I cover off this in the red tabe section at the bottom of the Page. But you are quite correct the regulation is becomming more enforeced now and it is no longer possiable to just go up there with your UIAA membership card in your pocket. You will have to get premission from park authorites before you set out. Not hard to do and still free as of summer 2002.
There is no one reason to climb Gerlach with a licensed monopolist TANAP guide. If you are familiar with III and IV grade UIAA routes, and a member of any UIAA organization (or similar) you do not need any guide. The only trouble is, if so-called guides meet you at classic route graded II UIAA, that is usually used only for descending from the summit. Thus, chose other one.
from Batizovska Dolina valley through Batizovsky Zl'ab (3,5 h)
from Vielicka Dolina valley through Velicky Zla'b (4,5 h)
Both are easy , but you can't climb Gerlach legaly without a licensed TANAP guide or a permission.
The true is, that the name of this peak is Gerlachovsky stit. In english Gerlachovsky peak. Gerlach was the man, who established a village called Gerlachov lying at the foothills of Tatras.
1. amend the name of the peak as proposed by Thomas. Gerlach is only a nickname. But it is not very important
2. difficulty of the routes:
- from Velická dolina through Velický žlab (I)
- from Batizovská dolina through Batizovský žlab (I)
(both of them are in some extent so-called via ferrata)
there is another easier route leading from the other side (north), much better than the previous ones, longer and less populated and a little bit harder, it is called "Martinovka" leads from the col "Polský hreben" all over the ridge throug Velický štít, Litvorový štít, Zadný Gerlachovský štít to the summit of Gerlachovský štít, difficulty is in some limited places around III. And there is more climbing and less walking. Be carefull, it is a long way and very limited exit possibilities (You must know very precisely where to leave the ridge (in case of bad weather) and not to finish in the middle of the wall above huge cliffs below you.
I would like to highlight the following link: http://www.tatry.nfo.sk/stite.php. That is a climbing guide ( not complete, but there are a lot of other more difficult routes) in English version. I personaly propose S-W Face for summer climbing. Many routes, very good quality of the rock. 400 metres. Look at the guide mentioned higher. For winter climbing I would propose E-Face. It is very long, technicaly difficult, the rock is not so good, but in winter it is usually frozen. There are many difficult mix routes in a grade V-VI.
For extreme skiers I put into attention the long steep and spectacular and demanding "Krcmárov kuloár" in the E-Face. 50 degrees, going through the whole E-Face from the Batizovská priehyba.
All informations on trains in Slovakia can be found on the page: www.zsr.sk. Available in English and German version as well. Just type in the right up window destinations and it will give you complete info, including price (and including trains from Vienna /Austria/).
Quite a good info (though not complete) on routes can by found on the page http://www.tatry.nfo.sk/stite.php.
Weather forecast on pages:
www.meteo.sk (Slovak language)
According to TANAP national park visitors rules, climbing in High Tatras is meant doing grade III and more. Velicka and Batizovska routes on Gerlach is in grade I or II. These routes (grade I and II) are for descending.If you climb any other route (apart of Velicka or Batizovska) there is no problem. I climbed Gerlach maybe 20 times in sommer or winter. Mostly I descended through Batizovska route and never had any problem.
Hello. I am writing to find information about my great, great grandfather, Jan Hronec, who lived in Mlynica (Stary Smokovec), and who apparently was the first climber to fall to his death at the age of eighty (80) years old on Gerlachovsky Stit on May 5, 1886. I believe that he may have been one of the original mountain guides for Gerlachovsky Stit. Any information would be gratefully appreciated. Please feel free to write me directly at David1Law@aol.com (the "1" is a "one"). Thank you.
High Tatras Climbing Guide
The impressive massif of Gerlachovský štít (2655 m) is the highest summit in the Tatras and the whole Carpathian range. This peculiarity proved irresistible to early climbers, who included the famous alpinist Mór Dechy in 1874. Apparently, the first recorded ascent was that made by Johann Still with some companions and chamois hunters in 1834. Towards the end of the nineteenth century Gerlach attracted many mountaineers, but until 1905 it remained without winter ascent. On March 29, 1902 a German party attempted to complete a winter climb, but failed to go beyond 2550 m. Hundred years ago, on January 15, 1905 Gerlachovský štít was scaled for the first time in winter by Janusz Chmielowski (Poland) and Károly Jordán (Hungary) -- both widely regarded as first class "taterniks". They were supported by three local guides: Johann Franz, Paul Spitzkopf and Klimek Bachleda.
The party started from the Silesian Hut (1670 m), located near the S.E. foot of the mountain. The route taken followed the Karczmar's Couloir, a prominent snow gully some 500 metre high and by 800 metre long. Crampons and ice-axes (1,20 m long!) were essential. Johann Franz climbed first, cutting hundreds of steps in steep and hard snow. The principal difficulties were in the upper part of the gully which steepened to over 65°. The team reached the ridge (2550 m) by 10 a.m. From the ridge steep rock and mixed ground led towards the summit. Snow conditions were good and the weather remained fine, although it was very cold (up to -25°C). After 7 hours of continuous progress the team gained the summit at 1.30 p.m. All five members of the party were able to stand on the highest point. The summit cairn was covered with deep snow. The length of the route, its difficulty and exposure, extreme winter conditions and short daylight in mid-January make the ascent a very serious undertaking. Unfortunately, there was no time left to enjoy the glorious view from the summit.
For descent they opted for the western flank of the mountain, using the Batizovská valley route and descending with Klimek Bachleda in the lead. They returned to the Silesian House by 6.45 p.m., exhausted after the gruelling twelve hour's effort. Although completed in ancient climbing style, this was the most outstanding winter expedition in the Tatras up to those days and one of most significant in the history of Tatra mountaineering. A comprehensive report appeared in the 1905 issue of the Yearbook of the Hungarian Carpathian Association (Magyarországi Kárpátegyesület, Ungarischer Karpathen-Verein). In 1896 the Hungarian authority renamed Gerlachovský štít (Gerlsdorfer Spitze) in Ferencz József csúcs to honour the Austrian emperor Franz Josef I.
There are links to topo ("schema") of climbing routs on :
- east face of Gerlach (http://www.tatry.nfo.sk/stena.php?kod=0180056:Gerlachovsk%FD-%9At%EDt:2655)
- west-south face of Gerlach (http://www.tatry.nfo.sk/stena.php?kod=01800818:Gerlachovsk%FD-%9At%EDt:2655).
Difficultys in UIAA scale.
This is a list of the oldest known ascents on the highest mountain peak of Tatra Mountains ...
The ostensible ascent of Johann Still and companions in 1834 didn't ever took place .
I )First known ascent (not absolutely proved)
11.VIII.1855 - Zygmunt Bosniacki and Wojeciech Grzegorzek altogether with guides from Zakopane
II )1868 - Austrian officers (cartographic measurement) ,there is a possibility that Ede Blasy climbed with them .
III )late end of 1860's - Unknown German tourist guided by Martin Spitzkopf Urban
IV ) VIII.1872 - Franz Holst and Johann Still (guide) . First sure ascent made by Still
V )7.VIII.1874 - Hugo Elsner ,Theodor Steinberg ,Johann Still(guide) and Samuel Horvay
VI )31.VIII.1874 - Mor Dechy ,Anton Doller ,Paul Schwartz ,Josef Schaferling ,Johann Still(guide) and Samuel Horvay
VII )22.IX.1874 - Zakopane's parson Jozef Stolarczyk with guides : Wojciech Gasienica Koscielny ,Wojciech Giewont ,Wojciech Roj i Szymon Tatar senior
VIII )12.VI.1875 - Oskar Simony and Samuel Horvay(guide)
IX )31.VII.1875 - Denes Dezso ,Erwin Gelhof ,Karl Holzinger and guides Martin Spitzkopf and Johann Still
From those years Gerlach became a popular peak among Tatra tourists and climbers .