Gerlach – Slovakia highest summit

Second half of October already started, but we have planed going to Gerlach with my high school friend for long time. Day D has come soon. Both of us already did some hikes in High Tatras and therefore Gerlach became a challenge. Few days before our ascent was a bit snowy in High Tatras and I start thinking if ascent to Gerlach is still possible. However those condition made the hike much more interesting, but lets start from beginning.

In early October morning we have met with mountain guide near Sliezsky dom. After equipment check we start walking towards Batizovske lake. Cold morning has changed to lovely morning with warm sun. First parts of the hike were easy and quick. We hike under Gerlach. From Batizovske lake we had totally different view. Besides Gerlach we could see Koncista and whole Batizovska valley with all the summits.

Koncista peak
Koncista peak

This is the place where path to Gerlach is not on marked path and we are heading towards Batizovska valley wildness. As we are going up, also adrenaline goes up, cause we have still more and more snow under our feet. Sun is hidden behind the summit and we are bit cold. We have to speed up to warm up. From the right we are going around Batizovske lake. Also from right we are aproaching via steep ascent to Gerlach. After couple of minutes we are close to the “base camp”, where we have some food, tea and put on all the needed equipment. Besides crampons and rope we are fully equipped.

Batizovske lake
Batizovske lake

Close to the wall mountain guide secure us with the rope, we put on the crampons and we are ready to go. When I look back I can see Batizovske lake and Koncista summit on the left. We have crampons on for very first time and it is hard to trust. Not sure if it is about crampons or our selves. After all it is not that bad and we are good to go, on top of that it is actually fun.

Due to the snow, we can walk like on the stairs, only on walls we have to climb. From time to time we have to use ice ax, which is last detail of great feeling. In such a good mood we have reached the place which give whole hike the name – Batizovksa proba. Few iron steps can not stop us. We just need to thing where to put foot or how to hold and everything is easier. Especially, if we are lead by experience mountain guide. After those step we finally meets the sun, who was hiding behind the summit.

From now on, sun will follow us on our way to the summit, we need to get rid of some clothes, otherwise we will be hot. It is not far to the Gerlach summit. We continue in foot prints of the group which is in front. There is a chain, which we did not expect. We can see summit cross already. It is much more beautiful than on all the pictures I have seen. There is only a few people on the Gerlach so we are going to take a picture. There is no lots of room near the cross, and people who are scared of highs could get sick.

Bit of climbing
Bit of climbing

It feels really great to be on Gerlach summit. Both of us realized that within Slovakia we can not be any higher. We have also realized that we have still plenty of energy. In summit book is our signature from this moment. Mountain guide shows us what we can see on the west, north and east from us.

West view
West view
East view
East view

Sun is shining, but we are getting cold a bit. This is sign that we should start descending from Gerlach summit. Last view around and lets go. I had no clue, that the last persons on the ascent is first one during the descent. Again I am afraid a bit, however after few instructions it is maybe easier to go down then up. Descent is basically walk down on soft stairs. I am not afraid any more. Quickly we have passed iron steps in Batizovska proba a as a benetif we have been rewarded by mountain guide. He took us bit of the hiking path. We come to small vertical wall about 10 meters high and we had to abseil it. With bit of courage we made it. It was fun, but as always all the fun doesn`t last too long.

Abseiling
Abseiling

On the way back we have passed Batizovske lake and we did not talk. Both of us clearly know what other is thinking about. Our smiles help us understood. Full of happiness we have come back to Sliezsky dom and than go home. However I will never forget this day, when I reached Gerlach – Slovakia highest summit.

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