Stay Safe in the Hills

Summer storms in the Tatra mountains can sweep in quickly and unexpectedly, catching hikers and tourists unaware. The Tatra mountain rescue team (TOPR) has warned visitors to Zakopane to keep a weather eye open, and stay one step ahead of sudden changes. TOPR's Jakub Radlinski told the newspaper Gazeta Krakowska that it was best to get out early in the morning, to look for signs that the weather might turn quickly. He said that storms could move in at speeds of tens of kilometres an hour, but that wary walkers could often spot bursts of lightning in the distance. For those who do find themselves caught out, his advice was to get off high ground immediately, stay away from isolated trees and rocks, and in the thick of a storm to ditch metal objects such as bicycles and climbing gear, and seek shelter in the valleys, among the densest woodland possible. Mr Radlinski told Gazeta Krakowska that the jury was still out on the use of mobile phones in storms, but that standard procedure was not to call. The newspaper carried the interview with Mr Radlinkski after lightning strikes killed four hikers in Pieniny. Find more information on mountain safety, at


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