Silesian Beskids: Szczyrk -> Skrzyczne

Skrzyczne is the highest peak of Zywiec Beskids mountains. There are plenty of ski lifts here, and because the nearby Szczyrk city attracts crowds of tourists, there is also a lot of traffic on the peak. There are few hikers here, vast majority of weekend tourists use ski lifts. Because of the traffic on the top, Skrzyczne is not a good place for a quiet walk in the middle summer.

During my hike to Skrzyczne I finally managed to see the Vipera Berus venomous snake. It is the only species of poisonous snake found in Poland. The one I met was was a young specimen I assume, as it was less than 30cm long. Adult vipers, meanwhile, may reach more than 1 meter. The youngster was running away, he definitely did not want to pose for a photo. Fun fact: the Vipera Berus is another reason why you should wear high boots. The viper only attacks when it feels threatened, but when it does attack, it often does so at the ankle. Flip-flops in the mountains are a really bad idea, even on Skrzyczne, where you can go up by a lift. As you can see on the map, I found the snake only a few meters from the buildings of the ski lift station. The snake was basking in the middle of the rocky path.

A map of the hiking trail, which I recommend only during the off-season hovewer, is here. Total ascent: 740 m. Step count at the end of the day: 18,000+.