Carpathian Two-Thousanders: Pip Ivan of Chornohora

Why this tour?

Pip Ivan of Chornohora is the third highest peak in the Ukrainian Carpathians, and a walk to its summit offers the best overview of the mighty Chornohora Range. Another attraction of the location is a deserted astronomic observatory. The iconic Modernist building was built in the end of the 1930s and was later nicknamed the White Elephant. In our days, Pip Ivan is one of the most popular touristic destinations in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Its breathtaking Chornohora landscapes by day, and starry abyss by night, free from light pollution, attract photographers, stargazers, and nature lovers.

3 days

139 € per person

all inclusive
 17-19.07.20
 18-20.07.21

Tour description

day 1

On the first day, we leisurely ascend a meadow at the foothills of the Smotrych Mountain (4 km)
  • departure from Lviv (8:00)
  • transfer to Dzembronya village
  • lunch (on the way to Dzembronya village)
  • walk to Smotrych Meadow
  • tent camp set up and campfire dinner

day 2

Ascent to the summit of Pip Ivan of Chornohora (12 km)
  • breakfast
  • walk to Dzembronya Falls
  • ascent to the summit of Vukhaty Kamin Mountain
  • snack break
  • ascent to the summit of Pip Ivan of Chornohora
  • descent to Lake Maricheyka
  • tent camp set up and campfire dinner

day 3

On this day, we will descend to Shybene village (8 km)
  • breakfast
  • walk to Vesnarka Meadow
  • descend to Shybene village
  • departure
  • dinner (in a diner)
  • return to Lviv (appr. 21:00)

Price includes:

  • bus transportation
  • meals during the hike
  • guiding services

Price does not include:

  • equipment rent
  • extra drinks and meals
  • travel insurance

Special terms

The program of the tour is designed for physically healthy people who are interested in outdoor activities. The average distance of the daily walks is 8-12 km. Sections of rocky terrain may increase the complexity of the path. This tour is of moderate complexity and recommended to those who have the experience of day-long mountain walks. During the tour, everybody carries his/her own backpack with personal equipment and a share of food supply for the group.

Higher in the mountains, the temperature may be significantly lower than that at the foothills, and strong winds may occur. Unpredictable weather changes are possible, too.

The guide reserves the right to make changes in the program depending on the weather or the condition of the participants.

Recommended equipment

  • Passport (necessarily, descent of the route in the border area)
  • Backpack for hiking (40-50L for women, 50-70L for men) with a rain cover
  • Tent
  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag (comfort rating 0..+5 Cº)
  • Light trekking shoes and a spare pair (sandals or sneakers)
  • Socks (1 pair per day, 1 spare pair)
  • Thermal underwear (top, for spring or autumn season also bottom)
  • Light pants (long, not shorts!), for spring or autumn season wind stop pants
  • Fleece jacket or sweater, two for spring or autumn season (1 light and 1 warm)
  • Light hat (cap, buff or bucket hat); warm hat for spring or autumn season
  • Light wind stop gloves (for spring/autumn)
  • Waterproof and wind stop jacket
  • Raincoat (poncho)
  • Sitting mat with a fixing belt
  • Plastic bottle of water (1,5 L or more); a thermos for spring or autumn season
  • Individual dinner set (spoon or spork, mug, pot, knife)
  • Headlamp
  • Cellphone
  • Trekking poles
  • Personal portable first-aid kit and toiletry
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Set of clothes for transfers during the tour (shoes, socks, underwear, outerwear): please mind that the clothes after hiking may be wet or dirty

Highlights

Dzembronya is a mountain village with a long history. It was a favourite vacation and inspiration place for many famous Ukrainian intellectuals of the XIX and XX century, such as a poetess Lesya Ukrainka, writer Vasyl Stefanyk, and film director Serhiy Paradzhanov. Dzembronya is one of the centers of rural tourism in the region, due to popular walking routes with the great panoramas of the Chornohora range.
Dzembronya (Smotrych) Falls is a series of cascade waterfalls on the slopes of the mountain called Vukhaty Kamin (see below for the story of the mountain name), which is a spur of the Chronohora Range. The falls are located on the Munchel Stream, which flows to Dzembronya river and later to Chorny Cheremosh (one of the well-known rivers of this area, famous in folklore and literature). The total difference in elevation is about 100 meters; the highest cascade is 10 meters.
Vukhaty Kamin(the name means «Eared Stone» in Ukrainian) is one of the mountains on the spur of Chornohora Mountain Range. The mountain (1864 m asl) is a favourite tourist attraction, both as an independent destination and a part of the popular route to the main Chornohora ridge. On the summit of Vukhaty Kamin there are many curious stone formations and rocks of unusual shape, which are locally called «churches».
Smotrych is one of the mountains on the spur of Chornohora Range (1898 m asl), located within the Carpathian National Park. There are many smaller mountains around Smotrych, such as Dzembronya, Menchul, Mali Stayky (Small Stayky) and Stayky. Behind the bowl, you can see the impressive silhouette of Pip Ivan of Chornohora, which dominates the landscape. Our route does not include Smotrych ascent, but the mountain can be well observed during the walk.
Chornohora range is the highest mountain range of the Ukrainian Carpathians. The main range stretches approximately 40 km between the rivers Chorna Tysa (Black Tysa) in the west and Chorny Cheremosh (Black Cheremosh) in the east. Chornohora possesses all the highest mountains in Ukraine, so-called «two-thousanders» (the mountains above 2000 meters asl). The Ukrainian «two-thousanders» include 6 peaks, namely Hoverla (2061 m), Brebeneskul (2036 m), Pip Ivan (2028 m), Petros (2020 m), Hutyn Tomnatyk (2016), and Rebra (2002 m). In the mid-war period, Chornohora was a state border between Czechoslovakia and Poland, who gained independence after the disintegration of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. You can still find the trenches of WWI and the burial places of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, operating on these territories during and after WWII. Now Chornohora serves as an administrative boundary between Ivano-Frankivsk and Zakarpattya regions of Ukraine.
Pip Ivan of Chornohora (2022 m asl) is the third highest mountain in the Ukrainian Carpathians, after Hoverla and Brebeneskul. The peak belongs to Chornohora Mountain Range. The legend says that the name (which could be translated as Monk John) came from the rock on the summit, which looked like a monk in a habit. Only a pile of stones is left of the rock now. There is another popular mountain under the same name, located in Transcarpathia, in Marmarosy Range and therefore called Pip Ivan of Marmarosy.
Astronomic and Meteorological Observatory was built in 1938-41 by Poland, which controlled this territory in the mid-war period. At the time, it was the highest place in the country, where people worked and lived on the regular basis, including scientific team, maintenance personnel, and a border detachment. The observatory, which started working just about a year before the beginning of WW2, was evacuated and later deserted, and never restored its scientific practice. Interesting example of Polish architectural functionalism, it was slowly deteriorating during the Soviet times. In the last decade, the building was being restored with the support of the Polish government. The volunteer-led Mountain Search and Rescue Station was based in the observatory recently.
Maricheyka is a high-altitude glacial lake on the north-east slope of the Shuryn Mountain, located at the height 1510 m asl; its maximum depth is 0.8 m. The lake feeds a small stream, which belongs to the Chorny Cheremosh basin. The legend says that the lake was named after the Hutsul maiden Maricheyka. In the Tatar attack, she led the enemies to the swampy wilderndess. When Tatars decided to kill Maricheyka, the earth opened wide and swallowed everyone, leaving the lake on the place of the tragic event.

Accommodation

Tents (rent available).

Meals

1 day: lunch in the restaurant, cooked camp food for dinner
2 day: cooked camp food for breakfast and dinner, snacks for lunch
3 day: cooked camp food for breakfast, snacks for lunch, lunch in the restaurant

Rules

  • No alcohol during the active walking part of the tour.
  • Please stick to the tour schedule and do keep up with the group.
  • Do not litter and take your waste with you.
  • Children under 16 years should be accompanied by adults.

Language

English / German / Polish, and Ukrainian with consecutive interpretation to the aforementioned languages.

Video from the previous walk:

12-14 August 2016

Additional information:

If you want to spend some time in Lviv and arrive before the tour, we are glad to offer the following services:
  • transfer from the railway station or airport
  • booking accommodation in hotels
  • guided tours
  • any advice regarding your stay and leisure time in Lviv — don’t hesitate to ask!

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