As the name suggests, we are almost at the top of Szczeliniec Wielki (Great Szczeliniec) – the highest peak of the Table Mountains, at 919 m above the sea level. The nearest villages which can be starting points for a hike are Karłów and Pasterka. They can be accessed by road from Radków or Kudowa Zdrój.
We are one of the two mountain huts in Poland which can in no way be reached by car (the other one is a shelter in the Valley of the Five Lakes, Tatra Mountains). There is no road here that would be suitable for any vehicle. The only way you can reach us is on foot. There are two approach pathways:
1. Trail from Karłów, blazed with yellow marks – the most famous, historical route leading over 665 stairs (or at least this is how many they built in 1804). The route is fitted with handrails, and goes to the pass between the Little and Great Szczeliniec first, and then leads to the summit and the viewing terraces. This walk should not take more than 30-40 minutes. This route is recommended for those less fit, walking with small children and when weather conditions are bad.
PLEASE NOTE: In winter, the stairs are not cleared of snow so you have to walk carefully, hold on to the handrails and preferably wear mini-crampons over your shoes. The views from the top will compensate you for any inconvenience on the approach.
If you plan to use this approach route, you should leave your car in one of the paid car parks in Karłów.
2. Trail from Pasterka, along the yellow-marked route. This route is shorter, and “wild” at the stretch between the road and the pass – there are no man-made facilities such as railings, stairs or handrails, so it’s a real mountain trail. At the pass, it meets the route described above and leads along the stairs further up.
If you are taking this route, you can leave your car in a tiny but free car park (literally for just 10 cars) right next to the point where you enter the yellow trail (leaving your car there for the night is not recommended).
Both from the Karłów side (the stairs) and the Pasterka side, the yellow trail will lead you only to the pass between Great Szczeliniec and Little Szczeliniec (then going back down to those two villages). From the pass, you will walk on without a marked trail, along stairs and wooden platforms, right up to the shelter.
All goods for the hut are transported using a special freight lift, which is not designed to carry people. Let’s take a walk, then!