Cold, survived tramp

We were tramping from the place Smerek-Village to Okraglik-Peak in Bieszczady-Mountains. The trace was marked by red paint and it was leadingfrom the top of the ridge to the border ridge, to the south. Okraglik is a mountain from which we can see fantastic views for all parts of the world. As the children had never stayed on the border line of our country, this trip was particularly interesting for them.

We were tramping our own way. As usual we had all permissions for "wild tramps", either from the forest inspectorate or from border guards. We weren’t obliged to adhere to the touristic track. Anyway, we gradually managed to reach our aim, on the way having exercised the usage of a map and a personal navigator (GPS).

Our coming into the mountain ridge, was burdened with a mistake, which was revealed much later and caused our tiredness. When we finally came into it, we felt a sudden spurt of energy, we were so close!

In fact, after a few minutes, we reached a convexity, not overgrown with trees. At once, we started to look around the convenient place to put up a tent, but the bushes of raspberries and blueberries obstructed us a lot.

Our fortnight stay in Bieszczady_Mountains was easily showed by boyish activities. The tents were put up fast and efficiently. Then we could look for a spring and prepare supper. We made a very important decision: in the morning we go to Roztoki-Gorne-Village, there in a mountain refuge, we eat breakfast, then go to 'Przełęcz-Nad-Roztokami' (Roztoki-Pass) and border crossing point and then there are only a few steps downwards.

Some of us went to the spring, found by Mario and me, others came into the jungle of raspberries and blueberries, and we "spring discovers" put the first pot on fire. It started to rain , and the clouds spread us, our tents and certainly our pot. But the satisfaction, because of the clouds, wasn’t spoiled – we were on the top, the tents were put up and supper was being prepared. At sudden, the strong wind moved the clouds above us, it cleared up and we noticed the rainbow, which, according to us, outspread over Slovakia.

In the morning, somebody came up to our tent. But earlier I had been woken up by the rattle of motor. A motor bike on the top of mountain? No, it was border guard. An official greeted us cordially and showed his official identity and asked if we had the permission for spending the night there. Certainly I explained him our situation and priviliges which were renewed every year, so he thanked also very cordially and wished good weather. On the cloth of the tent we heard the pelting rain.

I organized a fast woken up and got angry with these, who didn’t move proficiently and left their rucksacks, which were unsecured against the rain. Breakfast wasn’t eaten, because there was nothing to eat, and within one hour we were to be in mountain refuge. We were tramping towards it, along the state border.

Soon, it appeared that coldness and moisture were so strenues that we could easily get frozen stiff. So, we divided a bar of chocolate between us. But the tramp was dragging on. The boys became calming down, screwed up their lips and were tramping. Unfortunately, we felt that this tramp lasted ages. No wonder, because we were crawling along awfully.

When we left behind the next eminence, behind which were to be the pass and the border crossing point, we noticed that we were in more civilised place. We saw also a branch of a new route. The time of our march didn’t take us fancy, but then I started to doubt: this place looked as if it was somewhere a watch-tower, but why there was this route, here? I had to use GPS. When I saw all parametres projected on the screen of this device, I knew it was a mistake and we had to repeat it. Unfortunately, it appeared, that GPS didn’t lie, we went in the opposite direction. So, the only thing we had to do – it was to decide whether to go towards Wetlina-Village (about 5 hours of marching) or to come back towards Okraglik (about 2,5 hours of marching) and one hour more to Roztoki_Gorne-Village, as we had intended. We came back. It was better for us, taking into consideration our energetic balance and effort of our organism. Though, we felt the resistency in our minds – not to redo the same way. In the end, the unemotional analysis succeeded. We made the retreat. Again, during the trip, we had an association with Tolkien’s trilogy; this time we reminded the heroes’ retreat from the top of Karadhras. The boys were strong. They were marching really bravely, but one could see that they weakened a lot. We ate the second bar of chocolate, but the third one disappeared. Perhaps we lost it.

Small Kuba (Kuba = Jim) was tired because of his rucksack. Big Kuba looked as a frail-bodied person, but he was still going forward. This year I was to carry much lighter rucksack, because I was operated on not far time ago, and I felt weakened ( I treated this trip as a form of training increasing my fitness). So far I took a rest every 100 metres, but this time facing difficulties, I took from Small Kuba his rucksack and I started to carry two ones. Then I was changed by Mario until Kuba took a rest and finally collected his rucksack. During one of halts I saw that he wore only one undershirt and a nylon-like fibre blouse, which were to be impermeable, but unfortunately it wasn’t.

I made Jack take it off and take on any dry cloth. I also took out a thin jacket, which I carried on me all the time. It was more impermeable, that it seemed. The change of clothes influenced on Jack positively. Everybody noticed it. Nevertheless, all of us showed the signs of tiredness, freezness and discouragement. It was the first step to break-down of somebody’s psychic resistency, and then the others could do the same. We had to avoid this. We couldn’t allow anybody to show his debility.

Although it was raining I decided to make a halt. We just reached Okraglik, but it didn’t change our moods. Quite the reverse, we felt that we started everything from the beginning. We were very tired and had enough of it. I told the boys to take out the gas bottle and a mess-tin. I took out the pack of glucose and a vessel of citric acid. We poured the rest of our water into a mess-tin and...we started to have a problem with lightening the bottle. The lighter was dry, but unfortunately our fingers were very wet, so we didn’t manage to light it. The matches were also very wet. They were protected because of the rain, but unfortunately not enough.

At last, we saw a miracle! Somebody, perhaps Mario, found cardboard matches. I grapped one, and I was laughing in my spirit, that I was doing it, but it lightened! Water with with glucose and citric acid was on fire and... nothing. It only got warmer. During this time Mario organized races. Noone had a power to move, so this genious lad organised zombie races. Well, these zombies were running around this mess-tin, which was staying on the bottle and pretending that it was getting warmer. Do you know how the zombie are chasing? Because, I know.

The coldness showed us that we could do whatever we wanted but the water won’t be warmer. So, we drank refreshing beverage and we set off towards a mountain refuge. All world was changed. At sudden it got warm, everybody started talking and singing – in this way we came through a frantic stream. No, we didn’t take off our shoes. For what? Then we saw a mountain refuge. And we had two days for drying everything.

A mistake in an activity