Ski tour from Smokovec to Zbojnícka Chalet

It is Friday evening kayak pool session and I am planning what to do in Saturday. I would like to go skiing to the High Tatras, so I am trying to find friends who would like to go, too. During kayaking we are chating and planning the trip. In the night there are 10 people and plan to go for skialp tour to Zbojnicka Chalet and possibility to go for freeride in Priečne sedlo. Our 9-seated Trafic is not enough, so Branko will take another car.

Travelling with VAN to the High Tatras

In the (for me early) morning I am picking-up people in Kosice and Presov, we have meeting with the rest of group traditionally at the rest place near Levoča. We had planned the last details and continued the journey.

I am lucky and found big parking lot for our VAN just in the beggining of the parking lot in Smokovec. Branko and his group was there already. So we are calling them if it is possible to go to the Hrebienok by skis. Danka tells us that the ground cable way is crowded by people and the road is covered by ice (she actually falls during the call), so not good combination. Later it turned out it is not so bad. There are not so much people waiting for cable way, so Joko decided to go up with the cable way. Others (including me) decide to go on skis. The ice is at the beggining of the road, later it is better except one part where is no snow at all, so we have to take of skis.

Start of the ski tour from Hrebienok

We continue through the hiking trail around the Rainer's Chalet (you can stop there and see snow Betlehem during winter). First part of the trail is easy, it is not steep and the frozen snow is not a problem for skis. In the middle of the Great Cold Valley (Velka studena dolina) we reach steep part of the trail. The freezing wind blows so we had to get dressed warmer clothes and gloves (it was really warm earlier). The trail is tourning left and is steeper. Still covered by frozen snow and our climbing skins at the bottom of skis are sliding. It is too hard to continue on skis for me, so I am taking off the skis attaching them to the backpack and continuing only in ski shoes which can be kicked into snow. The bigger part of group have same decission. Only few people managed to continue on skis using ski crampon.

Ski mountaineering

Ski touring

Another turn to the right side and the Zbojnicka Chalet has showed up. Last few hundreds meters and finally we are here. We are eating garlic soup and having some rest. We would like to continue to the top of the Grand Cold Valley, it is few more minutes. Before the one steep hill we divided into two groups. One continues and the other one uses the short part through the edge to the valley. Firstly three people (Jan, Tomi and Kaja) would like to continue, but after two turns Kaja changed mind and joined us on the shorter path.

Zbojnicka Chalet

We are detaching climbing skins and are going down the valley. Even though there is no powder :(, we are enjoying freeride skiing.

View from the Grand Cold Valley to Podtatranska Valley