SK, High Tatras: Winter Hikes in Velka Studena Valley
The one who loves adventure and is reasonably physically fit, undoubtedly would like a few tips about easy winter hikes Velka Studena Valley, located in the Slovak part of the High Tatras. A year-round open cottage, Zbojnicka Chata (1960 meters), which waits for us in this valley, offers a place to rest, refreshment and cozy accommodation. We can spend here a few days without getting away from the surrounding of Tatranian peaks. Keep in mind, however, that the motion in the Tatras in winter outside marked trails is very limited according to the TANAP rules!
A way to Zbojnicka Cottage
As every year-round open tourist trail in the High Tatras , the blue trail that leads from a crossroads by Rainer’s Cottage to Zbojnicka Cottage was covered by snow and ice in winter. Before you climb up to the cottage you should mind warnings of Mountain Rescue Service and equip some sticks. We also can use an ice axe during our winter hikes as well as a complete anti avalanche equipment. Despite you can get from Hrebienok to Zbojnicka Cottage in less than 2 hours in summer, in winter this hike takes more than 3 hours!
Svistovy Stit (2382 meters)
Perhaps the most dominant highland right to Zbojnicka Cottage is Svistovy Ridge that leads from the cottage to northwest. There it terminates with the peak of Svistovy Stit. It can be accessed directly via the ridge. The only purely climbing section of the ridge - a several meters high rock (difficulty level III) . It can be easily circumvent to the right. We can get to the top along an easier path, along the blue trail leading into the saddle called Prielom. Before the ascent to the saddle leave the blue markings and continue until the end of the Diva Basin below Divoka Tower. The Svistov Ridge should be still on your right. We can get easily to the ridge over the southwestern slope.
Kupole (2414 m n. m.)
If we continue along the same blue tourist trail zowards Prielom, we can easily get on the top of another nearby peak. Roughly at the beginning Svišťového ridge turn from blue marker slightly to the left and along the northern slope of Hogwarts climb the steep narrow valley. It climb straight up into the saddle under the dome. From the saddle along southeast ridge to the peak of Kupole it is just a couple of steps.
Eastern Slavkovska Tower (2356 meters)
The eastern Slavkovska Tower, which together with Kupola are parts of the ridge going from the High Tatras to Slavkovsky Ridge. We will conquer it from the Slavkov Sedlo. First, from the cottage we go down the sidewalk towards Hrebienok. In places between Dlhe and Varesovske Lake we will turn southwest and we will continue to Dolinky over Varesovske Lakes. From the foothills of the Eastern Slavkovské Tower we will climb to the saddle. Right above us stretches a a wider ridge leading to the peak.
Strelecka Tower (2130 meters)
Although there lead mostly good climbing trails to Strelecka Tower its discreet top can be easily conquered by a pedestrian. We will follow the yellow trail toward the transverse seat, walk around the ridge south of Javorovy Stit, we will pass between Siva Lakes up on the Strelecka fields. Here we turn to the south on a broad ridge leading to the peak. There a magnificent view will open before us over Studena Valley.
Zbojnicka Kopa (2097 meters)
When we are exhausted after every possible and impossible hike overs shields in Velka Studena Valley, you can go to a very nice brief walk to Zbojnicka Kopa. From the cottage you will go along the yellow trail between Starolesnianske Lake and Sesterska Lakes, to the left you will see a significant peak. From there you will climb to the beginning of its southwestern ridge almost to the shore of Ladove Lake. After overcoming this ridge you will easily get on the top marked by a little stone man. From there we have a valley with the most lakes of all the Tatra valleys at our fingertips!
Text/photo: Blanka Pechačová
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