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Tatras 2014

June 26, 2015

I flew to Prague from Brisbane via Bangkok and Frankfurt, and stayed in Prague for a night so I could catch a morning train to Poprad-Tatry, Slovakia. It’s always nice to come back to Prague, kind of like a second home to me in a way.

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Sigmund Freud hangs from a building, one of David Černý’s many works in the city.

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The next morning I took a direct train from Praha hl.n. to Poprad-Tatry. After about 8 hours I arrived, walked in the rain to a nearby hotel and checked in. I planned to do a shorter warmup hike the next morning to Predné Solisko, 2093 m, a subpeak from the town of Štrbské pleso. The Tatras are a really easy area to travel around without a car, getting to Poprad-Tatry is easy from Bratislava, Košice or Prague. From the train station in Poprad Tatry, an electric train runs that connects all of the Slovak towns along the southern edge of the Tatras. The Tatras are in a line as well, so access to nearly every peak is very easy.

With jetlag I was up early and decided to head to Štrbské pleso rather than sit around. After breakfast in the 24-hour bar in the train station I caught the electric train and was on my way.

From Štrbské pleso I walked around the lake (‘pleso’ means lake) and found a trail in the direction of Predné Solisko. I’ve mentioned before how great the Czech trail system is, and the Slovaks use the same one. For those who don’t want to walk so far, there is also a chairlift to a couple hundred meters below the summit. The trail was steep, and suprisingly hot and humid. I took it easy and made it to the summit by 10 or 11 am. The summit was packed with people who took the chairlift up, so I tagged it and made my way 20 minutes further up the ridge to Soliskový hrb, 2126 m. Total ascent of 812 m and roundtrip distance of 12.7 km. GPS track here. On the descent I stopped by the mountain hut Chata pod Soliskom (meaning ‘hut below Solisko’) for a guláš (goulash) and pivo. They sure know how to do hiking the right way out here!

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Summit cross on Predné Solisko

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Poprad is a pretty boring town, and I think that the next time I go to the Tatras I’ll stay in one of the mountain towns like Tatranská Lomnica or Starý Smokovec. I did spot a peculiar mosaic favorably depicting the Red Army liberation, not a common sight anymore…

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The next morning I still didn’t feel like a big day. The previous day I scouted Gerlachovský štít, but thought that there would be too much snow for me to feel comfortable on it solo. Sometimes I lose motivation for climbing, and want to take a bit of a break. Distance doesn’t usually bother me but when I see 1500 m of gain or something I think twice– particularly when the summit isn’t a highpoint.

Anyway, I did another easy hike. I took the electric train to Starý Smokovec, and then to Tatranská Lomnica. From the train station I walked up the hill a few hundred meters and got a cable car to Skalnaté pleso at 1803 m. From there I hiked to the east to the summit of Veľká Svišťovka at 2038 m. It was an easy ascent with great views of Lomnický štít and Dolina Bielej vody. 339 m gain for the day and 6.6 km roundtrip. GPS track here. Back at Skalnaté pleso, I had the traditional klobasa and pivo and then continued down the hill to Tatranská Lomnica.

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East face of Lomnický štít

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Dolina Bielej vody, summit of Veľká Svišťovka on the right.

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Skalnaté pleso and Lomnický štít

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Vysoké Tatry from Poprad

From the Tatras I returned to Prague, spent another day there, and then traveled to Baden-Württemberg, Germany to meet my dad. Up next, the Dolomites…

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A quick picture on my way through Schwäbisch Hall, Germany

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    June 27, 2015 08:31

    When are you coming to visit the Polish Tatras?!

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