Carpathian Autumn

My greetings to OutdoorUkraine!

Probably it's a time to write about our trip to Carpathians (Karpaty). My name is Kyryl Zaikin, I am from Ukraine. I was always wondering to see the real beauty of the native country and to visit the place which is called Carpathians. I've heard a lot of nice stories from my friends about the magnificent nature over there, how beautiful are the slopes, waterfalls and the mountains together with green nature and clean air with a touch of pine trees.

Even when I was studying at school my teacher of the geography told us about the highest pick in our country, which is the mountain Goverla. I didn't even mean that time that I can get there, but the time obviously came. 

I had a vacation and it was very short time to explore productively the place, but I wanted to try anyway. I invited my girlfriend to visit my mother land and want to say that I very thankful for her support and faith in this trip. Her name is Shoko Hatano. She is an amazing girl from Japan, very interesting as person with the big travel experience. We finally decided to go to Western Ukraine and to start our journey in Lviv.

I started to research the information about the Yaremche and Goverla mountain and unfortunately as I found out that climbing to the national park is prohibited in winter season, which is starts from 1st of October and lasts till 1st of May and the only exception for qualified climbers. I didn't expect that, because I've heard from a lot of people that the mountain is open for everyone. But it didn't stop me and I started to look for ways to get there.

Hopefully I found the OutdoorUkraine agency which is doing winter tours to mountain and much more, as I saw in the website. So I called straight away and got to know Kyryl Yas'ko, he was called the same as me, it was a pleasure to speak with him about the details of tour and to arrange everything right on the next day. Thanks for his communication and the contact of the good guide Roman Yurkiv.

Like that our trip started in Lviv and the next morning we've been ready and prepared to climb out on the mountain.

We met Roma, he is from Karpaty. It was a pleasure get to know him and to have a first climb experience with a qualified guide like him. On the way to our destination we've got local herbal tea, which have been selected right on the slopes of the Carpathians, so we brewed it and took with us to keep ourselves warm during the trip. Later on we came to the camp Zaroslyak which gives the permit to visit the national park in any time of the year. After we passed it finally arrived to the last stop of our point where we could get by car, it was approximately on 1400 meters in altitude above the sea level.

The beginning of the route and the most part of the forest were already behind us. Here we changed, took our bags, got necessary equipment and straight went up to the mountain. We surprised from the beauty of trees, brooks and overgrown with the moss stones, it looked very magnificent. After we enjoyed the forest path, trek became more  complicated, the slope was already in a bigger degree with much more slippery and stoney ground. But slowly with balanced breathing, few stops and each other's support we got there. The weather changed completely, from the sunny beams in the forest to the snow with the strong wind which almost blowed away.

On the route we've met few companies of the tourists and local people which already were going down from the top. Our last talismans been three nice dogs covering themselves with the snow as a blankets and here we started our storm to the Goverla, few more steps and finally we got there. It was to windy over there and we couldn't stay much more longer, so we tried to be closer to each other to keep warmth from the minus temperature. The visibility was not so clear because of the clouds, but it was a big pleasure to see sometimes the sky with the sun lights. We did it, visited the highest pick in Ukraine mountain Goverla with the 2061 meters in altitude. With good impressions and frozen noses came our time to go back.

The trek down was a bit more complex because of the misty weather, the stones and the ground were too slippery, also  had a matter the degree of the slope. For Shoko it became a bit complicated to go, Roma controlled the situation as experienced guide and gave the support. I was worried that time and tried to watch every her move and to be near all the time.

Later on we passed difficult area and could go together already, after sometime for us opened the view of the waterfall with the beautiful landscape. We had a look at nature over there, enjoyed the sounds of the water and continued our trek along the brook with the huge stones. When we came back closer to forest, we did a last stop. Took a local fragrant tea to warm up our body, shared our feelings and emotions of the trip and continued our way to the place we're we arrived in the beginning. Left just last steps in the forest and with thankfulness we are saying good bye to the nature of Carpathians.

Our last point was a local shop with nice goods and souvenirs, were we bought some very delicious blackberry vine to celebrate this evening. Like that our trip to Goverla came to the end, we enjoyed so much this experience. I would like to say big thank you to the OutdoorUkraine for organization of this tour. It was nice to visit native land and to see the real beauty of our landscapes.

Hope to see you again one day! 

Kyryl Zaikin