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TO THE KOZIA PASS

16/08/2010 00:21

2,137 m AMSL
Trail: yellow
Walking time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Date of your first ascent:…
This is one of the prettiest Polish passes.

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Wonderful views from the trail, as well as lots of other Tatra attractions, place the Kozia Pass at the top of the tourist hit parade.

Start by heading from Kuźnice to the Gąsienicowa Valley and on to Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy pond. Turn left below Mount Kościelec and skirt around the edge of the pond for 20 minutes until you reach the trail to the pass. Proceed along a path though the grass until you reach rocky ground and a waterfall after about five minutes. For the next 35 minutes you walk uphill on a path that leads to a vast boulder field, beyond which is a sort of pass. After negotiating the pass you enter another stony alley that lead to a fork in the trail: the yellow branch lead to the Kozia Pass and Żleb Kulczyńskiego gully and the blue to the Zawrat Pass. It will have taken you about an hour and a quarter to reach this point from Czarny Staw.
The country round here looks like a series of stage sets. As you proceed along an alleyway you overcome one rock obstacle and the next becomes visible in the distance. Turn left at the fork, go around another rocky outcrop and follow a path among grass-covered slopes until you reach Zmarzły Staw pond, the sight of which will accompany you until you reach the pass. After one more uphill stretch you can look out over the whole Kozia Valley. It is enclosed by the ridge that divides the Gąsienicowa and Pięciu Stawów valleys and is, in fact, a glacial cirque. Another stony alley leads you to a six-metre-high rock face that must be climbed (it presents few difficulties) and then another fork in the trail. The left-hand path is a black trail that leads to Żleb Kulczyńskiego gully where there are wonderful views of Mount Kozi Wierch and the peak of Zamarła Turnia. Other trekkers making for the Kozia Pass in Indian file look like a caravan far below. Nearly two hours on from Czarny Staw pond, the path begins to resemble the trail on Mount Kościelec. A few traverses and a bit of climbing may pose technical difficulties for beginners. Half an hour before the pass there is another vertical rock face to climb and, right above it, a chimney with a helpful fixed chain.
Above the rock face the trail leads to the foot of the Kozia Pass on an almost flat ridge. From here it is a 10-minutes climb with the aid of chains through a narrow neck between Zamarła Turnia rock and Kozie Czuby peak, to reach the pass. Take particular care on this last stretch. Deep snow can still be found on the ground as late as July and the positioning of the climbing chains, first on one side and then the other, raises the level of difficulty considerably. After three hours of hiking from Murowaniec you will not really find a place to rest. The pass is narrow and crowded with people coming from the Pięciu Stawów Valley or the Orla Perć mountain path. You can take the chance to compare impressions with other hikers and, perhaps, learn that your efforts to reach the pass (for some, it would be a mastery) are peanuts compared to the experiences of those who have got there from the Pięciu Stawów Valley. I wish you a good time.




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