we got out of the car we put on the headlamps (photo above) and, full of fear, set off into the unknown (photo below). As you can see, we took a lighting technician and a photographer with us.

Babia Góra Krowiarki Pass

With this lighting technician and photographer, of course, it’s a joke. This beautiful photo was taken for us by random passers-by (aka members of another amateur climbing group). At this point, it is worth mentioning that this trip is not as extreme as it may seem and you will definitely not be alone on the trail. Elderly people and families with children go out to see the sunrise on Babia Góra. People talk to each other at stops. For example, we had a short conversation with a young boy who is in the process of conquering the Polish Crown (28 highest peaks in the country). He really inspired us. But back to climbing… What surprised us the most at the start was the snow. We did not expect that in May we would meet so much of it and that it would accompany us almost all the way.

Sokolica by night

The Travel-Mates team agrees that the first step on the way to Babia Góra is the hardest. Actually, the first stage, which is the steepest and the most slippery. Base number 1 is Sokolica, located 1367 m above sea level. (This is where Patryk took his first selfie with the ecological message “No littering”, standing ovations for him.) From this point, he has one more commemorative photo in the morning, which you will see if you read our diary carefully to the end. To sum up: after passing Sokolica, climbing becomes much more pleasant and easier.

Babia Góra red trail

Do you remember the vegetation floors in the mountains from school? No?! Neither do we. 🙂 Generally speaking, walking at night through the foothills, lower and upper montane zones, you see only darkness and tall trees. Nothing special. The magic begins to happen in the upper mountain pine, through which you wander along the trail with huge stones under your feet and low pines beside you. Even in the weak light of the flashlight, it looks like a fairy tale. The mountain and crag floors resemble vast rocky meadows with single hills on the horizon. As soon as the first glimpses of sunlight appear, the mountain panorama looks amazing. And it delights to the very top.

Devils Peak

We reach the peak, located 1725 m above sea level, around 4:30. We started from Przełęcz Krowiarki around 2:00, which means that we reached the top in 2.5 hours from start to finish. That’s what the signposts say. It is worth noting that we walked at a slow pace, took a few short breaks, were careful and made sure not to lose the trail. Dozens of people are already waiting on the top. It’s cold and windy. Wiolczi curls up into a ball. Although it is already getting light, the sun will not rise until around 5:15am. Is it worth the wait?

Babia Góra how to get

Look at the picture below and you will find the answer. This is not a photomontage or Photoshopped stock photo. It is a charming view, which we walked and froze for several hours. Of course, the photo does not fully reflect reality. In reality, the sun’s disk is huge and fiery orange, and the sky around it sparkles with hundreds of colors. All this against the background of floating clouds and majestic hills.

sunrise Babia Góra

It cannot be described, you just have to see it with your own eyes. And we strongly encourage you to do so. However, we warn you that it will be difficult for you to decide to go down. First of all, you won’t be able to stop admiring the views. Second, you’ll want to take plenty of photos.

Babia Góra sunrise

In the end the low temperature and cool wind will probably force you to descend from the top of Babia Góra. Then you will see that going down is no easier than going up. If you don’t have boots with spikes or crampons, you will surely slide (perhaps even on the buttocks). #HaveFun

Babia Góra mountain

Finally, the promised photo of the most handsome model in the Travel-Mates team. That’s Patryk on Sokolica in the morning. Tired but happy. We wish you such tiredness and such happiness after seeing the sunrise on Babia Góra.

Babia Góra view

Babia Góra National Park – tickets

You will pay a small amount for a ticket to the Babia Góra National Park. You can pay at the cash desk or online on the official website of the national park.

  • A normal ticket costs PLN 8.
  • A reduced ticket costs PLN 4.

Babia Góra National Park tickets

Babia Góra – how to get to Przełęcz Krowiarki / Zawoja?

  • Car. As mentioned above, we started our journey to the top of Babia Góra from the Przełęcz Kowiarki. We got here in a few minutes by car from Zawoja, where we were spending whole weekend. When it comes to access from a big city – the closest is Krakow, from which you can get by car in 1.5-2 hours. You don’t have to worry about where to leave car, there is a car park near the beginning of the trail, for which you will pay PLN 15.
  • Public transport. Buses to Zawoja depart (on average) every hour from the Miejski Dworzec Autobusowy in Krakow. Schedules are variable, so you’ll need to check them online or in person at the MDA ticket office.

Babia Góra National Park

Babia Góra – tips

  • Mother of Disasters or Devil’s Peak – these are the unofficial names of Babia Góra. They were given for a reason. Weather conditions here change suddenly and unexpectedly. Strong, gusty winds often blow at the top. Anyone who wants to climb here must be careful and considerate. Before the trip check the most up-to-date weather pages at the top. It is better to postpone the adventure to another date than to have an accident or call EMS.
  • Of course, the capricious weather on Babia Góra has its legendary explanation. The peak is considered haunted by many. It is here that witches flocked for the famous sabbaths. It is also said that the Devil himself was to build his castle on the top of Devil’s Peak (he did not finish the building, however, because he was surprised by one of the beautiful sunrises).
  • We chose the starting place not by chance. If you are also just amateurs of mountain expeditions, choose the red trail from the Przełęcz Krowiarki.
  • The most valuable advice in our opinion: under no circumstances should you go to the mountains at night without headlamps. This is an absolutely necessary piece of equipment. You won’t see anything without them. If you think that a flashlight in your hand or a flashlight on your phone is enough, then … you think wrong. First of all, we cannot imagine carrying anything in our hands for several hours in the cold. Secondly, the smartphone battery discharges much faster in cold temperatures than you think. Thirdly, something can easily fall out of your hand, and it will be rather difficult to find it on the trail. Fourthly, even if during the day the route to Babia Góra seems to be child’s play, at night it is completely dark and slippery – so it is good to have both hands free as a safety measure. To sum up: headlamps mean comfort and safety. Plus, you’ll look really funny in them. We bought ours at a nearby general store, but you’d better buy or order them online much in advance.
  • In preparation for the ‘sunrise trip’, we looked at the blogs of people who had already been there. On one of the pages we read that you should take a bell with you, the sound of which will scare away the bear. We don’t know how effective or necessary it is, because in the end we forgot to take the magic scarecrow with us. As you can probably guess, we were not attacked by any big or small bear either.

Babia Góra tips

Babia Góra sunrise – reviews

  • Patrix – 10/10. Great adventure! I was very afraid. We were in total darkness most of the way. What’s more, at the beginning we were covered in waist-deep snow, which we often fell into. Sometimes we hugged trees and grabbed branches so as not to fall. It was slippery. It was freezing. But it was worth it! The sunrise from the top of Babia Góra looks really magical!
  • Wiolczix – 10/10. Going out to see the sunrise on Babia Góra is definitely my favorite mountain adventure. The best I’ve ever experienced. Of course, reaching the summit during the day, in spring or summer, with good conditions, is very easy (I did it for the first time with the whole class in primary school, when I was about 10 years old). But night climbing is a completely different dimension of entertainment. It’s cold, dark and scary at times. You have to be vigilant and careful not to lose the trail. But all these moments of uncertainty are fully rewarded by the incredible sights that emerge as soon as it starts to get light. The sunrise when you are at the top is an absolutely magical phenomenon.

Babia Góra map

Babia Góra – mapa

Babia Góra is located right next to the Polish-Slovak border.

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