I like to enjoy free weekends as much as possible. On Friday I have decided that I will join group of my friends. Their goal is to reach summit of Slavkovsky stit (2 452 m/ 8 045 ft). One of the highest summits in High Tatras. After work I need to get home quickly, pack all necessary stuff and get to the meeting point. On our way to High Tatras we pick up few other people and going to Nova Lesna, where we spend the night.
It is nice and sunny Saturday morning. After morning ritual I prepare my back pack and of course have a good breakfast. Shortly after 7am we are ready to drive to Stary Smokovec, where our hike begins. We have parked on free parking (at least we thought it is for free). However what is for free?
Me, Zuzka, Ivet, Janka, Andrej and Martin are really excited and shortly before 8 we are following blue hiking path up to the mountains. I have named Zuzka “hiking lightning”, because of her speed. Martin is named “Tatras beast”. Last year he participated in running contest with the same name, and he reached summit of Slavkovsky stit in one hour and eleven minutes. I am wondering what I am doing in this group of super hikers? Luckily we are going as fast as group allows it.
Since early morning is ridiculously hot, sun is killing me. In first minutes I have to convince my body, that is not that bad. I will be rewarded by stunning views from Slavkovsky stit. For now, there are not nice views at all. It is already 12 years when windstorm totally devastated our highest mountains and recovery is still on going.
At 8:30 am we have reached crossroads. Sign says, we should reach Slavkovsky stit in 4 hours and 15 minutes. After short break and small snack we are ready to keep walking on lovely stone covered path going right from the sign. I am glad we are in shade of trees for a while. Hiking in the woods usually killing me, but now I am glad for couple of trees.
Full of energy we are coming to Slavkovska vyhliadka. Thanks to the sing we can identify summits arround us. Besides Slavkovsky stit we can see Pysny Stit or Lomnicky stit. Hopefully in the future I will visit both of them. We take couple of pictures and in few minutes we are hiking again. Lovely path is changing to lot of big stones. Yes! This is what I like. Finally there is almost no path, and I can enjoy this hike.
To make ascent more interesting, misunderstanding sent us to the wrong path. Me an Ivet are taking wrong turn a lost marked hiking path. We thought we are going right direction based on Andrej instructions. Few minutes later instead of rock we were in knee timber. We decided not to go back, cause we were lazy. We save about 10 minutes, but our legs have are not beautifully nice anymore. Anyway we had to wait for the others. No more shortcuts anymore :)
There are no only big rocks but also huge ones. From time to time I have to use my arms as well. I really enjoy it, especially when see summit close to us. However it is not the close. Slavkovsky stit is still far away. It is 11:30 am and we need to sit down, refresh our selves and enjoy beauty around us. Lomnický štít is really proud to its beauty. We have to move, because weather forecast was not perfect for today and around lunch time rain might come. Focused on my steps I didn’t realized where we are going. I see lovely saddle behind me.
Few more curves and we are on the summit. It is about lunch time, when we see summit cross. Couple of happy people is already on top. I am happy as well, because of the beautiful nature around me. I don`t know which way I should look. It is valley of Velka Studena dolina, or Gerlachovsky stit (2 655 m / 8 710 ft – highest summit of Slovakia) or Lomnicky stit? Amazing. Of course we have to take picture of all of us on the Slavkovsky stit with the cross. I am fascinated by young man, who made from bivouac living room. He is hidden in an umbrella shade and enjoys the beauty.
Clock says half past noon. Zuzka warns us, that clouds are coming and we should go. Andrej and I have the same opinion and start descending. 15 minutes later I feel first rain drops. Soon it will be heavy rain. We took out rain coats from our back pack and descent as fast as we can. Missing guys are already with us. Wet rocks are slippery, I can confirm cause I fell on my butt. Besides heavy rain it is really windy and hail coming down from sky. Each of us has own tempo and we are mixed with other hikers.
I have no clue for how long we “enjoy” this lovely shower, but my shoes are full of water. Everyone looks forward to take them off. I am descending bit faster then others. After the rain air is fantastic. I smell something sweet. I have no clue, from where it is coming from, but I enjoy it a lot. Birds start singing again, which turns this place in best concert hall you can imagine. This is how I feel for the rest of the hike, until I reach civilization.
Shortly after 3 pm we are at parking place. I change all my clothes and enjoy dry socks. We have to say bye to Martin, who is going to east, rest of us is going to west. Despite the bad weather during descent (we know it will come), I really enjoy hike to Slavkovsky stit. This is the day, when I promised to my self, I have to visit more of Slovak mountains.