Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 49.10100°N / 20.06140°E
Additional Information Elevation: 8067 ft / 2459 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Ganek or Ganok, Ganek, Ganek 2459

One of the most legendary Tatra peaks owns its glory as well due to original, beautiful silhouette as to great history of conquering remaining one of the most important chapters in Tatra exploration and climbing history.

Ganek above Bielovodska ValleyGanek from Bielovodska Valley

Placing very high in Tatra most honourable peaks’ hierarchy with its fame of inaccessibility – Ganek attracts attention of many, staying a real dream of ambitious high mountain tourists and climbers for whom the whole massif is a paradise, an endless space of climbing possibilities.

While the most impressive view of Ganek can be admired from the area of Polana Pod Vysokou in Belovodska Valley above which 1160 meters higher the proud summit touches the sky, the famous peak presents its most characteristic image being viewed from the south-west and west side, from popular Vaha Pass or Rysy peak for example.
The originality of Ganek lies in the shape of its north-western cliffs falling to Tazka valley.
180 metres below the summit of Maly Ganek in the middle of granite cliffs spreads out a huge, slightly sloping towards north-west, rocky terrace of Galeria Ganku(POL:Galeria Gankowa).
Galeria Ganku undercut by gorgeous 300 metre high vertical wall stays one of the greatest curiosities of High Tatra Mountains distinguishing Ganek among all other peaks.

The name of the peak parallelly comes from Galeria Ganku which specific shape was seemed by the local highlanders and 19th century mountaineers to be "ganek" (a porch of the house). Such name got into publications in 1860's, Slovaks took it over in Polish spelling.

The imposing summit is accessible only for alpine climbers (huge choice of alpine routes) and very experienced high mountain tourists (via the only one demanding tourist route).

Ganek was the last one of huge High Tatra massifs to be ascended. The summit was reached finally in 1895.
In the years of 1877-1895 there were undertaken many unsuccessfull ascent attempts mainly by Polish climbers with guides from Zakopane what created the atmosphere of inaccessibility and weirdness around the peak. The legend of Ganek was being built by decades of heroic and very often dramatic climbing struggles with its great walls.

First ascent:
11.VIII.1895 – Wladyslaw Kleczynski, Klemens "Klimek" Bachleda(guide) and Jozef Gasienica z Bystrego(porter), from Gankova Strbina pass

First winter ascent:
20.III.1910 – Mieczyslaw Lerski and Jerzy Maslanka, from Gankova Strbina pass

Tazka valley at dawnGanek and Vysoka at sunrise

Ganek (2459)

Ganek from Vaha Pass
 In th...Ganek from Vaha pass

Ganek massif rises above valleys of: Zlomiskova on the south, Tazka(north-west) and Kacacia on the north(those last two are upper floors of
Belovodska Valley) expanding in the main Tatra chain between Vychodne Rumanovo Sedlo Pass and Gankova Strbina Pass having 3 summits :
  • NW Maly Ganek(ca.2425)
  • Prostredny Ganek (the middle one)
  • SE Velky Ganek(2459) - the main summit

    The most prominent crag in the western ridge of Maly Ganek going towards Vychodne Rumanovo Sedlo Pass is Bartkova Veza. The name commemorates person of Bartlomiej "Bartus" Obrochta(1850-1926) famous folk fiddler and Tatra guide from Zakopane.

    At the foothills of NW summitt wall of Maly Ganek, 180 metres below its summit - the huge rocky terrace of Galeria Ganku intersects the cliffs. The terrace is undercut by impressive 300 metre vertical cliff falling to Tazka Valley crossed by famous and difficult climbing routes of (among others):Lapinski, Orlowski, Puskas, Stanislawski.

    The incredible 750 m Ganek's north face(NE) has got even more complicated structure as the whole system of sharp ridges, pillars and ribs separated by extremely steep rocky couloirs. It falls from the area of the main summit to depths of Kacacia Valley being bounded on the right (when looking from north) by northern ridge of Maly Ganek and on the left by a huge Stanislawski's couloir falling from the saddle of Gankova Strbina pass.

    First successfull climb of extremely difficult Ganek's NE pillar was accomplished in 1930 by a pair of great Polish climbers of the interwar period: Wincenty Birkenmajer and Kazimierz Kupczyk, both Tatra heroes soon after that success passed away ...Kupczyk in 1930 on the south face of Ostry Stit, Birkenmajer 3 years later losing its life from exhausting at Galeria Ganku after winter attack on unconquered Ganek's eastern pillar ...their souls remained in Tatras for ever ...

    The east face of Ganek though having height of only 250 m is also one of the most inaccessible ones, full of extreme climbing routes such as Andrasi's route on the right flank of the face).

    Finally the south face above Rumanova Valley presents itself less impressive when compared to all other giant faces, but it's still very serious challenge to climb it (some extremes such as Puskas route on western pillar or Motyka on SW face).
    The area is interested especially for high mountain tourists who finds here the only easy Ganek summit route via Gankova Strbina pass.

    Getting There

    You can visit the area both from Slovak and Polish side of the mountains.

    The key thing when planning a stay in Slovak High Tatra is to get to Poprad - major city in the area with international airport and very good communication links with the rest of the country, from there you should go to one of close High Tatra resorts: Stary Smokovec or Strbske Pleso for example.
    The last type seems to be best base when thinking about climbing Ganek peak from the south (It is a center from which most of marked routes of the area starts their run).
    You can of course find accomodation anywhere in the area, thanks to an electric train line you will find yourself everywhere You want at the right time!

    Slovak bus and train connection search

    On Polish side as always You must get to Zakopane first, very well developed bus and train communication with the whole Poland, especially nearby Cracow City (100 km) with international airport.
    Everyone who'd like to visit Ganek peak area from north should take one of many buses or minibuses going in the direction to Palenica Bialczanska("Morskie Oko") and get off one stop before the final one at Lysa Polana - former Polish/Slovak road bordercrossing point.
    No more than 100 metres further behind the building a long, blue marked trail to Belovodska Valley starts its run.

    PKS Cracow – Zakopane bus departures

    PKP - Polish Railways connection search

    PKS Zakopane - buses

    Cracow Airport

    Poprad-Tatry Airport

    Routes Overwiev

    Climbing Routes :

    South-West Face TOPO and routes

    Galeria Ganku - NW Face TOPO and routes

    Ganok s wallGaleria Ganku

    Tourist Route :
    There is only one Ganek summit route that we can call a "tourist" one, it is a non-marked route leading from Popradske Pleso lake through Zlomiskova and Rumanova valleys to Gankova Strbina Pass and by the sharp edge of seriously exposed ridge to the main summit of Ganek peak (about 3 1/2 h from Popradske Pleso chalet).

    The route is accessible only for experienced high mountain tourists in good summer conditions (dry rock) ,in bad conditions it would be definetely too risky without any alpine equipment ,in winter it is a serious climbing undertaking.

    Velky Ganek summit ridge...The summit ridge above Gankova Strbina pass

    As far as Tatra National Park - TANAP regulations are concerned, tourists are allowed to hike only on marked routes.

    There is a possibilty of "legal" climbing many famous "non-marked" peaks like Ganek for example with licensed Tatra guide.

    Tatra Mountain Guides

    Tatra Mountain Guides

    Ganek area - Map

    Tooltip for IE: Ganek map

    Tatry Wysokie (High Tatra) map, in scale 1:25 000, description in 6 languages, ISBN 83-87873-26-8, available in all shops and book stores in Zakopane . Here you can check the net version

    Tatra Maps (English version)

    Red Tape

    It is Tatra National Park(TANAP) area, there are no entry fees but you can hike using only marked trails.

    Watch out for strict rules of wildlife conservation.

    Stay always respectful to mountain nature!

    From 1.11 to 15.06 year by year all marked routes in TANAP(the whole Slovak side of Tatras) are being closed for tourists
    (besides the routes leading to mountain chalets).

    On 21.12.2007 Slovakia along with Poland signed Schengen Agreement and accessed
    to "open borders" Schengen Area, however one must remember that National Park regulations prohibiting crossing the border beside marked trails in the whole area remain in force.

    Zelene Kacacie Pleso - High TatrasZelene Kacacie Pleso lake

    When To Climb

    Best time for climbing/hiking : August – October.

    June/July : frequent t-storms ,heavy rainfall periods and foggy weather.

    Planning visiting Tatra Mountains in winter, don't forget to check actual HZS avalanche forecast

    Mountain Conditions

    Severe and extremely changeable high mountain climate …be always prepared for sudden weather breakdowns !

    Rescue Phone Number: 18 300

    Horska Sluzba - Tatra Mountain Rescue


    Lots of accomodation possibilities of different standard and price on both sides of Tatra Mountains.

    The nearest town is Strbske Pleso- Slovakia's one of the greatest mountain resorts, full of hotels and guest houses.

    Strbske Pleso Hotels

    Popradske Pleso Mountain Hotel(1500)
    This hotel is situated upon beatiful Popradske Lake in Mengusovska Valley on the main
    marked route leading to Rysy and the entry to Zlomiskova Valley (Rumanov, Ganek and Vysoka tourist routes).
    Great scenery but the area is usually overcrowded in the summer .
    The cheapest bed - about 450 SK per night.

    Popradske Pleso Hotel

    Camping in Tatra National Park besides a few designated places(Polana Pod Vysokou in Bielovodska valley) is strictly forbidden !

    External Links

  • Children


    Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.