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Retro climbing

Once upon a time, things were being done a bit differently. Instead of Gore-Tex we had Utason, instead of La Sportiva there was Podtatran, instead of Icebreaker just a flannel shirt. And a first-rate backpack VHV, mining helmet or a really cool Cassida.

Canadian triathlon

April is the month when winter passes its reign to spring and nature is starting to wake up. It is ideal time for doing several vastly different activities in nature. It is possible to go on ski tours, climb ice or rock.

Račková dolina valley

Today we did ski tour to Račková dolina valley in Western Tatras. The original plan was to ascend Gáborove sedlo saddle (1938m) but thick fog in the last part of the valley wouldn't let us. Despite that we had a beautiful day in mountains in good company of friends.

Ski tour in Kamenistá dolina valley

Considerable avalanche risk (level 3) in the mountains means that it is fairly difficult to find a ski tour without exposing members of expedition to danger. Since we didn't want to sail too close to the wind as well, we chose to ascend Pyšné sedlo col (1792m) through Kamenistá dolina valley in Western Tatras.

Birkenmajer's route to Velicka stena wall

 On Tuesday we took our Irish clients in two groups to Velicka dolina valley. There was fog in the Popradska kotlina basin but at the level of Sliezsky dom we were already bathing in sunshine and still air, looking forward to the beautiful day ahead. Birkmajer's route to Velicka stena wall was not in the top winter condition. There was little snow on the first few pitches, best days of ice were also long gone.

Three downhills around Sliezky dom

Yesterday we did a beautiful ski-tour in Slavkovska dolina valley with four German and one French clients. Traversing from Sliezky dom we got under Senna kopa hill and through valley we came under slope starting in Slavkovske sedlo col. Hardened snow, which is now mostly featured in Tatras forced us to use ski crampons and even with those turns in steep terrain required maximum concentration.

Patria ascending in snowshoes

Avalanche risk remains high. Bradavica, which was planned is out of question. Instead of that we move from Sliezky dom to Strbske pleso and ascend Patria, an easy summit with nice vistas, then continue to Mlynicka dolina and Mengusovska dolina valleys.

Ascending Guľatý kopec

 
Man doesn't have to make extreme ascends to have nice mountain experience. Since avalanche situation in High Tatras made the planned tour to Vychodna Vysoka impossible, we found an alternative not endangered by avalanches for our British clients - Tobias, George, Patrick and Ben.

Ice in High Tatras

This year ice structures are quite frequently sought after in Tatras. The reason for this are relatively complicated snow conditions (although this has improved considerably after recent heavy snowfalls) which made ski touring and mixed climbing in larger walls rather difficult. On the other hand, it led to ice being formed in more accessible areas.

Babky - skiing in powder snow

During the last weekend, in strong numbers, we did a wonderful ski tour in West Tatras to the peak of Babky (1566m). Despite unfavorable weather (low visibility and occasional snowing) we enjoyed the tour immensely. Just like us, a lot of other ski touring enthusiasts made the same decision. We met a lot of friends from those locations in Tatras where snow conditions for ski touring are far from ideal still.

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