2022, Volume 18
For the sake of personal security in the mountains – from the perspective of innovative agonology
Zbigniew Piepiora1, Kamil Pietrzak1, Justyna Bagińska1, Paweł Piepiora2
1Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Geodesy, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
2Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland
Author for correspondence: Paweł Piepiora; Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, Wroclaw, Poland; email: email@example.com
Background and Study Aim: For years, in the Tatra Mountains, avalanches have been claiming human lives and property: in 1938 the snow avalanche from Marchwiczna Pass in the Rybiego Potoku Valley killed 1 person and affected another one and the avalanche’s blast broke the windows and moved a stove in a mountain shelter; in 1956 the snow avalanche under the Kondratowy Wierch in the Goryczkowa Valley destroyed another mountain shelter and killed 5 people inside; in 2003 under the Rysy peak in the Rybiego Potoku Valley killed 8 people and affected 1 person. The aim of this study is knowledge about areas most prone to avalanche in Polish part of the Tatra Mountains from the perspective of their specificity and concern for personal safety of potential tourists visiting these places in the future.
Material and Methods: The research was conducted using the Snow Avalanche Event Analysis. The Snow Avalanche Event Analysis consists of 6 steps: studying the avalanches, collecting the global data, gathering the local data, comparing the data, assessing the risk, computing the effects. To perform analysis, the authors obtained information from secondary sources on the number of tourists visiting Tatra National Park in 2021 and data on the occurrence of snow avalanches in the Tatra Mountains in the years 1855-2021. The authors applied the Snow Avalanche Event Analysis only in the Polish part of the mountain range, because the Slovak Tatranský Národný Park closes all hiking trails above the mountain shelters in the Slovak part of the Tatras every year from 1 November to 15 June.
Results: The most avalanche-prone areas in the Polish part of the Tatra Mountains are (risk indicators in brackets): Rybiego Potoku Valley (0.020020%), Roztoki Valley and Pięciu Stawów Polskich Valley (0.006252%), Gąsienicowa Valley (0.004765%).
Conclusions: Authors verified positively the formulated research hypothesis: ‘The most avalanche-prone area in Polish part of the Tatra Mountains is the Rybiego Potoku Valley’. The authors successfully applied the SAEA (this time on the example of the Tatra Mountains), which entitles us to recommend this research tool as useful in fulfilling the scientific and social mission of innovative agonology.
Key words: mountain rescue service, Snow Avalanche Event Analysis, Tatra Mountains, Tatra National Park, TOPR