Posts Tagged ‘High Tatras’

New series of black and white prints from Slovakia

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

New series of black and white prints from Slovakia

Taken in the High Tatra mountain range, this series shows the devastation wreaked by a freak storm in November 2004. Winds reaching a speed of 180 km/h (112mph) literally flattened 13000 hectares of forest on the south-eastern slopes of the High Tatras National Park, leaving bare a strip of land between 2.5 km wide and 50 km long. According to a World Wildlife Fund report, ‘the volume of fallen timber is estimated variously at 4 to 5 million cubic meters’.

This haunting and desolate area has changed little since that time. The first two images below show the strip of flattened forest and the second two show a wooden luge track devastated by huge trees which smashed through its banking. The area has suffered from government-sanctioned salvage logging of the fallen trees, despite evidence provided by NGO’s and environmental groups which clearly shows that this kind of logging can cause even greater ecological damage than the storm itself.

Worryingly the ‘Governmental Committee for Restoration and Development of the High Tatras has declared that the restoration of forests should be planned in a way to ‘use this catastrophe for a change in landscape planning and for building new facilities’. And that ‘the government, the committee and its expert groups will not really take in consideration the opinion of nature conservationists and NGO’s’….

The High and Low Tatras, Slovakia

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Since my first visit to Slovakia in March 2008 I’d been looking forward to returning to snowboard and to shoot in the Tatra mountains. That trip the foggy peaks of the Low Tatras, bordering Poland, proved pretty elusive. At the end of a week of almost zero visibility I unexpectedly got a bluebird morning which revealed seemingly endless lines in multiple powder-filled craggy couloirs.

This year I visited both the High and Low Tatras ranges and once again the snow was deep and plentiful – but the visibility was much the same! High winds closed the top lifts and the snow never stopped falling. Despite the unhelpful weather I shot some new panoramas – and a good variety of images that will accompany the published article.

Huge thanks to Ed and Ruth at Ski and Snowboard Slovakia and Petra from the resort of Jasna without whom the trip wouldn’t have been possible.