Friday, February 8, 2013

Velka Fatra - weekend in Slovak mountains

While browsing my photo-folders I came across the pictures from a Fatra-weekend. We did a hiking tour along the Greater Fatra mountain range. The mountains are medium-high - the highest peak is Ostredok (1 592 m = 5 223 ft), which was on our route. We started from Stare Hory village, climbing up the slopes in mist and chill. Once we got the top, a breathtaking view appeared unto our eyes - a sea of fog.
The Greater Fatra, photo by Andrzej Śliwińśki
The ridges of the Greater Fatra are quite flat, so after reaching the first summit it was rather a stroll than a serious hiking. Sometimes the ridges are so flat that even one of the peaks is called Ploska what means 'a flat one'.

Our first break was on the top of mountain Krížna, nearby a military comunication tower. We met there some people, almost the only ones during our trip. After a small second-breakfast, full of energy, we continued hiking.
The Greater Fatra flad ridges, photo by Andrzej Śliwiński
Krížna, photo by Andrzej Śliwiński
Our aim was to find a wooden hut for a place to sleep. We decided to live our tents at home, convinced of finding an open shelter. And we were lucky! There were two empty huts on our trail, so we occupied one of them for a night. In some of Slovakian mountains is a possibility to sleep in such a wooden huts called utulnia. Usually they are very simply equiped with a poor standard, but you thank for having a roof over your head. Some of the huts are restored and in better condition. Not all of them are open for turists, some are private. You can use utulnia for free.
In a shelter most often you mayfind a simple fireplace and some matresses. The most wonderful thing is when after a whole day of hiking you can seat at the fire and warm up. Especially when you are soaking wet :) The problem appears when it is necessary to bring some wood and find a spring with water. There was no water in a spring close to our hut. What then? We studied a map and tried to find another one. Succesfully.
Utulnia, photo by Andrzej Śliwiński
The next day we stood up very early in order to admire the sunrise on Ploska - it was worth seeing! At the horizon we could recognise other mountain ranges in Slovakia and Poland like the Tatras, Little Fatra or the Choč Mountains. It was freezing cold so we quickly decided to move ourselves. Later on we passed a regular mountain shelter - chata pod Borišovom.
The last mountain on our way was Rakytov. Beside the cross on the top you can find there a metal box with a pen and a notebook inside - you can sign your name and whatever you want. It's a kind of commemorative book. Of course we signed in!
After a short break we started getting down the mountains to a village Liptovská Osada. The last point of our trip was a local bar :)

Velka Fatra, photo by Andrzej Śliwiński
Velka Fatra, photo by Andrzej Śliwiński
Velka Fatra, photo by Andrzej Śliwiński
Utulnia, photo by Andrzej Śliwiński
Mountain shelter - chata pod Borišovom,
photo by Andrzej Śliwiński


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