Ascent of Gerlachovský štít on 2021-08-02

Climber: Robert May

Date:Monday, August 2, 2021
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gerlachovský štít
    Elevation:8707 ft / 2653 m

Ascent Trip Report

Finding reliable beta on this hike was challenging so I'm going to leave as much info here as I remember. Firstly, I highly recommend just hiring a guide and avoiding the dangers and stress of going at it solo. Rapidly changing weather, exposed scrambling, and wetness/ice, make this relatively easy hike, by Sierra standards, deceptively dangerous. We did not take the standard guided route to the peak, others have posted tracks for this route on here. Instead we took the Gypsyho Ferrata trail after hearing that it was the easiest ascent and that it did not require ropes or a guide. We returned the same way. The Gypsyho Ferrata trail ascends the peak from the North side. The Global Topo and Open Topo maps show this trail as it exits the main trail to the West, just past Dlhe Pleso (lake) at Velicka Dolina (valley), and climbs up a narrow exposed chute and on up to a sharp ridge where you turn South and climb up and along the knife edge all the way to the peak. We left the hotel at 4:30am before the guided tours began, around 5:30am. It was just light enough already that we didn't need flashlights. We were in thick fog the entire way up to the peak. Visibility shifted between 10-25 feet creating a bubble of visibility that made route finding a little difficult at times. The turn off to the left where the Gypsyho Ferrata trail begins is unmarked and there is no clear trail. There are cairns but they weren't visible to us because of the fog. We followed a trail that turns off the maintained trail South of where the topo maps show the trail, you can see this on our tracks. This worked out fine and we were able to navigate across the valley bowl and ascend up and out of it. There were a few cairns along the way up, we weren't the first to go this way. We navigated ourselves back onto the unmaintained trail checking our GPS location often. This worked pretty well, I was able to navigate the entire way up solely off of gps and the Global Topo map provided by Peakbagger. Following the trail you come to a chute that looks like a dead end. If you see a green climbing bolt for rock climbers, you're exactly where you need to be. Here you have an exposed scramble up the chute. I didn't like this part because I was still recovering from a Slovakian party two days prior. Everything was wet and slippery and if you fall, you die. You'll notice a metal plack adhered to a rock about mid way up the chute. Then there are a few metal bars, a couple foot pads, and a chain to aid your climb up. After this there is another section of chains and then it's just up to the sharp ridge. Once on the ridge you climb South up and over most of the rocks on the knife edge. This is all exposed scrambling and if you slip and fall you can kiss your life goodbye. There is one section where you down climb. The GPS tracks aren't very helpful here because they're all over the place. Route finding wasn't too difficult, just dangerous. We saw the cross at the peak through the fog. A guided climbing party of around 8 people were the first to peak just as we were making our way there. We were the only ones on the peak without helmets or ropes and I'm sure they thought we were crazy. I don't think the guides were very happy with us but no one was rude to us and a guide even took our picture for us. Also, they didn't tell us that we were doing anything illegal while we were on the peak or back at the Hotel while we were waiting for the shuttle to take us down. We headed back the way we came moving really slow and carefully. Back on the sharp ridge, the clouds started opening up lighting up the whole valley. It was absolutely beautiful. Once down the chute we were able to follow the trail better back to the main trail. There are several cairns marking the way across the bowl back to the main trail. Note: We stayed at the Hotel Sliezsky Dom, the latest you can check in is 9pm, call ahead and they'll send a shuttle down to the parking lot to take you up to the Hotel.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Aid Climb
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Robert May
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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