Real winter in mountains

After a very long time we went into the mountains again. Our last hike was last year, where we want to climb couple of four thousand meters peaks. Now it is last week of February and are finally heading to mountains.

This time it will be much lower mountains. It is probably going to be coldest weekend of this winter season, so it is better to not to go to the higher peaks. We cannot decide where we should go. Options are Kralova hola and Dumbier from south or Krakova hola and Sina from Demanovska valley. We decided to go to Liptov region (Krakova hola and Sina)

Accomodation in Demanovaska valley is really expensive. I do not understand who is willing to pay for that. We will stay in Besenova in Vila Michal. Room for two persons for weekend is around 70 eur. This is from my point reasonable price. So, on Saturday we will go to Krakova hola.

We have to wake up really early in order to be at parking space around half past seven. From here we go up toward Demanovska jaskyna slobody (cave). In two hours we should be in Machnato saddle. I have done this hike about two years ago, I know it is doable. We have reached cave in few minutes and keep going up. Path above the cave is not that easy. Couple people went here before us, but not so many. Few minutes above cave are no more footprints. We have lost the path and we need to look for marks. From time to time we see some hiking path marks, but it takes some to time to look for them.

We have left parking space early, so we have plenty of time to hike whole circle. We have reached crest. I already know, we will not reach Machnato saddle in two hours. First part of the hike took us more than hour. Crest goes up more smoothly, but we are even slower. It is much harder to find the path and on top of that there is lots of fallen trees. We need to walk around them, going back to crest. Of course, as we gained some altitude, there is more snow. At least we have snowshoes with us.

Finding the path and going around fallen trees takes a lot of time. We do have GPS and I know where to look for hiking path. I mean we have bit of idea where it should go, but it takes a lot of time. We haven’t seen mark for last 15 – 20 minutes, but we know we are going right direction. We have reached steep ascent. We spent here couple of minutes searching for mark, but without success. We are already hiking for almost 3 hours and saddle Machnato is still far away. It is time to think what our next steps will be. I know above tree level we will struggle in deep snow, despite the fact we have snowshoes. For sure we will not be fast as in the summer. We are going to try to search for mark for the last time. If we will not find it, we will go back. After another 15 minutes of searching we are going back. Basically, we have no other choice. Otherwise we would come back after the sunset. Way back is easy, because we will follow our footprints.

We are back in parking place quite quickly. It is around 12:30 pm. We have spent hiking almost 5 hours. I am sure it was a good decision to go back. Otherwise it would be really demanding hike and I sure we would come back in the dark.
Now it is time to have a lunch a find out what we will be doing for the rest of the day. For lunch we pick Via Jasna restaurant. I was looking for chalet with traditional Slovak food, but without success. Both of us are hungry so we do not care. My wife order pizza and I order bryndzove halusky (traditional Slovak food – dumplings with special cheese). Unfortunately, bryndzove halusky are pretty bad. It doesn’t taste as it should be. Waitress notice that I am not happy and offered me to bring new once or cancel them from the bill. Pizza is good, but do not order over there bryndzove halusky.

As our next destination we have decided to visit open air museum of traditional Liptov village in Pribylina. It is not mountains, but we will not be sitting in our hotel room. We spend here more than hour walking around old houses and look for the geocache hidden not far from the museum. Before we get back to the hotel we step in chalet in Besenova. They make pretty good bryndzove halusky.

On Sunday we have decided not to go to Low Tatras. Hopefully hiking path will be clearly visible to Klak summit in Low Fatra. In ideal situation it will be doable without crampons and snowshoes.

None of us have been on Klak before, so it is time to fix it. We are parking in Fackov saddle and follow yellow mark. Until first crossroad hiking path is like highway. Onwards it is not like that, but still clearly visible. Comparing to the yesterday it is like walking in paradise. Ascent is demanding in some parts, but we are able to do it according to planned times. In two hours we are on the Klak summit.

Path is clearly visible, lots of people going up today. We didn’t need snowshoes or crampons. We have seen couple of people with crampons, but from my point of view they were not needed. Only last 10 minutes to the summit where bit slippery.

View from the summit is not as I expected. One cloud is covering part of the view and sky is not totally clear. Some kind of the for is everywhere. On the other side I am pretty sure in nice sunny day view will be perfect. After few minutes on the summit it is time to descent. Before that we have small snack and tee. It is time to descent quickly.

On the way down, we are pretty fast. Sometimes I feel, like we are almost running. It is after lunch time, but people are still going up. For me it is no surprise, from Fackov saddle it takes about two hours. Descent is of course shorter.

From long distance I can hear music from ski resort in Fackov saddle. This might be one of the reasons, why I do not ski. In the mountains I preferer silence. What is the point to go to the mountains and listen the loud music from speakers?

Weekend in the mountains was pretty good. It was not definitely according our plans, but still better than sitting at home. I am sure in next couple of months we will have much more time for hiking. Doesn’t matter if Slovak or somewhere abroad. Most of all we are looking for Easter. With 4 days weekend it is possible to plan lovely trip. Will see how will be the weather.

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