SK, Žiarská Valley – Winter Trip to Favorite Cabin
We start our winter trip in front of the paid parking lot at the end of the village Žiar. The ascent leads along a relatively wide forest asphalt road. After approximately 200 meters, we walk past the only mine open to the public in Liptov, Medvědí štoly. Right next to it there is a wooden Medvědí Shelter and educational boards with interesting information about Kriváňské doly and the mythical underground realm of this region.
Not far from this attraction, you will connect to the Žiarská valley nature trail, which copies the blue tourist trail. You will learn about the history of sheep farming, downhill skiing, the sufferings of the locals during the war, or even about the destructive avalanches, spruce forests and the Žiarská hut itself.
After about half a kilometer we come to a turn of the hiking trail, which will direct you to the "Old Road", suitable for hikers. However, we continue to the first bridge over the Smrečianka stream, where the road splits. On the left is the locality "Zoja-Zora", named after two cottages, while on the right a new forest road leads to a short steep section, which, after about 800 meters, reconnects to the original one.
Here, too, we set out on the easier path. After connecting the two roads, we come to the tourist shelter on the left side of the road. It is located about halfway to the cottage and you can relax here. Approximately a kilometer from the shelter, we come to the places where the front of the largest avalanche that fell here in 2009 ended.
From the table of the 4th kilometer, under the Black Walls, we enter the avalanche terrain. From there, except for the cottage, we will walk through three avalanche tracks, ie places where an spontaneous avalanche can fall (especially at the 4th degree of avalanche danger). Before the ascent, it is therefore necessary to verify the current degree of avalanche danger and, in the event of an unfavorable situation, to give up the ascent to the cottage.
The first dangerous place is right behind the 4th kilometer sign, where there is a risk of an avalanche falling to the right. Behind the bridge, above the serpentine of the road with a view, we cross two more avalanche gutters - Jalovecký and Šarafiový. But then we come safely to the cabin.
The Žiarská cabin, open all year round, began writing its story in 1939. It is an ideal starting point for skialpinists, to whom the local richly branched valleys provide endless opportunities to choose from tours. It is not for nothing that Žiarská dolina is called the Mecca of Slovak skialpinism. A free app focusing on alpine tours in Žiarská valley will also be a good help.
Our goal was just a cottage, so we set out on the original way back. This trip is moderately demanding and full of amazing natural scenery.
GPS: 49°08'40.9"N 19°42'00.8"E (Žiarska valley parking lot)
Text: Oskár Mažgút and HIK, o.z.
Photos: HIK, o.z.
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