Ochotnica MTB 4Towers is a unique event on the bicycle map of Polish MTB. The Ochotnica Valley is one of the longest valleys in Poland, and at the same time it is the most beautiful one. It is surrounded from all sides by the Gorce mountain ranges: from the north by the the Gorce mountain range, and from the south by the Lubania mountain range, whereas at the entrance to the valley the beautiful Dunajec River winds. It separates the Gorce Mountains from the Beskid Sądecki. The whole valley is guarded by the titular 4 towers, located on the highest peaks in the area: Koziarz 943m a.s.l., Gorce 1228m a.s.l., Magurki 1108m a.s.l. and Lubań 1211m a.s.l. Between them there are more than 130km of marked cycling routes "The Enclaves of active recreation in the heart of the Gorce Mountains". One of the world's best "women on the road" Kasia Niewiadoma comes from Ochotnica Górna, whom first athletic steps were on the ramps in Ochotnica. It is here that you will find the stiffest asphalt road ramps on in Poland: Twarogi, Skałka, Studzionki. Once you ride them, you will ask yourself how did they pour asphalt there ...honestly, we do not know, but we praise them, because if not for them, it would be "shoeing", although for many it would still be a great challenge! Do you already know why we chose this place for the MTB stage race? Because, the Polish Gorce Mountains are so beautiful, and they just cannot be toured in one day. Such a breathtaking place full of streams, beautiful views of the Tatra Mountains in the background, as well as the Czorsztyn Lake and the Dunajec River Gorge in Tylmanowa.
On the marked routes you will find the true spirit of racing in the mountains according to the idea of "PURE MTB". Throughout the three editions, MTB 4 Towers has already grown to the rank of the greatest challenge in mountain biking that can be found in Poland, our participants, those who dared to face the demanding routes in the Gorce Mountains also praise our approach to organizing the competition, where the participants are the most important and we try to provide you with the real highlander atmosphere and show the hospitality of the residents of the Ochotnica Dolna Municipality!
Only here you don't have to choose whether to drive individually or as a team. All participants are rated individually in the OPEN classification in their age category and in the PAIR classification on Hard and Hell distances if they indicate with whom the team was formed, and the same in the Team classification!
An additional advantage of our race is the reduction of the necessity to move, because our town is always located in one place from where most of you start and end the race on the finishing line (except for the Uphill).
During the 4th edition everyone will find something for themselves, because you will be able to choose one of the 3 distances:
- in the 4-day version there is a demanding HARD distance or the hellishly tough HELL distance (Uphill and 3 stages from the joint start)
- in the 3-day version which is dedicated to those who want to begin their adventure in the real mountains easy FUN distance (3 stages from a joint start)
The right amount of kilometers and the right amount of elevation gain awaits you on individual distances:
FUN - riding for about 80 km of almost 3,700 meters of altitude,''.
HARD - riding about 134 km with an altitude of over 6100 meters
HELL - it's about 195 km to fight through with altitude of over 8500 meters!
Every day you will conquer a different tower, every day will be different:
Stage I HELL/HARD - demanding UpHill to the Magurka tower, whose peak is located at 1108 m above sea level. The route is about 6 km long with an altitude of more than 520 meters and is 99% in the field.
You start honorably from the Amphitheatre in Ochotnica Górna, and after 700 meters of warm-up on the asphalt you turn right into the field and from passing the measuring point you start fighting against time, your own weaknesses and demanding terrain. At the top by the lookout tower the craved finish line, a buffet with drinks, cakes and fruit await you. It is worth to relax and climb to the top of the lookout tower where you can experience a beautiful view of the Gorce, Pieniny and Tatra Mountains.
Stage II HELL/HARD Stage I of FUN - during this stage all of you reach the Koziarz in the FUN distance of 25 km, HARD about 37 km, for HELL after passing the finish line, additional round and a total of about 56 km. The riders from the FUN distance will go down the main road to Tylmanowa, where there will be a fierce start to the first stage from the bike gazebo. Once you start, you will have an uphill stretch to Koziarz.
The stage is very varied and offers many attractions: after the asphalt section you will ride right up the uphill, which initially is asphalt, only to immediately go into a dirt road, after turning left to a stiff short uphill you will drive to the top, then after 1km through the woods, there is a roadside ditch at the end!!. You ride out from it and from there, you will turn right straight to an asphalt road, which then changes to the terrain, and the initial descent from it will be a real mountain stream. In the lower section it will go into a quick descent with loose stones, on which you have to watch out for the water funnel. At its end you turn right with a slant and start another terrain-asphalt climb. At the top, there is a beautiful panorama waiting for you. After turning left at the top you will speed sharply down until you find yourself on a meadow near "Baszta" in Tylmanowa. Then you will continue a good, fast descent with large stones, but this time sunk into the ground. At the end of the descent, you turn right and cross the Droga Wojewódzka (be careful!!!) through the bridge over the Dunajec River and then along the river you ride on the asphalt till the starting point of the distance Fun by the gazebo.
After turning right, you will start a long uphill stretch on Koziarz, initially a short stretch of asphalt, then you will continue through the Popradzki Park Krajobrazowy. After passing the tower on Koziarz, you will start a varied downhill ride along the yellow trail, where the beautiful views will be interspersed with technical singiel; on the lower section, after a sharp turn to the left, you will get onto a wide gravel road, which will then go into a concrete road. You have to be cautious about a sharp descent, then you will drive through the orchards and after crossing the Dunajec River bridge you will ride to the left to the Droga Wojewódzka, and after 300 meters, you will turn right onto the asphalt road and start going uphill on the asphalt and slabs towards Tylmanowa. At the top you will turn onto a terrain road and along the rows with beautiful views you will reach Twarogów and further in the direction of Przełęcz Młynna at some point you will turn left into a wonderful downhill in the forest, then forest clearing along with stone sections. At the bottom you will turn right onto an asphalt road of os. Młynne and then after the bridge you will finally turn right into a bicycle road along the river and get to the finish line.
The competitors will reach in the additional round an uphill to the "100th anniversary of Regaining Independence" Cross. Then, after a quick descent, they will initially go by a skirt, and then by asphalt on a picturesque road to the Przełęcz Młynne. Then after a left turn they will start a demanding uphill stretch on Wierch Jelonek 961 metres above sea level. On the top you do not go to Gorce but you turn right in the direction of Przełęcz Młynne, where after reaching the asphalt road, you turn right to turn left after a few hundred meters into the off-road road. And all the time up and down the hill you will reach the last exit, where you turn right into the blue trail and then you will go down. At the bottom, watch out for loose stones! After leaving to the left on the asphalt road of os. Młynne, you will go straight down to finish line, by turning right after the bridge.
Stage III HELL/HARD Stage II FUN - on the next day you will face the famous asphalt driveway to Twarogi, and on the HELL distance, additionally with Studzionki, Sucha Polana and Holina. To start with, you will face the famous asphalt ramp under Twarogi where the slope in some places exceeds 35%. Many riders were defeated by this "hard" uphill stretch and had to get off the saddles of their carbon "steeds". At the end of the asphalt road, you will turn into the field and continue on a wide gravel road with a tendency to go up, then after turning left into a 2-meter long dirt road you will go down, where there will be a section with stones, after leaving for the asphalt road you will turn left and then right into an asphalt driveway on Folwark Street, where you will start a 6 km climb to the tower on Gorce. In the vicinity of the Gorce, even on a hot day there is a section with mud pools.
The participants of the Fun distance on a glade under the Gorce will turn right to the downhill, the participants of the Fun distance on a glade under the Gorce will turn right to the downhill, and the remaining distances will continue to the tower with a forest crossing. From the top, you will take the forest singielka, initially through the blue trail, and then the green trail downhill, after which you will go on a wide track and a rapid descent to Skałka. There, another approximately 1 km of asphalt wailing wall will be waiting for you, on the flattened surface you will turn left into the countryside and on the rapid descent you will leave on a glade near Bacówka U jarka, where a special buffet with sheep delicacies will be waiting for you. After the buffet you will have to climb up through the glades to Przehyba 1019 metres above sea level. Then down from it through the yellow trail at first to turn right from it to the demanding rocky section and further down until you cross the creek and exit to the asphalt of Jamne Street.
For about 25 km at the exit from Jamne Street to the district road, there is a turn-off of the distance Hell to the right and Hard to the left. The riders from the Hell distance will go slightly uphill on an asphalt road for about 2.2 km and turn left for 1.7 km demanding an uphill stretch of asphalt road to Studzionki. In Studzionki, you will turn right into the red trail towards Turbacz and you will reach the Przełęcz Knurowska where you will cross the asphalt district road again and continue along the red trail towards Turbacz (behind the asphalt road, a buffet will be waiting for you). At the height of the cross on the left side, you turn right downhill, where after crossing the creek, you turn left and the road in the field you climb up to the top of Sucha summit of 1082 m above sea level. After reaching a glade, turn right for a quick and varied descent towards the os. Forendówka, then leave for the asphalt to the left and go slightly uphill to start the demanding climbing on the asphalt road and slabs to Holina. You turn right near the chapel and this time, known to you as the Uphill, drive down the wołoski trail through Rokitowiec, where open glades and "singielka" will provide you with an unforgettable experience, in the lower section demanding stone section!
After driving left into the district road known to you, you will reach the place of the HELL/HARD Junction and after a few hundred meters you turn left to the driveway through Piorunowiec. At the end of the asphalt road, a common buffet awaits you here. This uphill stretch is one of the longest, because almost 9km up to Polana pod Gorcem. During it, you will have stones, roots, beautiful views and mud traps! After reaching Polana pod Gorcem, you will enter the section where the FUN distance has reached the finish line, follow the red trail downhill, to reach Wierch Jelonek 961 metres above sea level and then go down and turn right to the forest road and further down the slope you will reach the asphalt road to the os. Młynne. When you turn right, drive through the asphalt road. After the road on the right side of the os. Tomaśki at the height of the bus stop, turn right and after crossing the bridge, take the off-road drive up to the "100th anniversary of Regaining Independence" Cross. After it, there is probably one of the coolest fast descents to the finish line with beautiful panoramic views. At the bottom, turn left into the asphalt road, then turn right into the os. Młynne and just after the bridge, turn right into a bicycle road, leading along the creek to the finish line.
Stage IV HELL/HARD Stage III FUN - the last day of the struggle, unfortunately, will not be a day of rest, after driving 1.5 km of asphalt slightly downhill turn right into the road near the church and start first with asphalt road, then with gravel, and then in the terrain requiring about 7.5 km drive up to Lubań. The HELL and HARD distance will take the tower in Lubań, while the participants of the FUN distance will have a little bit lighter because earlier 500 metres before the summit they will go straight and through the Pisarzów peak 949 m above sea level they will go downhill to the Czorsztyn-Ski Station, where a buffet will wait for them, after which they will enter the lower section of the A-line ski slope and here they will continue on the HARD distance again until the finish line.
The competitors going longer distances after driving past the tower will start a short demanding descent to turn right sharply after about 400 meters into a flat traverse from which, there is a beautiful panorama of the whole valley of Ochotnica. After reaching the green trail, turn right onto a short stiff rocky uphill stretch, most of which is probably better to stuff than to try to drive (it is a stretch of about 100 meters. When you reach the top, turn right into the red trail and start the longest descent as far as to Krościenko nad Dunajcem, the descent is very fast, mostly a wide off-road road, but with sections of funnels, loose stones, so you have to be alert all the time, and its end is a fast asphalt road, at the end of which you turn right. After a few hundred meters of flat section, you will turn slightly left and start a stiff asphalt driveway among the trees to "Grzybek" where the first buffet will await you. Behind the buffet, you will drive along the asphalt roadways, from where you can enjoy beautiful views of the Tatras and Pieniny Mountains. After a few kilometers you will reach Grywałd, where you will turn into the main road, ul. Lubań to the right, which rises slightly uphill, after less than a kilometer you turn left to go down a short comma between the houses, and then after turning left you will start a short field drive to another "Grzybek", next to it you turn right, and after a while you turn left to a straight exit through the fields, At the bottom of the road you turn right into an asphalt road and drive through Krośnica all the time slightly uphill, from Leona Street you turn left onto the uphill stretch in the terrain and on this road you will reach Czorsztyn Ski Station, where a second buffet is waiting for you, after the buffet you turn left onto a single uphill stretch towards the top of Wdżar 767 m. above sea level. After reaching it, it is worth to slow down for a while and look to the left, in good weather you will be able to admire the beautiful panorama of the Tatra Mountains. Cut the slope diagonally to the right and behind the inn you will take the A-line slope, where a little fun awaits you (we advise you to pass the jumps from the side:-). At the bottom you go left to the asphalt and through Kluszkowce, you go slightly down (from this point on all distances go the same route for a longer time). After 1 km you turn onto the driveway towards the "Modrzewie reserve", initially on the asphalt road, and after entering the reserve via a forest road and then through a clearing. At the end of the glade you turn left into a yellow glass for a while, but immediately you turn right into a forest crossroads, where you reach Mizerna, after crossing the bridge you leave left for a while for the asphalt road, and after about 1 km you turn right and go all the time in the field towards the red trail "Lubań- Turbacz". In the initial phase you will drive through a ravine and then through open fields from which you will have a breathtaking view of Lake Czorsztyn with the Tatras in the background. After entering the forest, there will be a short section waiting for you to approach and then you will breathe for a while driving down to the wide road used for skidding and you will reach the red trail all the way up. On top there is a HELL distance at the crossroads and then the red trail goes left and the HARD/FUN distance goes right to the finish line.
HELL distance riders are still following the red trail up to the top of Kotelnica 946m above sea level. where a 20-metre climb awaits them and then a narrow traverse, at its end you turn sharply to the left, slightly downhill, to the nearest crossroad, to the right to a rocky descent towards Huba, at its end you will find a stretch of asphalt road. Then, between the houses, turn left again into the terrain and go down the diversified descent towards Maniowy, in the lower section the descent will be more technical due to the funnels on the water, and at the very bottom there is a stream crossing waiting for you. Behind the creek you turn right and then left for a short drive. After reaching the top, turn right to a gravel soft descent and before you reach Maniowy. After reaching the asphalt and concrete section, turn left towards the forest road in the direction of the red trail to Lubań, after passing the State Forest barrier, a long wide driveway awaits you until you reach the red place of the distance junction, in the middle of this driveway you will enter the section you were already driving on your right.
Once you have reached the red trail, you will arrive at the turnout and this time you are going right along the HARD and FUN distances. After a short section you will turn left at the glade and this time you will go down to the finish line. In the middle section, you will turn slightly to the left on a technical "singielek" in the forest, to go out again for a while on a wide forest road, and then you will turn to the blue hiking trail, where a varied terrain awaits you, with roots, stones and narrow spaces. When leaving the forest, turn right onto the asphalt road and you will reach the church, then turn left onto the road with the priority and drive towards the finish line. After passing on the right side of the building of the Ochotnica Dolna Municipality Office, you turn into a narrow road and go around the stadium and get to the desired finish line.
And there you will find a well-deserved rest, medals and Finisher's T-shirts for your perseverance and for overcoming demanding Gorce trails. As long as you still have the strength, you can shout "4 Towers is CONQUERED!
It's easy to write, but Ochotnica MTB 4Towers is not a ride in the mountains, it's a struggle with yourself, overcoming your own weaknesses and joy of the view near the tower. Because later, there should be downhill, but not necessarily easy. We have worked through III previous editions to prepare the most varied routes for you with as little "walking" as possible. Our race is a CHALLENGE which not many exist in Poland, even the iconic Beskidy Trophy, seem to be easier for those who have beaten both races. MTB 4Towers is the essence of true mountain biking, which often causes questions during the ride:
"What am I doing here? Why do I need this?", but at the finish line after winning a medal and Finisher T-shirt, it is a great satisfaction in overcoming pain and pushing your endurance limits to the next level. In addition, all the time you are in contact with the wild and beautiful nature of the Gorce, you admire the most beautiful panoramas offered by the Polish mountains.
We hope that the Ochotnica MTB 4Towers will be your must-have point in the calendar and will remain in your memory for a long time.
Remember that we create these races for you, in which we would like to compete! We don't care about making another event, we want each one to have its own atmosphere and be unique among other similar events, you will find in other hosts!
WE INVITE YOU TO JOIN US! Try the Gorce Challenge!!!