We are happy to publish this article from Splitboard Girls Poland - a presentation of their area!
Pilsko – a mountain which has become a true mecca for freeride in Poland. I would even venture to say that word FREERIDE comes from this place . The top of the mountain is not on the Polish side but in Slovakia, however, if we count the number of lines made by Polish freeriders, then the mountain would belong to us.
Let's start from the beginning. The mountain is located in Beskid Żywiecki, in my humble opinion the best area for splitboarding except for the Tatra Mountains. Thanks to the height of 1557 m, you can explore and enjoy this area from the end of November even until the first week of May.
There are many ways to get to the top on the Polish side. You can start from Korbielów going along the yellow trail. It’s a forest path, which starts at the car park next to the chair lift, right after some retro lifts that can pull the riders up to the height of almost 1500 m.
My favourite period of time to get the summit of Pilsko is the beginning of the season when the lifts are not working yet. We start exploring from the bottom station of the lift on the Polana Struga, then we climb along the slope to the mountain shelter at Hala Miziowa. From the shelter to the summit we have about 30 mins of skinning, so we can continue to climb this route or choose the black trail to the top. If the visibility is good you'll find this track without any problems but in case of poor visibility, fog or snow-flurry, it's very easy to get lost there. Pilsko peak is a very large dome with no landmarks, so we should never ignore it, even many local riders sometimes get lost there. From the summit, we can enjoy a wide panorama of the Western Beskids, Tatra Mountains, mountains of Slovakia, and with excellent visibility also to the eastern peaks of the Sudetes.
After climbing up and admiring the views it’s high time to draw a turn on the untouched powder! There are many possibilities for descents. We want to fully use the playground, which Pilsko provides to us. It is worth mentioning that in the upper part of Poland and the Slovak side there is a nature reserve, so if we "accidentally" ride off the trail especially in Slovakia, we can be rewarded with a fine.... a true freerider license.
One of the possibility of descent from the summit is riding along the green trail until the sign which is located on the border of Poland and Slovakia. From this place we move down, heading slightly to the right and enjoy the wide, unwooded area. It is worth remembering not to go too far to the right because a thick forest starts there and our orientation will not be so good anymore. The landmark can be a stream, if we go left from it, we should get to the route where we start climbing up in its lower section. Otherwise, a lot of climbing up awaits us.
Pilsko delights riders with its diversity…here you can go snowboarding and enjoy terrain along with the lifts or explore the areas around the top dome on a splitboard, riding down and coming up until you have enough strength. You can also spend the night in a shelter Hala Miziowa and check out neighbouring mountains such as Rysianka and Romanka, which also have a lot to offer.
Until a few years ago, not many people visited Pilsko because of the outdated infrastructure. Now the infrastructure does not bother anyone anymore and with every snowfall, a whole bunch of freeriders come to shred Pilsko. For me and for all those people splitboarding means more than simply leaving the tracks in the snow. It means feeling freedom and makes your body fill with adrenaline as soon as you see the slope that you are about to ride down.
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