Kasprowy Wierch is the only truly alpine ski resort in all of Poland. It’s also the only place to offer skiing within the borders of the Tatra National Park.
That brings both pros and cons…
On the plus side, it’s high – clocking up altitude of nearly 2,000 metres. It’s also relatively big, packing in a whole bowl of good black runs (veterans of the Alps should read “challenging red runs”), along with another mountainside of long and winding pistes that go from above the treeline right down to the valley bottom.
“High above Zakopane is Kasprowy Weirch, arguably the only real mountains skiing in Poland”
Kasprowy Weirch is served by a single gondola that goes from the small village of Kuznice just outside of Zakopane. That takes you up to the summit where four runs start. Some are on the north-west facing side, with a single chairlift linking the bottom of a bowl to the top. Others go down the north-east side, running from a ridge on the border with Slovakia to the base station.
Kasprowy Wierch at a glance
- Lifts: 4
- Runs: 15km
- Top: 1,987m
- Best for: Experts/off-piste
We’d recommend getting to the gondola as early as you can. Kasprowy isn’t just for skiers. A ride to the top is popular year-round with travellers, too. Oddly, that can have the effect of keeping Kasprowy nice and quiet on the skiing front, because a lot of the folks there are only up top for the view.
The Kasprowy Wierch ski pass
The Kasprowy Wierch ski pass is actually one of the most expensive options you can go for in the Zakopane area. That’s to be expected though, considering the relative altitude and quality of this resort. Prices start at around the 110 PLN (€26) mark for a full day’s skiing. Yep, that’s almost double other ski fields nearby – like Szymoszkowsa, for example. However, you’re paying for challenging runs and natural snow powder.
Kasprowy Wierch weather and ski seasons
The mountain of Kasprowy Wierch soars nearly 2,000 metres, so the weather up top is naturally rather unpredictable. Dominant S-SE winds can batter the summit to oblivion on days when the breeze whips up. Snow has been seen even in the early summer months, and as early as September.That said, fickle winters can be damaging. Awell-known downside of Kasprowy Wierch skiing is that it’s all within the national park. No snow cannons are allowed in these parts. You’ll be relying on natural powder, so check ahead!
The season in Kasprowy Wierch typically gets going in December and winds up around April. But, like we say, that all depends on how the Polish winter is looking. No snow cannons; no riding (or bad riding) on days without dumps.
Where to stay for skiing in Kasprowy Wierch
Hotel Nosalowy Dwor could be top of the list, what with that swish spa and lovely modern pool facility. Saunas, suites with balconies, and playgrounds for the kids make it an all-round top option for both families and luxury. There’s also Hotel Crocus, which has clean rooms with lovely Tatra views, not to mention a nice pool hidden behind its mountain-style facade.
That said, there are regular shuttle buses running from the main station in the heart of Zakopane town. The bus connection takes about 15 minutes and costs just 3 PLN (40p or so). And it means you can consider bedding down in Grand Hotel Stamary. It’s always been a favourite of ours. You get a gorgeous pool, a top spa, and a fantastic breakfast. It’s a lovely place to retire to after being in the snow.