Season: ski touring season is between December 15 and April 30
Ideal conditions are between December and April
This is not a common ski tour as it does not start and end at the same place. It begins in Čertovica and ends on Chopok. When planning this tour, you will have to consider transport options. You can take a bus or park one car in Jasná and drive another one to Čertovica. Another option is to ask someone to take you to Čertovica and pick you up in Jasná.
This tour will take you to the highest parts of the Low Tatras. Even though the descents are not long, there are spectacular views of both sides of the ridge. In the north, you can enjoy the breath-taking scenery of the High and the West Tatras and in the south you will have a chance to see lower peaks of the Slovenské Rudohorie mountain range and, mainly, the mountains called Veporské Vrchy. As far as avalanche risks are concerned, the ridge is relatively safe. However, the danger cannot be underestimated especially when you traverse the slopes near the peak called Ďumbier. Besides avalanches, the snow surface of the ridge may become hard and icy due to strong winds. In such conditions, you will need winter mountaineering equipment, such as crampons and an ice axe. We strongly recommend checking weather forecasts and warnings at www.hzs.sk before setting out on a tour. The route itself is not technically demanding, but no one can underestimate its length of 13.5 km (its total length is about 19 km, including the descent to Jasná) and more than 1,200 metres of elevation gain. The best time of the year for this tour is in the spring, when the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, which makes the trip much more pleasant.
The tour begins in the saddle of Čertovica and continues along the red marked trail. The highest elevation gain is right from the start during the ascent along the ski lift. The slope above the lift is less steep and the trail continues along the ridge towards Rovienky and Lajštroch. This place, in fact, overlooks both sides of the ridge. Then, you will go along the saddle called Kumštové Sedlo and the peak Králička towards the M. R. Štefánik Chalet, where you can get some refreshment all year round. The facility also offers accommodation. However, we recommend booking your weekend stay in advance. From the chalet, you can move forward in two directions. If you have enough time and you are in good shape, continue towards the summit of Ďumbier – the highest peak of the Low Tatra Mountains. One of the advantages of the winter tour is the fact that it is more direct in comparison to the summer tour, which wends its way along the marked trails. In addition, the winter trail is closed in the summer due to nature protection.
The second option is to continue along the red marked trail and traverse straight into Krúpove Sedlo. If the weather gets worse or if you encounter any problems, you can shorten the route by moving from this saddle straight towards Široká Dolina and by subsequent descent of the ski run Turistická, which ends in the Záhradky ski resort located in the Demänovská Valley.
If you decide to continue, you will have a 3.5 kilometres of moderate ascent ahead of you, which will guide you to Kamenná Chata, a chalet where you can indulge in its cosy atmosphere and get some rest. The upper station of the cable car to Chopok will be just a few metres ahead.
From there, you can try several descents. You can ski down the pistes, but you will need to consider their operating hours. Do not forget that they are closed in the evening due to snow grooming. Another route means descending Lukovský Kotol or Derešský Kotol across the exposed steep draws, which requires advanced off-piste skiing techniques.
The Slovak National Uprising Memorial near the M.R. Štefánik Chalet
This is the highest altitude memorial that commemorates the Slovak National Uprising and the liberation of Slovakia from fascism.
to Čertovica: city buses, the bus stop in Čertovica (bus route: Liptovský Mikuláš – Brezno),
to Liptovský Mikuláš: shuttle buses from the Demänovská Valley or city buses.
Čertovica: paid parking lots with limited capacity near the ski resort
Jasná: paid parking lots with limited capacity right at the beginning of the trail
M.R. Štefánik Chalet, Kamenná Chata
M.R. Štefánik Chalet, Kamenná Chata – as these two chalets are popular, we recommend booking your accommodation in advance
the tour along the ridge with plenty of diverse views
snow cover until late spring
the chalet located in the middle of the trail, where you can get food and accommodation
more complicated logistics and planning as the tour does not start and end at the same place
While the southern slopes of Ďumbier seem to be moderate, its northern slopes are characterised by steep granite cliffs, which are popular among climbers, especially in winter. There are even some ascendable ice walls. Winter climbing can be done also on the basis of an exemption granted by the national park administration. We, however, recommend checking its validity.