Carved from calcium

Caves and canyons.

Jaskinia Mylna

Tatry has the longest and deepest caves in Poland under its impressive area of bizarrely angled limestone, most of which are well developed potholes. Jaskinia Mylna (Yaskee'nee'a Mi(h)lna - False Cave) is unusual for the area in that it is a cave and not a pothole, having almost no vertical development (except a single significant aven). It is also poorly developed as a cave, being mostly an immature phreas, and probably a fragment that remains from when Tatry was filled with glaciers. It is around 1.3 km long, with the main through trip route being about 250 metres, and the officially marked side passages totalling 100 metres.

The cave is signed as a tourist trail, but it is not a show cave. It is a real cave that is fairly easy, without decorations, or very much of interest to true cavers except the basics of a phreatic maze, but it is still a real cave. If you just follow the main route, there are three short crawls over painful cobbles, and a long stooping section where the lesser caver may well end up getting their feet or rear end wet. The main route is supposed to be signed with red lines like a normal tourist trail, and the main side passages with red triangles. The main route signing is not very good though, so it is best to take a survey, unless you wish to investigate the entire cave just for the fun of it.

Wąwóz Kraków

After the long walk the day before, I had asked for a gentle day to make sure my knee had the chance to recover from any stress of the day before. It was getting a little too risky to stay in the cave now, as we had been seen too many times by too many tourists, so we had to find better lodgings. Plus it was also time to start the walk towards High Tatry. There was a simple tourist trail leading up the valley, to the front of Tomanova, then up Ciemniak (Chemniak), leading to the main route to High Tatry. But that was too easy, and touristy. There was an alternative wild route up the nearby Wąwóz Kraków (Vo(n)vooz Krakoof - Kraków Canyon) that was very much to my tastes, which would take us directly up Ciemniak.

We waded into the river of humans in Kościeliska, and hopped down to the real river to fill our water bottles. This valley is one of the Meccas for tourists, and they come here in their droves. The river flows up the valley until the afternoon, then reverses direction and flows back to Kiry for the evening.