PEAK 8: Czech Republic – Sněžka

My home country’s highest point Sněžka was the first mountain above 1000m. With its 1603m it is not the highest in Europe at all but you can actually feel there real mountain conditions. I experienced heavy rain, fog and strong wind but also 15 minutes of sun so I could see the landscape on both the Polish and the Czech side.

Date of summit: 27th June 2018 7:20 
Travelling mode: Hiking
Height of the peak: 1603m
Hiking distance from Pec pod Sněžkou to Luční Bouda (overnight stay): 7.44 km
Hiking distance from Luční Bouda to Sněžka (morning summit): 3.76 km
(A direct route from Pec pod Sněžkou to Sněžka would take approximately 2 hours)
Time to ascend from Pec pod Sněžkou to Luční Bouda: 2 hours 4 min 
Time to ascend from Luční Bouda to Sněžka: 1 hours 11 min 
Map of my hiking journey to Sněžka: 
Climb from Pec pod Sněžkou to Luční Bouda (overnight stay)- Movescount
Luční Bouda - Sněžka Movescount
Personal rating of the mountain: *** (6 stars maximum) 
Beer on the peak: Sněžka 16,03 (IPA) **** (6 stars maximum)

Getting back to my home country was nicer than I would ever expect. I continued my with my Interrail card from Luxembourg through Germany to Prague. After four delayed Deutsche Bahn trains I finally took one without any problem and it was the Czech railways train! Saying this some years ago when I was weekly commuting from my city Olomouc to Prague it would be a joke which nobody would believe in. This time it was perfect and I even got a newspaper for free and my favourite Czech drink Kofola! What a welcome home.

In a few hours I got to Prague where I met my two sponsors- probably the best shop for lightweight packing Pod 7 Kilo where I received the lightest tent in the world and Panosociety offering amazing equipment for panoramic photography. I can’t wait to write my reviews about both of these products.

Later, I met my friend Iva who joined me for my first peak higher than 1000m.

The journey from Prague to Pec pod Sněžkou (the starting point to Sněžka) took around 3 hours by car. Unfortunately, the weather forecast was correct this time. It was cloudy, later foggy and it was even raining cats and dogs during our last 3km. The first big rain of my expedition had to come sooner or later. Good that we didn’t care much because there are many cosy huts in Krkonoše and most of them have their own breweries so there are plenty opportunities to warm up and get some energy.

Tasting Czech beer culture possible even in the mountains; camera Nikon D750; lens Sigma 35mm, f/1.4; 2times Exposure Bracketing

If you decide to visit Krkonoše and have more time you can actually do the whole “Krkonošská pivní stezka” – the walk with visit of all ten breweries and become a proud Czech (I guess you know the Czechs drink most beer per capita). The Czech cuisine will warm you up for sure too. We decided to taste local blueberry dumplings at Luční Bouda chalet. We also slept there with hope for better weather for sunrise.

Typical Czech mountain food – Blueberry dumplings; iPhone X; Single Exposure

We woke up very early in the morning to catch a gap in bad weather which was supposed to come according to the forecast. Unfortunately, the forecast was wrong this time and it was still foggy when we woke up. We decided to go up to Sněžka anyway. Maybe, good weather will come later. And really. When we got up to the top the clouds just disappeared and we could enjoy 15 minutes of an amazing view over both Polish and Czech lowlands.

15 minutes of sun on Sněžka; GoPro 6; Single Exposure

The clouds came back soon though and it became cold. We decided to get back to our car in the valley. Just before leaving we also checked out the local post office and we got lucky. It was just about to open. Besides sending postcards you can also order a hot drink or buy some souvenir.

Personally, I couldn’t resist buying a ticket to the viewing platform from the post office’s roof despite the bad weather and I am happy I did that. I think I made the local seller’s day. When I got back she was still laughing out loud. Is it weird to buy a ticket for an observation tower with a view of fog?

Amazing view from the post office; GoPro 6; Single Exposure

Despite not having perfect weather, I am happy to visit our highest peak. Even though it is not as high compared to other EU Peaks the national park around is beautiful and I am glad to taste many interesting beers on the way.

Olomouc captured from a helicopter; Nikon D5100; kit lens 18-55mm; single exposure

After Sněžka I came home for two days to rest before a tough climb in Slovakia and look: Isn’t my city beautiful? Don’t miss Olomouc if you ever visit the Czech Republic.

My tips for Sněžka

  • Learn to say “Ahoj”. A greeting which you will hear often from other tourists when hiking in Czech mountains.
  • Participate in “Krkonošská pivní stezka” – Krkonoše’s brewery walk and try many interesting beers on the way.
  • Send a postcard to your relatives from the highest point of the Czech Republic. It is the only EU Peak from which you can directly send a letter.
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