August hiking pt.3: Place I love

The Slovakian ‘Malá Fatra’ mountain range is a place where I’ve walked most of the main trails and a good deal of the side trails – and I still love to return there.

This hike was a mixed one – a part of it to a new place, a part of it to a well-known place, and a part of it to somewhere I’ve been long ago. Maybe that’s why I love this place – it was at my very beginning of serious hiking. And maybe because it just looks awesome.

The place where we started was a village in the nortwest corner. There’s a rock formation above it and a new trail to it was made in 2016. It provides a lookout over the village and the smaller mountains to the northwest, as well as the Žilina town (off-screen).

Also, it’s relatively close to my home – a bit below 150km. That’s great as it allows an early start.

From the rock formation, we had to descend back the same way, walk around the end of a side ridge, and to one of the not-so-much used trails through a side valley that would lead us to the main ridge and the trail on it.

Even though the morning was colder there (probably around 12-15 °C) than in the city (around 20°C), getting to the rock formation warmed us up – and once we got close to the central part of the mountains, the late August sun had shown its strength.

A pass at ~1150m ASL. The ascension’s half-done.

More so when we left the forest and had to bear it head-on. Soon, we had most of the mountain range in sight – and, in my case, some memories from the past hikes: the drenched ones in 2012 and 2014 or all the others that’ve been baking us alive.

The part of the mountains I’ve walked back in 2012 – in a cold rain and dense fog

After reaching the main trail, most of the hard work was done and the ascension to the main peak was an easy part compared to the previous two hours. I took an hour-long break there, letting the sun dry both my body and my gear.

Letting the sun dry my stuff…

While remembering some of the past hikes. Since I’ve talked about the quite old hike with my father the day before, looking at archive pictures (back in time before digital cameras became a widespread things, let alone with decent photo quality), here’s a picture of 15-years-old me, taken towards the ridge leading west (same two pictures above).

Archive picture – 4.6.2005. It was not cold, but windy.

I’ve already said that the first part was the new one. The peak was a well-known place. So, now comes the long-awaited return. Back in 2005, we ascended the peak from the opposite direction than the later hikes, on a trail around a major waterfall. The issue with the waterfall trail is that there’s much lower flexibility when planning a hike compared to the ski resort on the opposide side on the mountain (and the denser network of trails in the area). Thus, when I reached the pass below the peak, I turned south for once, instead of north.

After a stop at a chalet south from the pass, we walked around one of the other major peaks (which I visited in 2017), then started the first part of the ascention to a spring where it looks like the moss-covered rock was ‘bleeding’ water due to the countless dripping strands of moss and water flowing from tiny gaps in the rock.

And right down into the valley with the waterfall – largest in the area at 38 meters.

The waterfall

From there on, it was a relatively pleasant descent down the valley, towards a motorest on the main road and a journey home. Once again, luck was with us as the rain showers only came when we were on the way home – and time just before the sunset, it made for some display in the skies.

The evening skies (taken from a moving bus)

Which is how my August hiking ended – and the end of this post.

See you next time!

2 thoughts on “August hiking pt.3: Place I love

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