Just go either to climb or go to skitour. But we said NO. And because this year's different variants of the High Tatra crossing created were, we decided to contribute a little to the mill and create something new. A heavy crossing, where skiing and alpinism will be.
Do not expect from this article a story about whether we were eating breakfast or not, whether the sun was shining or that we were always turning one turn to the left and the right :D We are more likely to share this with other potential candidates for this traverse acquired information and to inspire them for a similar action. Because as it turned out, even near by home you can live a harsh business and an adventure that is more demanding than climbing and listening to any six thousandths (we've done it all in our preparation for an expedition to Bolivia). What is beautiful about this event is the fact that you can use all your mountaineering experience and skills, that you have gained for a long time, in one complete mix.
Idea: Traverse of the Tatra from east to west, from Brnčal Hut to Kriváň, through the peaks, because the base of mountaineering in general are peaks and not saddles. We went over the southern valleys and from one to the other we always reached the highest point between valleys. We deliberately did not touch the main ridge because it requires skipping from side to side. We rather wanted to cross one mountain after the second. Style of the valley - the peak - the valley. We climbed in three days to all the major summits of the southern valleys: Lomnicky stit, Stredohrot, Bradavica, Gerlach, Končistá, Satan, Hrubý vrch, Kriváň. From the highest places we went skiing down. Skis have so speeded up the process, but they were not our only „production means“.
Technical data: 7020 m + for three days, 27. - 29.3. 2017 (1st day: 2850m +, 13h; 2nd day 1830m +, 10h; 3rd day 2340m +, 12h). The data is subtracted from the map, we did not have a smart watch. Pauses are also included in the times when it was necessary to wait somewhere for a softening snow. Times are very informative, extremely dependent on the conditions.
Note: We are not racers, and we make enough photos and videos. This is a difficult traverse both physically and technically, although the overwhelming majority of passages need not belay. The difficulty reaches the III UIAA, WI 2, ascent 55 °, at the 45 ° downhill. But be careful, climbing delays :D
Brief description of the route:
Day 1: From the hut Chata při Zelenom Plese to the Medené kotliny and up to the Posledná štrbina, thence across the Jordanka to the summit of Lomnický štít. Downhill to Lomnické sedlo and Filmársky žlab down to Malá Studená dolina. From here, through a large eastern gully, to Sedlo pred Prostredným and further south slopes, to the top of the Stredohrot. From there, climbing the crampons on the south side into the trough between the Malý and Prostredný hrot, rising back up into the slot and the northern side by climbing on Dubkeho lávka. Further to Sedlo za Prostredným and take the giant southern gully to Velká Studená Dolina. Around the Zbojnícka chata and with crampons to Sedlo pod Kupolou and the crest by a slight climbing through Westerov štít to the Zvodná lávka. Short traverse (20m) in the northern wall from the top of Bradavica to west . From it, the slap in the trough between nordeast and west top of Bradavica and into the slit and the top of Bradavica. Coming down with crampons under Kvetnicové sedlo and then downhill with Kvetnický žlab and then at Sliezsky dom.
Day 2: Valley Velická dolina up and across the Krčmárov žlab below the top of Kotlový štít. Through the Štrbinu pod Kotlovým short descent and the traverse to the upper part of Batizovská próba and to the top of Gerlach. Downhill Batizovská próba and the descent into valley Batizovská dolina. Downhill to the Batizovské pleso and the southern ridge to the top of Končistá (the eastern wall was unfortunately too fuzzy - you can not but there, because you are waiting for the descent of Batizovská Próba on the downhill). From Končistá downhill through the western trough to Luční sedlo, from it to Zlomiska and the Popradské pleso.
Day 3: The Valley Mengusovská dolina below the trough Červený žlab and up. Next along the ridge to the top of Satan. Catch the crampons back over the Červený žlab and the western gutter to the Valley Mlynická Dolina (wait for a softening snow, but not long because there is still a long way to go). Mlynická dolina to Bystré sedlo and easy climbing along the ridge through Furkotský štít to Hrubý vrch. A short descent into crampons in the western trough, which falls into Nefcerka and the exit to the Vyšné Terianske pleso. From there, climb up to Nefcerské sedlo and downhill to Dolina Suchej vody. Then, just a hike in Kriváň on the tourist path (again, the eastern gutters in the Daxnerovo sedlo in the afternoon too soft). Downhill Turistický žlab and descending to Tri Studničky.
Suitable conditions and weather: A good time to try is about the second half of March, in the better winter it may well be the beginning of April. You need a really low avalanche danger, the first (1) in the morning or (2) in the afternoon , because you have to realize that you are moving in the terrain from morning till night till now, and completely in all the expositions and in the huge area. Appropriate weather is alchemy: the first day is very important to be a mild, cool weather but also cloudy. An extremely long stage is waiting for you, and only the clouds slow down the temptation and allow you to pass. The advantage is that Lomnický štít is skiing at southeast, Stredohrot at south and Bradavica on west, so if you are fast enough, the softening snow will go with you. The next days are enough for you to survive the nice, spring weather that will allow you to enjoy regular daily softening in the troughs.
Required skills: physical resistance (we lost every 4 kg), psychological resistance, ability to ski relatively steep downhill slopes (up to 45 °) on tired legs, climbing fast and sure long UIAA climbing sections with ski back and without protection, good knowledge of Tatra and individual peaks, correct timing of individual stages.
• light skis suitable for steep slopes (about 1400 g, 80-90 mm under the heel, in our case Black Crows Orb) + skins (mix) + telescopic poles
• universal ski boots (Scarpa Maestrale).
• Every two (!) ice axe, one for climbing, the other is a lightweight for touring
• crampons with tips for ice and rocks (not aluminum !!!)
• 70 m half rope
• 4x camalot, 4x nut, 1x ice screw, 4x „alpine“ expression (small wire - 60 cm sewing loop - small wire), 2x sewing sling 120 cm, 4x carabiner screwlock
• 8-meter sling + knife
• Sit harness for skimo
• helmet, pharmacy, headlamp, ...
Note: We have a bit more material in the realm (for example, 2x60m rope), but what I mention here should ultimately be enough.
Our recommendation: This is a traverse. Do not try to ski all the peaks at any price from the top. Be aware that the stages are long and you are not always at the right time at the right place, as it should be at steep slopes. No legs will be mostly too fresh ... The goal is the traverse, not continuous downhill.
Note: Our traverse would definitely improve on style. For example, conditions did not allow us to ski at all times. Or Satan would definitely be more stylish to ski with the L1 or L2 variant (see miropeto.sk), but these sessions were unfortunately poorly snowy and impassable. If a good winter times returns, there will be a constellation, when north slopes will be a hard, avalanche situation will be favorable, while the rides will be snowed and possible from the very peaks. But we'll leave it to someone else. The basic intention to cross the peaks has been set ...