This page introduces rather a ridge than a top, but the gaps between every prominence are unsignificant enough, and hikers tend to walk the whole traverse, so one same page may be widely enough to describe Jatky ridge and Hlúpy Vrch. The last one and westernmost is the highest, but generally not considered as a part of the Jatky ridge.
This ridge, all of limestone, makes the East half of the White Tatras from Široké Sedlo, and, more precisely, is made of the following tops, W to E:
- Hlúpy vrch, 2061m
- Zadné Jatky, 2020m
- Prostredné Jatky, 1980m
- Predne Jatky, 2012m
Then, the ridge is no more "Jatky", but continues fading out until the road 67 and Tatranská Kotlina :
- Holica, 1981m
- Bujačí vrch, 1960m
- Skalné vráta, 1620m
- Kozí chrbát, 1650m
- Faixova, 1488m
- Kobylí vrch, 1109m
- Páleníca, 1175 (peaklet behind the road 67)
The name "Hlúpy Vrch" usually draws the attention of both Slovaks and Poles, as the name means "Stupid peak". The Polish version, "Szalony Wierch" is slightly different (Crazy Peak), and corresponds to a variant used long ago in Slovak : "Šialený Vrch". The opposite was also true, as "Głupi Wierch" was occasionally used in Polish too. The hungarian name, "Bolond Gerő", as well as the German name, "Thörichter Gern", also correspond to that.
According to writer Eljasz-Radzikowski, this mockery name comes from the fact that the West side from Široké Sedlo is steep, and involves a cautionous descent.
As for Jatky (Jatki in Polish), the origin is less known, but Jatki means in Polish "massacre", in the meaning of the cattle slaughterhouse (like a famous street in Wroclaw). One possible origin can be the abundance of chamois, as the area was famous for hunting them. German and Hungarian versions welcome, as well as explanations from books :)
At the end of World War II, a bunker was erected by the Germans on Hlúpy Vrch as a piece of their defensive line, connected to Tatranská Javorina by phone. But there was eventually no fight in this region.
Unfortunately, due to the nature preservation rules (eagles nesting, bears, numerous chamois, fragile vegetation layer), most of the sector is not allowed to hikers, including those owning a club licence. This is possible only with a guide. Which is a pity, as the Hlúpy-Jatky traverse is a very entertaining walk, with an ever-changing environement. Otherwise, it is still possible to make a day-hike all-around the mountain, using the official marked trails (including the "Valley of the Seven Sources", surnamed the "Tatra's botanic garden"), which all provide interesting views and a rewarding day.
However, a significant people often undertake illegally this traverse, from Široké Sedlo to the cave "Belianska jaskyňa", served by the yellow-marked trail from Tatranská Kotlina. Browsing pictures, it looks quite obvious that few SP folks went a bit offtrails in the area :) Considering these particularities, all those willing to enrich this page will be granted editing rights.
Everyone is welcome to attach some more pictures, but preferably of this part of the White Tatras without Havran and
The ridge stands in an area of Slovakia close to the Polish border, and on the northern hillside of the Tatras. In consequence, paradoxally, this region is better accessible from Poland.
- From Slovakia, one must follow the road all around the Tatras (via Ždiar), until Podspády, or Javorina depending on the trailhead. The best place to park in Javorina is in front of the post office (free and ssafe car park, where hikers usually leave cars overnight)
- From Poland and Cracow, it is reached very conveniently, much better than through Zakopane, using the shortcut of the Jurgów-Podspády border.
Agrandir le plan
As mentionned in the overview, the ridge lies in an area not connected to trails, then forbidden without a guide.
The rules of the Tatras National Park are subject to a passionate debate, as many would like to get rid of them in order to bag such peaks. A lot of people deliberately choose to ignore them. If you get caught, your sentence may vary according to the situation, the way you behave, also your equipment (safety is one of the reasons to be of these rules).
The biggest threat to the nature of the Tatras, and the main issue with safety is mass tourism: unprepared people, talking loud, leaving rubbish, etc etc.
One of the goals of these restrictions is also not to show the "bad example", especially during the high season.
To conclude, walking the Hlúpy-Jatky ridge is your choice, and if you read this, there are good chances you have already decided to go. The aim is not to encourage breaking the rule, but do it as a responsible mountaineer. Don't leave any trace of your passage, don't be noisy, don't force the animals you meet to turn back when they notice you.
Go as early as possible in the morning, to reduce your own chances to be fined, but above all to avoid other people possibly following you to choose going oftrails too. Go also out of the season and during the weekdays. Don't go in a large group of people.
In some publications, and despite the area is closed, the ridge route on the Hlúpy-Jatky ridge is accurately detailled.
One of them is in the the excellent book "Nieznane Tatry II" by Leszek Jackiewicz (in Polish).
This path, from Široké Sedlo, used to be official and part of the Tatranská Magistrala long distance trail. It is nowadays closed but still well visible. There are ongoing efforts in order to reopen it, along with the route to Ždiarska Vidla. It goes pretty straightforward along the whole ridge, except on the East end, where some direction changes occur in the forest, and one must carefully follow the map in order to connect the yellow-marked trail to Belianska jaskyňa.
There are few possibilities to join the ridge here and there from the north or the south, but they are anecdotic, and probably often involve scrambles.
This ridge traverse is generally done in a loop, with the return via Dolina Siedmych Prameňov, or the green-trail of Monkova Dolina (involving a bus lift to get back to the start)
Following only official trails, a good and rewarding alternative is to undertake a "tour" of the Hlúpy-Jatky mountain, via the last mentionned trails. There are gorgeous views to the limestone features of teh ridge all way long. From Trojrohé pleso, a little lake not very far from Kopské Sedlo, one also gets one of the most renowned views of this mountain.
Click here to visualize the same routes on the Slovak VKU maps (Firefox, Chrome and Opera only)
Wild camping is already forbidden in the TANAP national park, so we can forget about the White Tatras. Additionally, this would be risky as the area hosts a lot of bears.
There is only one mountain hut which stands beneath the Jatky ridge, on the south of the peaklet "Skalné vráta" : Chata Plesnivec, on the green-marked trail of the valley Dolina Siedmych Prameňov. There is a tiny non-official trail from the hut to get on the ridge, going though the corrie of limestone walls we see from the hut. Another hut, not directly on the route but worth mentionning is Chata Pri Zelenom Pleso.
Otherwise there is a handful of accomodations in Ždiar, the most practical of them being perhaps the beautiful Pension Liptak on the green-marked trail of the valley Monkova Dolina.
Closer to the trailheads, in Javorina, there is one flat to rent. Few also exist in Tatranská Kotlina (see "Služby a Ubytovanie")
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