September 25, 2011

Hiking in Slovakia – High Tatras

Waterfalls, mountain lakes, mountain streams, amazing views and weather
I went back to Slovakia during the summer and after a very very long time visited the High Tatras. My log is mostly about languages and I know that posts about climbing mountains or river tracing might not be interesting to all of the readers, but this trip was so amazing, that I decided to at least share some of the pictures we took. My high school friend bought a flat in Tatranska Strba, only a couple of stations of rack railway away from Strbske pleso (the main tourist hub), so we decided to go there on Friday evening and start the trip on Staurday morning. 

High Tatras are amazing in any weather and any season, but that Sarurday there were almost no clouds in the sky and the temperature was around 25 degrees, making the conditions very suitable for a good hike. When we arrived at Strbske pleso, we decided to take the yellow route to the Furkotsky peak, which had a lot of interesting sights on the way. The entire hike was about 22 km long, but was definitely worth the effort.

Some views of the Tatras from Strbske pleso:

Pictures from our way up:

We came across this nice stream on our way to the waterfall:

The Skok waterfall:

Looking down from the waterfall at mid-level:

Actually, our original plan from the day before was just to go and see this waterfall, but the view of the mountains behind was really amazing (unfortunately can't be seen in this picture) so we decided to go on. As we climbed up the side of the waterfall this was the view we got:

We turned around and hiked for about an hour and a half further up the mountain. The road was quite difficult to walk on, because it was mostly made of 50cm X 50cm X 50cm strangely shaped rocks. We arrived at a small summit at a mountain lake called Capovo pleso:

An interesting thing that happened here was that out of nowhere there was this nude man swimming in the lake. The lake is a national reserve protected by the government so some of the tourists were quite  outraged by this, but well.. we just had a good laugh and went on :)

The above pictures are all pictures of Capovo pleso taken as we were hiking up towards the Furkotsky peak which is at 2 403 meters above sea level. The hike quickly turned into a semi-climb and at places was quite dangerous. We met an unfortunate Hungarian elderly gentleman who was tired, had pulled his muscle, couldn't relax it and was unable climb back down. He said the other side of the mountain was quite difficult to descend down on too so in the end we decided not to climb the peak itself and pass through the 'saddleback' of the mountain on to the other side instead. 

Nice views from the saddleback (Upper Wahlenberg mountain lake in the picture):

Resting at the saddle back, I was thinking for a moment, that some big rock might loosen and hit my head, but they all seemed to be in place for quite some time so I hoped that they'd remain that way. Picture of the peak directly above the saddleback:

Climbing back down the other side of the mountain, I was starting to get a bit tired. I was just waling and talking and didn't pay much attention to the surrounding environment which was a shame, because I could've taken more pictures like this one:

After 22 km we came home exhausted. It was truly an amazing and refreshing trip. After we packed our things, we still had some time to appreciate this wonderful sunset:

Additional information:

Name:  Vysoké Tatry - Furkotský štít (High Tatras - Furkotsky peak)
Location: High Tatras, Slovakia
Elevation: 2 403 m


To be honest, I am not really sure how one should get there by train, because we went there by car. I think you should take a train to Poprad or Tatranska Strba and from there take the rack railway to Strbske pleso. If you drive a car, you can drive all the way to the Fis Hotel's parking lot which is to my knowledge the closest you can get to the waterfall in a car. Either way, if you are Slovak, you probably know how to get there and if you are a foreigner, you will probably go there with Slovaks who will know the directions:)


After hiking in Taiwan at 35 degree temperatures and crazy humidity, I had to wear a sweater hiking this mountain and didn't have to drink a lot of water. To have good water supplies is good idea though and what you definitely do need to have are good shoes and sun protection. 

1 comment:

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