Cross-Country Skiing in the Bohemian Highlands

 

Cross-Country Skiing in the Bohemian Highlands

 After a few days of skiing around our village we decided to try some terrain, a little more challenging . Just 8 kilometers from our house is the Northern boundary of the Žd’ár Heights, part of the Bohemian highlands. The Bohemian Highlands is one of the most popular Cross-Country ski area in the Czech Republic. A high plateau (125 miles [200 km] long and 35 to 50 miles wide) forming the southeastern boundary of the Bohemian Massif, which separates the former historic provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, now known as the Czech Republic. The highlands are roughly defined by the Lužnice River (west), the Dyje River (south), the Morava River (east), and the tributaries of the Elbe (Labe) River (north). They form a rolling, densely forested, hilly country averaging from 2,000 to 2,500 feet (600 to 750 m) in height. There are two highland areas: the Jihlava Heights (Jihlavské vrchy) to the south rise to 2,746 feet (837 m) at Javořice, and the Žd’ár Heights (Žd’árské vrchy) to the north rise to 2,743 feet (836 m) at Devět skal. Its gentle hills are dotted with small villages and an occasional farmhouse or two. The softly, rounded summits offer beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, hills and valleys, to Cross-Country Skiers.

 Some of the most popular places to cross-country ski in the Žd’ár Heights are Bystřice nad Pernštejnem, Bystré, Polička, Borová, Čachnov, Svratouch, Herálec, Cikháj, Nové Město na Moravě. If you are interested in more information about cross-country tracks in this region visit:http://www.mavlast.cz/aktuality.udrzovane-lyzarske-bezecke-trasy-ve-zdarskych-vrsich.html .

 We weren’t looking for the crowds so we went where the locals from this area go. We went to the Cross-Country ski micro region of Iron Mountains (Běžkařské trasy mikroregionu Centrum Železných hor ) The tracks start at Krásné. A small village off the main road, not to worry, the country road to Krásné is well prepared for winter traffic. If you arrive early enough you can find a parking place in the car park next to the pub, in the center of the village. If you arrive later, there is parking near the TV transmitter tower, at the top of the hill. From Krásné, begins 6 trails which are maintained throughout the winter. The conditions of the tails are listed on the website: http://trasy.czh.cz/ This page can be translated to English. The page also has maps and details of each track. The tracks range from easy to challenging. The pub in Krásné offers hot soup and sausages with cold beer for lunch. The pub isn’t fancy but it is always warm. The pub also has public toilets in the hallway just inside the front door.

 

Old Farmhouse

Arriving in the early morning we found a place to park near the pub. Walking a few meters to the top of a hill we chose a track that was fairly level crossing over the ridge then circling back to the pub where we started. The track started just behind an old farmhouse on the edge of the road.  The plan was to ski the morning, have lunch in the pub then ski again in the afternoon. The tracks were covered with a thin veil of fresh powered snow. The tracks had been cut earlier in the morning but

cross-country ski tracks

there was a cross wind that had blown fresh snow into the track. Looking across the snow we saw a few other skiers already out and about. Two of them looked familiar. As they approached we recognized our friends from Nasavrky. We joined them for a while. At a cross-road we parted company. They headed off to climb up and down the hills while we chose to remain on the easy track that returned to the pub. Nearing

friends

Friends

the village we encountered some young boys playing hocky on a frozen pond.  When we finished the first track we headed for the pub. We had a big bowl of lintel soup and a loaf of rye bread, with a half of litre of local beer for lunch. It was all very tasty, just enough to satisfy our hunger without weighing us down too much. After lunch we chose another easy track that circled around Krásné on the opposite side of the hill which passed through the forest, covered with snow. While driving home we talked about the day, the chanced meeting with friends, the beautiful countryside which is only a few kilometers from our home, the good food and how sometimes you just get lucky in the game of life.

Hockey on a pond

 

 

 

 

 

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