There’s a cycle in everything in life. A day, a week, a month, a year ends, another one begins. Summer hiking season also came to an end and it was replaced by winter season. Peak Koprovsky stit is a common feature of both seasons in my case. It was my first hike after approximately three years long break this summer and it was my first winter hike ever few weeks ago – even though we didn’t reach the summit.
Our trip starts at lake Strbske pleso from where we follow the red sign to lake Popradske pleso. It takes us a little less than one hour. We see our destination when crossing the river for the first time. It seems to be far from us and it really is – it is still three more hours from Popradske pleso following the blue color. We walk in between the trees – the pathway is nice and dry in summer, but covered with ice during winter. We still could have passed it by so we don’t need crampons. After less than half an hour we walk by the right turn to peak Rysy but we still continue straight and follow our blue sign.
In other half an hour we reach lake Velke Hincovo pleso during summer. It takes us a little longer during winter – snow is untouched and we are the first people walking there. Also most of the signs are covered with snow which makes it harder to find the way. Walking in the snow is pretty hard; it reaches up to my knees most of the time or up to my waist in few places. As we are getting closer to Velke Hincovo pleso, we can see a chamois lying on the rock. I bet he was having fun watching us walk! :)
We decided to take a break at Velké Hincovo pleso. During winter it is our first and last break since chamois’ footsteps are the only ones we see. Even though Koprovsky stit peak was our goal, we are too tired to make our own pathway. It is end of the November already and snow is everywhere, but the weather is nice and warm so we take out some of our spare clothes, put them down on the rock so we can sit down and enjoy the time there. It takes us one hour of sitting and watching the mountains around – Koprovsky stit one of them – until we start to feel cold and decide it is time to go back down again. The way down is pretty fast since we already walked through the snow earlier this morning and it made it a lot easier.
Lake Velke Hincovo pleso wasn’t our turning point in summer. The sky wasn’t clear and weather forecast wasn’t perfect either, but we still decided not to cancel our plans. We were following serpentines up from the lake and gained some more metres above sea level until we reached saddle Vysne Koprovske sedlo. We were walking pretty fast so we managed to cut off of every time that was written on signs. This one wasn’t an exception. In the saddle, we left the blue color and started to follow the red one leading us to the summit.After few minutes taking photos of us and mountains around us, we decided it is time to go back down. I don’t like descends very much, they are always worse than ascends, but this one was surprisingly easy. We enjoyed last few views at lakes Velke and Male Hincovo pleso and peak Rysy which was on our left side.
We were back at lake Popradske pleso in a while. It is totally worth stopping there and having an amazing Sherpa tea. After that, there is only the last one hour of walking ahead of us, from Popradske pleso to Strbske pleso. The weather that the forecast promised caught us here. It started to rain. The rain was heavy, storm wasn’t far from us…we were lucky we were so fast that day.
Peak Koprovsky stit is definitely an amazing starting point if you decide to pick up hiking in High Tatras or if you are interested in reaching an easy peak instead of mountain cottage. Eventhough it is not the highest peak and terrain isn’t the hardest or the most interesting where I was this year, it is still beautiful hike. It is even more special for me because it was the first one after three years, the one that made me fall in love with hiking again and it lead me into getting to know other interesting places the following months.