SK, High Tatras - Climbing up the Furkotsky Shield
One beautiful day we came into conclusion to climb one of the Tatranian shields. Therefore, we travelled to Strbske Pleso lake and from there we set off for the Salisko summit.
Along the road we made the Furkotsky Shield our main goal for the day. While in the cable car we car we watched the majestic summits, nature and the landscape. Right at Cottage Beneath Solisko we determined our direction. There were couple of options. Either go along difficult ridge trail, or take easy path across the valley. The former we chose. After walking down the blue trail across Skutnasta Polana we joined the yellow trail. Its considerable path runs in Furkotska valley.
Furkotska Valley is on the south end of the High Tatras. Its name was derived from the river flowing there. Its creek has many curves which make water to make specific sound called “frkotani” – bubbling. This is what makes the place special. There are several lakes around. On our way, we noticed Furkoty lakes. Inside them live small species of crustacean – fairy shrimp (Branchinecta paludosa). Itlives only in Scandinavia or Greenland near the north pole. Actually, what really was amazing for us were the Wahlenberg lakes. Nizne and Vysne lakes of this group were named after Swedish plant scientist and doctor Göran Wahlenberg. In the early 19th century, he researched local vegetation of the High Tatras . Vysne lake is the second highest lake in the Tatras. The guides tell the truth as we witnessed ourselves. The lake is covered with ice almost all year round (the photos come from July).
In no time we found ourselves on the Bystra Lavka saddle and from there it doesn’t take long to reach the summit of the Furkotsky Shiled. This section has no markings however, therefore we recommend you to take a mountain guide with you. Interesting fact is that from the trail to Furkotsky Shield you can easily reach Hruby Summit that is nearby. However, we should warn you that the section is exposed. It means you need appropriate mountaineer equipment. Without it you should rather avoid the section.
The Furkotsky Shield (2 403,5 m) gives you the pleasure of a wonderful view up from its highest point. In our case, we saw fog rolling over the shields. We watched the summits of Velke Solisko, Krivan, Hlinskou Tower or Podtatranska Basin which is situated far away. There is never enough of time up in the mountains. Therefore, we set off to get back. Our next point of interest was Mlynicka Valley. Several lakes can be seen from there. Most of all we were captivated by Kulate Pleso or Capie Pleso which is 17 meters deep. On our way down, we crossed the Mlynice Rver several times. Its most popular place Skok Waterfall. The waterfall is 25 meters high. Water falls down from the rock threshold which is in 1789 m. There are chains around the waterfall which are come in handy especially if you consider how slippery the terrain is.
After we were done admiring the environment, we refreshed us and then went downhill to the town of Strbske Pleso (we recommend to visitStrbske Pleso lake). It took us about 8 hours to walk down 14 kilometers and 1000 meters of elevation. This makes the trail bit more difficult. Therefore, it is recommended rather to more experienced tourists. We spent the entire day in beautiful nature enjoying great atmospehere. The experience worth of recommending, indeed.
GPS: 49°10'06.2"N 20°01'42.2"E
Text and photos: Oskár Mažgút
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