Veľký Kriváň and Chleb - winter landscapes [ENGLISH]

9:30 – Vrátna. A little bit late for winter expedition, but maybe not? In the shadow of Veľký Kriváň & Chleb, we are waiting in queue to cash desk to buy a ticket to heaven. Cable car will take us for 1500 meters and then we could gain the tops. But now… slowly but successfully we are freezing – we are staying in stagnation in the shadow and body is freezing more with every minute. It’s cold, fuckin' terribly cold…
At 10:30 we are at the upper station cable car Vrátna and the rays of the sun slowly stimulate circulation in the veins. The heart hits stronger, the corners of the mouth slowly rise up, the eyes involuntarily squint, and the nose senses the characteristic smell of the weed 😀 Teleportation about 700 meters above makes miracles 💗

Good morning Slovensko 💙
Rozsutec big and small
Teleportation machine
After the moment on view terrace we start up. On the beginning we want to climb the highest peak of the range – Veľký Kriváň. We take right direction from the pass and follow red trail. In Mala Fatra there is 3rd avalanche’s stage, but snow under feet are stiff and additionally hardened by snow groomer. We see tons of snow, especially on Veľký Rozsutec, which rocks are covered by white powder. Come back to our destination – to the peak of Veľký Kriváň we’ll walk 20 minutes by traverse and additional 20 minutes on the ridge. Let’s go…

Such a good weather 😀
Trail is a wide road, which rising moderately up, and the snow sometimes is collapsed. Despite of the frost, the sun effectively warms up the air and quickly gets hot. In total the road is comfortable, sometimes we stop to watch the views, and believe me, views are great. On the north you can see Beskidians smoothly passing from one to the other, on the east such a good view for Low Tatras and later for High and West Tatras, and finally Malá Fatra – everywhere around and under the feet.

Chleb and Low Tatras
Malá Fatra – Snilovské Sedlo, Poludňový grúň, Veľký Rozsutec and Stoh
Pekelník and Malý Kriváň
Main ridge of Malá Fatra and behind of it Tatras
After 35 minutes of hike we are standing on the top of Veľký Kriváň. There is any tourist on the peak, only a few freeriders, who’s after the moment go away and we stay alone. We feel a little gusts of wind, but my attention is focused by the panorama, not the wind. Last time when we have been here, this mountain gave us only fog. Today she give us much more than views. Tons of the snow on the ridges and slopes are hold on in motionless by the freeze which created incredible landscape. Such conditions don’t happen every day. It’s a power!

Peak! – 1709 meters
Martinské Hole and Malý Kriváň
Mountains everywhere
Winter landscape again
Malá Fatra, Chočské Vrchy and Tatras
Veľká Fatra
Tatras are always awesome
Our second destination is also not very ambitious – Chleb, so it’s mean that firstly we have to come back on the pass and after go on the east. Trail is foreseen for 30 minutes. It’s noon, so on the pass there is a lot of hikers, but we do not stay there too long. The next peak is awaiting for us.

Snilovské Sedlo
Other side
Mentioned mountain has 1646 meter high, so we have to defeat 120 meters of exceedance. What's a challenge 😉 However winter is a completely different story. Trail is comfortable, but sometimes snow is not well compacted and the sun at the noon is hot like in summer. Chleb is the 3rd peak in Malá Fatra, just behind of Kriváň’s and it’s also good view point or even better than them.

Everyting under snow and ice
In the shadow of mountain
Wider view
Veľký Kriváň and Martinské Hole
Trail to the peak
Tatras and Veľký Choč
After 30 minutes very slowly hike we are standing on the top of Chleb and smiling widely. Panorama 360º brings us on the knees and in parallel we could see perfectly mathematic data. Slovakia in 61% is mountain country, divided on 56 chains. Now we can see detailed each altitude, phenomenal relief of the terrain and the enormity of mountain ranges that create something amazing. I cannot talk about it in correct way, you have to see it – tangle of Tatras, Choč mountains, Small and Big Fatras, Magura nad Beskidians chain and Low Tatras. It not only view for peaks, which I know the names, it’s a perfect view for the genius of mother nature.

Slovensko! Mountains everywhere – Tatras, Low Tatras , Malá and Veľká Fatra, Chočské Vrchy 💙
On the top of Chleb
Hromové, Stoh, Veľký Rozsutec & Babia Hora
Veľký Kriváň, Malý Kriváň & Martinské Hole
Veľká Fatra and Nízke Tatry
In the mountains watching is the best 😍
Watching in the mountains is the best, but there is a moment, when it’s the time to go back. We are come back by the same trail to cable car and after 5 minutes we are in the valley next to the car. I’m not sad that this is the end. Today was such a big energy kick, like as sip of red bull in the reality. Honestly I even didn’t know how much I need the mountains – their presence, deep breath and switch to mode “stand by”. And even I love hiking, in the mountains the most important is the moment of stop. So please stop, close your eyes, take a deep breath, slowly let it out, open the eyes and reach for your dreams…

Go back down
Sunset in the valley


7th of January 2019


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