UNLIKE in cities where New Year’s Eve was marked by feasting, drinking and celebrating in the streets, quite a number of people in rural areas decided to spend the last hours of the departing year climbing their local mountains.
The Silvester (New Year’s Eve) Climb of Záruby was kept rather confidential in 2011 because in 2010 more than 2,000 people climbed to the top of the highest peak in the Small Carpathians, provoking concerns and protests by environmentalists. The same climb was held at the end of 2011 but one of the organisers, Juraj Ondrušek, told the SITA newswire they wanted fewer people to make the trek.
Veľká Javorina, the highest peak in the White Carpathians on the Slovak-Czech border, was another summit being climbed and offered a chance for more than a thousand people from both countries to commemorate the 70 years of the common state of Czechoslovakia. The participants made a huge bonfire, drank slivovica and sang the national anthem of Czechoslovakia – for the 19th time.
“The original purpose, following the split of the Czecho-Slovak Federation, has vanished but I appreciate that this meeting has become a nice tradition,” Radovan Kunc, one of the event’s founders, told SITA.