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 We often talk about tragedies that happen while people are doing sports in the mountains. What is interesting, however, is that according to the statistics, many more people die on the roads, on their way into the mountains, than while doing the risky mountain sports...

Let me tell you about a couple of accidents that happened to tourists, skiers, cave explorers and climbers on the mountain roads or even on the way to the mountains, during my experience as a rescuer...


I remember such an accident that happened many years ago: a group of tourists travelled to the mountains in Fiat 126p(baby Fiat). In order not to run out of petrol, which was not so easily accessible then, they had a big canister of petrol in the boot, which was situated in front of that car. Suddenly, on a  mountain road, the front of the car turned into a huge flame of fire... The driver could see nothing more than the flames so he lost control of the car which fell from a steep slope and hit a tree that grew below. All the passengers died in the fire.

What had happened? The canister leaked and so the boot was slowly filling with petrol and fumes. Unfortunately, this series of cars had also an accumulator in the front, so a small spark from the accumulator was enough to kindle a fire.


At a different place and different time, on a curve of a road, huge bales of paper, each weighting a ton, fell from a truck. One of those bales hit a car with a group of cave explorers coming from the opposite direction. The roof of the car folded as if it had been made out of cardboard, with such an impact that the driver’s head fell through the window being cut off with the left door post... In the last unconditioned reflex the dying driver stressed his mussels and hit the gas pedal. The speeding car traversed another 200 metres and finally turned to the left side of the road, fell into the ditch and hit a tree. Only then, during this last crush, the passengers suffered injuries to their legs.

What the passengers must have felt during those seconds when they were riding in a car with a headless driver I prefer not to know...


Another accident happened on the six-lane motorway from Warsaw in the direction of the mountains, somewhere around Sosnowiec, where the traffic is dense and very fast. One of the cars speeding in the direction of Beskidy lost the snowboard boards fastened to its roof.

The unfastened boards were blown out in the air and fell on the cars driving behind... As the cars braked rapidly, the ones driving behind crushed into them. For some participants of the accident skiing became impossible for some time...

Maybe that’s even for the better as the risk of breaking e.g. a leg in the mountains is so high...


When it comes to other accidents on the way to the mountains, I also remember a couple that went on skiing holidays in an estate car. The whole back of the car was packed with bags and backpacks, on the top of which they had put unfastened skis and poles.

As the road was slippery, the car skidded and fell into the ditch. Nothing happened to the car apart from a few dents...

However, the loosely lain skies abruptly moved forward and hit the nape of the driver and the temple of his wife as hard as if they had been made from metal.

Both skiers couldn’t survive such an accident... only their child that was laying on the back seat didn’t suffer any injuries.  He just couldn’t understand what had happened to his mum and dad and why they were not responding...


I also remember when an off-road GAZ, filled with teenagers, skidded on the curve of a road near a popular climbing area. The car tumbled down the slope, massacring its passengers who were protected only with a thin tarp. Their backpacks were filled with specialised rock climbing equipment – a sport that is often considered highly dangerous...


What is the moral? You can practice mountain sports without fear!

The bad news is that if HE decided that your time is over, there is no place that you can hide from HIS sentence.

However, the good news is that until HE decides that you should die, you can visit the mountains as often as you wish.







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