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Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki/Veľký Mengusovský štít

Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki/Veľký Mengusovský štít

Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki/Veľký Mengusovský štít

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Poland/Slovakia, Europe

Lat/Lon: 49.18722°N / 20.06000°E

Object Title: Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki/Veľký Mengusovský štít

Activities: Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Big Wall, Mixed, Scrambling

Elevation: 7999 ft / 2438 m


Page By: yatsek

Created/Edited: Aug 20, 2003 / Oct 12, 2016

Object ID: 151773

Hits: 11813 

Page Score: 85.87%  - 21 Votes 

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Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki /Veľký Mengusovský štit or just Mięguszowiecki Szczyt/Mengusovský štit (Hungarian: Nagy-Menguszfalvi-csúcs; German: Große Mengsdorfer Spitze) is the highest peak in the Mięguszowieckie/Mengusovske Peaks group. The peaks were named after the valley whose headwall they form, and in turn the name of the valley comes from the Slovak village of Mengusovce, whose inhabitants owned the valley and grazed their livestock in it before the Tatras became a national park. The adjective 'wielki/veľký' translates as 'great'.

Mięguszowiecki Szczyt/Mengusovský štit is

  • perhaps the most magnificent peak in Poland

  • the second highest peak in all of the Polish Tatras

  • the most difficult Polish peak to summit

  • sometimes called 'a piece of the Alps' owing to the mountain's size and difficulty navigating

  • informally referred to as MSW or Mięgusz in Poland and Mengusák in Slovakia

Morskie Oko
Mięguszowieckie/Mengusovske Peaks seen from N - photo by bartek

Mengusovské štíty
S face of Mięguszowieckie/Mengusovske Peaks - photo by Gorzi

Mięgusz/Mengusák stands

  • on the border between Poland and Slovakia

  • on the main ridge of the Tatras between Cubryna/Čubrina (2376m, beyond Hińczowa/Hincovo Pass at 2323m) in the west and Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Pośredni/Prostredný Mengusovský štít (2393m, beyond the col named Mięguszowiecka Przełęcz Wyżnia /Vyšné Mengusovské sedlo at 2330m) in the east

  • between the grandest Polish tarn called Morskie Oko (Sea Eye) at 1395m at the base of its north wall and the largest and deepest Slovak tarn called Veľké Hincovo pleso at 1944m at its south foot

Mieguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki...
Mięgusz/Mengusák seen from E - photo by dynercia

The mountain has

  • a few large walls with plenty of technical routes

  • 207m of prominence

Mengusovsky and Cubrina
On the left - seen from NW - photo by Tomek Lodowy

First ascent: Ludwik Chałubiński, Wojciech Roj, Maciej Sieczka, 28 July 1877.

First winter ascent: Ernst Dubke, Alfred Martin, Johann Breuer Jr. and Johann Franz Sr., 13 February 1906.

Rock Climbing

The north face of MSW, 880m tall, is the largest wall in Poland and the third largest wall in all of the Tatras. It is crumbly and grassy in many places, mainly climbed in winter and easily accessible from the south bank of Morskie Oko (approx.1hr from the hut). Here is the topo on www.taternik.net.

Mieguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki
North face - photo by Tomek Lodowy

Unlike the north face, the east face, whose height is 400m, is usually climbed in summer. There was a rockfall on the wall in 2009.

Veľký Mengusovský štít
East face - photo by Gorzi

The most popular with rock climbers is the 230m tall wall, called 'Czołówka MSW', at the base of the northeast buttress. The wall is easily accessible from the south shore of Morskie Oko, features solid rock and boasts about 30 routes (including variants), of which none is less difficult than UIAA grade VI.

winterclimbing in Szare...
isai on 'Czołówka MSW'

Scrambling Routes (from Nearest Hut)

Remarks on rock difficulty ratings

Although the rock difficulty scale traditionally used in Polish guidebooks to the Tatras is said to be almost identical to the UIAA scale used in Slovakia, in practice it does differ from the latter in that it - or at least its bottom, which I have investigated - seems to be tougher, which means that a Polish grade 0+ ('easy') can actually be an equivalent of a UIAA grade I, a Polish grade I ('a bit difficult') will often be like a UIAA grade II and so on. Differences between the ratings of a particular route can be from half to one and a half grade points.

Moreover, the UIAA ratings that most Westerners are used to do not seem to be any tougher than the Slovak ones, which sometimes agree with the Polish version. So, I have come to think that if you want to get a fairly 'safe' UIAA grade for a scrambling route in the Tatras, the following formula will work, most of the time: UIAA grade = Polish grade + 1

From N (Poland)

Route 1
The most interesting of the three routes: via waymarked trails to Dolina za Mnichem, then Via Galerie Cubryńskie to Hińczowa/Hincovo Pass. From the pass you can follow the ridge to the very summit, but this will entail a short UIAA III (at least YDS 5.3) climb up the first crag on the way, i.e. Mięguszowiecka Turniczka/Mengusovská vežička

On Mieguszowiecki ridge
Ivona on W ridge

take the path which runs across the south, Slovak side of the ridge, almost horizontally towards the base of the step in the rib descending from the summit of the above-mentioned crag. Traverse the rib there (in August 2015 a rockfall barred the way, in August 2016 the passage was easy, further rockfalls there seem to be a matter of time though). When you have passed the rib, either
a) go up directly to the crest, then follow it to the summit as the following picture - made by dynercia – illustrates

Cubryna and Mieguszowiecki...


b) go diagonally up for about 20m until you get to a little cairn (next photo), then traverse two ribs – in the couloir dividing them you will see a chockstone several metres above you. Via the next, steep couloir (Polish grade 0+) move up for about 25m until you see a distinct horizontal ledge to your right. From that spot traverse the wall for about 70m, more or less horizontally via a system of ledges (Polish grade I), heading for Mięguszowiecki Balkon (third photo below). At that ‘balcony’ this route joins Route 2 (‘Droga po głazach’).

The  Balcony  in sightThe 'balcony' in sight
Cairn at first ledgesFirst ledges
View from Route 1bView from last section

I have done variant b (relying on the guidebook by W. Cywiński - see References/Guidebooks) and despite it being interesting I would not recommend it. Especially the very last couple of meters of the traverse were tricky (bear in mind I am a hiker and a scrambler, not a skillful rock climber) and one of the holds I had to rely on was a bit loose. Route finding may be a problem even if visibility is good. Variant a - despite being more exposed - is shorter, obvious and I guess belaying, if/when needed, would be much easier.

Route 1 statistics
Time up: 5hrs from Morskie Oko Hut
Net elevation gain: 1043m
Total elevation gain: approx. 1150m
Rock difficulty: Polish grade I / my opinion: UIAA II / my guess: YDS 4-5.1

Route 2
Via waymarked trails to Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem/Mengusovské sedlo, then Droga po głazach, where navigation can be surprisingly difficult and under unfavourable weather conditions becomes a nightmare.

Mieguszowiecki Szczyt and...

Route 2 statistics
Time up: 5hrs from Morskie Oko Hut
Net elevation gain: 1043m
Total elevation gain: approx. 1200m
Rock difficulty: Polish grade I / Slovak sources: UIAA I-II / my guess: YDS 4-5.0

From S (Slovakia): 'Via normale'

This is the easiest route to the summit:
Via a waymarked trail to the south shore of Veľké Hincovo pleso, then along its east shore, later diagonally up across talus cones until you get to the top of the great talus cone that has formed below Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Pośredni/Prostredný Mengusovský štít. Still diagonally up a little across some grass, then about 150m up via a set of three chutes (the third chute is unpleasantly crumbly) and rocky/grassy steps between them to the lower end of a major ramp called Veľká Mengusovská lávka/Wielka Mięguszowiecka Ławka. The rest of the route is part of "Droga po głazach' (see Route 2 above).

Veľký Mengusovský štít
The talus cone and the ramp above it - Gorzi

The normal route is marked with yellow dots here on www.sprievodca.ta3.szm.com/

Route statistics
Time up: 3.5hrs from Popradské Pleso Hotel
Net elevation gain: 944m
Total elevation gain: nearly the same
Rock difficulty: Polish grade I / Slovak sources: UIAA I-II / my guess: YDS 4-5.0

Summit Views

Summit view NE

Summit view WestW
Summit view NWNW
Summit view ENEENE

On Mieguszowiecki Wielki summit (2438m)SE
Summit view SouthS
Summit view SWSW

Summit register
The special summit register

When to Climb

All year round. As for scrambling, July to October, depending on the weather, which should be perfect considering route finding issues and exposure.

Mieguszowiecki Szczyt Wielki
March 2012 - photo by Jake

In high season as well as at weekends expect huge crowds on both the Polish and the Slovak approach trails described in the next chapter.

Getting There (to Nearest Hut)

MSW from Włosienica
Dolina Rybiego Potoku, horse open sleigh ( Kulig  in Polish)

Polana Palenica, where you will most likely be entering the national park, lies east of Zakopane, 12km away as the crow flies and nearly 25km away by road. Zakopane sits at the foot of the Tatra Mountains about 100 km south of Kraków, where there's an international airport. (BTW The city of Kraków certainly boasts one of the most interesting old towns in East Central Europe.) It should take you less than two hours to drive from Kraków to Zakopane, but at the weekend or in high season, it often takes more than 3.5 hours, which is how long a journey by train lasts. As for the buses, check out this website. (The station adjoins the central railway station 'Kraków Główny'.) In Zakopane, minibuses to Polana Palenica (car park and bus/minibus terminus) leave from in front of the entrance to the railway station. Polana Palenica sits in the valley of River Białka, at about 985m. On sunny summer days the pay car park there fills up very quickly, so unless you go at dawn it is a good idea to use public transport. From Polana Palenica you walk up the valley along the same tarmac road (later with several shortcuts marked with red stripes) for about 1.75hrs (8.7km), making an ascent of 410m, until you get to the hut that sits by Morskie Oko. (About 25min before Morskie Oko is Polana Włosienica, where you can also get by horse-drawn wagon. A few hundred metres past the place is a restaurant with decent toilets next to it.)

High Tatras from Strbske Pleso
November day in Zlomiska valley

From a resort called Štrbské Pleso, built at the namesake lake (1346m), or the train (tram) stop Popradské Pleso (1245m) you will be walking north for about 1.25hrs (5 or 4km) along a waymarked trail until you get to the hut by a tarn called Popradské pleso, which sits at 1494m. The trail from Štrbské Pleso, marked with red stripes, is just a tad longer but it is very scenic.


Train and bus timetables

Bratislava Airport

Poprad-Tatry Airport

Nearby Huts and Campsites


  • Schronisko przy Morskim Oku at 1410m. It has two buildings: the 'new' one (built over a hundred years ago), which resembles a mountain hotel a bit, and the 'old' one - in fact the oldest existing mountain hut in the Polish Tatras

  • Roztoka Hut at 1031m - a truly atmospheric place, one of the very best mountain huts in Poland, located 1.5hrs walk from Morskie Oko, 15min off the road connecting Polana Palenica with Morskie Oko

  • Szałasiska campsite for rock climbers at about 1350m, just above Polana Włosienica - a rudimentary campsite that offers places in tents; the price is higher for those who are not members of UIAA

Lake Morskie Oko, still in the quietness...Morskie Oko Hut
Stara Roztoka at dawnRoztoka Hut
Popradské plesoPopradské Pleso Mountain Hotel


In high season expect all the huts (and the campsite) to be fully booked. If so, in the Polish huts you can normally get a place on the floor at the price of the cheapest bed (about €10 in 2006).

Maps of the Area

ONLINE MAP on hiking.sk

Map of Mieguszowiecki Szczyt...

As for the paper maps, there are plenty of options readily available, for example please have a look here.

Red Tape


You must keep to waymarked trails. Bivouacking is not permitted. After dark you are supposed to leave the national park (unless you are staying in a mountain hut).
The same as in Poland plus that the trails above huts are closed for hikers from 1 November to 15 June.

Rock Climbing

You don not have to be a member of a rock climbing club. Just before your climb, you should write it into the register kept in a nearby mountain hut. (Make sure you sign it on return too!) During the approach you must stick to the traditionally used routes described in rock climbing guidebooks. Bivouacking on the wall is only allowed in an emergency.
You must be a member of a rock climbing club. Just before your climb, you should write it into the register kept in a nearby mountain hut/your hotel. (Make sure you sign it on return too!) During the approach you must stick to the traditionally used routes described in rock climbing guidebooks. Bivouacking on the wall is only allowed in an emergency. Except for winter, you must not do a route that is easier than UIAA grade III (approx. YDS grade 5.3) unless on the descent. The funny thing is that the last rule does not apply to those hiking/scrambling with a licensed guide whom they have paid some €200 for looking after them.

Mountain Conditions & Rescue

It is essential that you check the weather forecast. 
some action.

Another forecast for Zakopane


Unfortunately, none of the guidebooks listed below is available in English.

J. Chmielowski and M. Świerz. Tatry Wysokie, przewodnik szczegółowy, vol. 1-4, Kraków 1925-26.
W. Cywiński. Tatry przewodnik szczegółowy, vol.10 (Mięguszowieckie szczyty), Poronin 2003.
W. H. Paryski. Tatry Wysokie, przewodnik taternicki, vol. 6, Warszawa 1954.

MSW at sundown