How about Malá Fatra in Slovakia

How about Malá Fatra in Slovakia

I had visited Malá Fatra National Park in Slovakia in May 2018. It was a mountain rally organized by Halny mountain club from Poznań.  Three days of fabulous trek.

Malá Fatra by Maciej Zawieja

Malá Fatra is a mountain range in Slovakia. It’s highest pick is Veľký Kriváň at 1,709. It serves beautiful views at mountains covered in both conifers and deciduous trees. At the beginning of may they create an unique composition of dark and juicy green. The highest picks are naked, cover only with mosses and grass.The range is a protected area called Malá Fatra National Park.

Itinerary

The trip was organized and planned by “Halny” mountain club from Poznań, Poland. There were several routes: 3-days trek: long, short and with tents and 4-days trek: long, short and with tents. Each route was different. I had chosen 3-days trek with tent. The trip was rather challenging. I spent first night in a bus, then left it in Vrútky, from where I started my trek with a green trail (refer to a map below) at 8 in the morning. Then at the crossing of green and red trails I continued north following the red trail. I reached Chata pod Suchým around 13 PM and set up my tent.

I continued on the second day at 8 AM. I was following the red path most of the day. It was leading through all the best peaks. However, the weather was misty. I could hardly see further than 10 meters. Parts of the trail were covered with snow, others with mud. At the end I took the green trail down to Chata Vrátna and next yellow to Chata na Grúni. I reached it after 2 PM and set up my tent. 

Last day started late – around 10 AM. Together with a large group we went down to Štefanová following the blue trail.

Experience

The trip was rather challenging. It was a mixture of wonderful views at the first and last day and mysterious, misty second day. When I was crossing a forest full of huge rocks around me that was completely enshroud with mist I felt like Bilbo Baggins. Nevertheless, I had to go forward.

Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!

Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit

The path can be divided into four parts. The trails from beginning to Strečno village were mostly following 4×4 roads. The trek was easy and pleasant. One could not feel the difference in attitude which was around 600 meters. The second part starts from Strečno and continue uphill to the peak called Suchy. It is a constant and challenging uphill. Third part starts at Suchy and finishes around Veľký Kriváň. It is set at a ridge of Malá Fatra. At the beginning of May it was partially covered with snow and mud, however no special equipment was required. Last part starts around Veľký Kriváň and finishes at Chata na Gruni. It is again not challenging pleasant hike.

At the second night it was cold. Around 3 degrees. I survived – somehow – in my sleeping bag which comfort temperature is +12, but I strongly recommend to take a better one for cold nights.

Trails are very well marked. If you follow them and realize there was no sign for last 5-10 minutes, then you can be sure of one thing: you are lost!

 Trails in Malá Fatra by Maciej Zawieja
 Trails in Malá Fatra by Maciej Zawieja

Preparations

A short trek in the mountains lower than 2000 meters in this are doesn’t usually require much of preparations. Nevertheless, all safety persuasions have to be taken. Check the weather, if it is permitted to camp and where, possible dangers, information about snow cover and so on. The region is visited by many trekkers, hikers and mountain bikers wiling to help you.

Remember that a tent is an additional weight that you have to carry with you. It is not a problem to find a place to spend a night for a reasonable price and eat a decent meal. Just take a look on a map before starting a trek.

If you are a bit more adventurous take a tent, stove, bottle of gas, some food and just go!

My food supply