Alina Kosovska Completes First Winter Traverse of 400Km Transcarpathian Route, Alone

On February 14, Alina Kosovska completed the first winter crossing of Ukraine’s Transcarpathian Route. And she did it solo.

Kosovska began on January 8 and finished 37 days later. During her snowshoe trek, she also delivered first aid kits to huts along the routes, so that tourists on the trail can use them. Along the way, she either stayed in huts or camped.

The Transcarpathian Route is the country’s longest hiking trail. It stretches 398km through Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains, from the village of Velyky Berezny, on the Slovakian border, to Dilove, near the Romanian border.

The route. Credit: 4Sport.ua

 

Hardest section

One of the most challenging sections was through the Chornohora range to Marmarosy. It included a passage over Hoverla, at 2,061m Ukraine’s highest peak.

On social media, Kosovka said, “It is the most difficult because you have to walk almost 100km independently, carrying all food, fuel, supplies, etc.”  Although it was hard physically, that was mentally one of the easiest sections, because she knew she was nearing the end of the journey.

Her average pace was 1.5km per hour and her longest day was 12 hours when she covered 22km in the Chornohora.

Photo: Alina Kosovska

 

Kosovska is no stranger to the Carpathian Mountains. She guides tourists on many of the trails in summer. She also spent a lot of time preparing for her winter crossing. Over the summer, she walked all parts of her route in her free time. She feels this helped her significantly because she could recognize landmarks and navigate through areas that are technically difficult in winter.

Photo: Alina Kosovska

 

Marathon training

In preparation for the physical demands, she ran regular marathons and half-marathons. She also tested every piece of kit, “from socks and mittens to tent and sleeping bag, in conditions as close as possible to the conditions on the route.”

She took pleasure in sharing the trail with all the small forest animals along the way, such as mice and bullfinches. “When I’m alone in the mountains, I’m not alone,” she said.

Kosovska and her backpack, at the end of the trail at last. Photo: Alina Kosovska

Rebecca is a freelance writer and science teacher based in the UK. She is a keen traveler and has been lucky enough to backpack her way around parts of Africa, South America, and Asia. With a background in marine biology, she is interested in everything to do with the oceans. Her areas of expertise include open water sports, marine wildlife and adventure travel.

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Pawel
Pawel
3 months ago

nice article but with two mistakes:
1- she finished in Dilove and it is close to Romanian border not Russian (to Russian border is few few hundred kilometers from there)
2- there is no Montenegro in Ukraine, the highest mountains in Ukraine are Чорногора what mean ‘Black Mountains’ but they alredy has English name: Chornohora

Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
3 months ago
Reply to  Pawel

Thank you, corrected. Google Translate probably ranked Montenegro as the likeliest translation of Чорногора. If you think about it, “Montenegro”, or Monte Negro, means Black Mountains.

Louis-Philippe Loncke
3 months ago

I’d like to know the model of her backpack. It seems huge…and perhaps her height, is she small like below 160cm? Even more impressive then because with longer legs, each step in the snow is further apart and it’s less energy consumed per km. Well not so sure of that as a higher person is heavier and will go deeper in the snow.

Jerry Kobalenko
Admin
3 months ago

I had the same thoughts about her backpack. But notice that the top lid is hugely telescoped. Compacted totally down, the pack would not reach much higher than the top of her head.

Witek
Witek
3 months ago

Not sure if their route was the same: http://viamountains.com/wyprawa/

mihai tanase
mihai tanase
3 months ago
Reply to  Witek
The red line on the map in the article was drawn randomly without any reality with the Carpathian ridge. Alina followed the geographical ridge in Ukraine.
Witek
Witek
3 months ago
Reply to  mihai tanase

Sure. Just worth checking what they did couple years earlier.
“First winter crossing” claims sound serious, whoever says that 😉