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:


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