OverviewMięguszowiecki Szczyt Czarny (Polish)/Východný Mengusovský štit (Slovak)
(Hungarian: Keleti-Menguszfalvi-csúcs; German: Östliche Mengsdorfer Spitze)
is the most easily accessible summit in the Mięguszowieckie/Mengusovske Peaks
group and for this reason it is frequently visited, more often by hikers than rock climbers. According to Slovak sources, the elevation of the summit is 2398m
, whereas Polish sources assert that it is 2410m
. The summit is within reach of the hiker, the normal route requires some YDS Class 3/easy 4 scrambling, but it does not mean an ascent of the peak cannot be dangerous. The southern slopes are full of scree and prone to rock avalanches and rockfalls. On 28 August 2016, under perfect weather conditions, a lone hiker was killed by a rock avalanche
Mięguszowieckie/Mengusovske Peaks from S - Czarny/Východný on the right
Mięguszowieckie/Mengusovske 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 Polish adjective 'czarny' translates as 'black'. This part of the name of the peak derives from the tarn at its north foot, i.e. Czarny Staw (Black Lake), whose surface is dark most of the day as it is shadowed by the peaks that surround it, whereas the Slovak adjective 'východný' means 'eastern'.
N face: Czarny/Východný on the left - photo by abcd17
The peak lies on the main ridge of the High Tatras, on the Polish-Slovak border. It is the easternmost peak in the Mięguszowieckie Peaks group. It is separated from Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Pośredni
/Prostredný Mengusovský štit by Mięguszowiecka Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem/Mengusovské sedlo, and from Hińczowa Turnia/Hincova veža (the westernmost peak of Wołowy Grzbiet/Volí chrbát) by Czarnostawiańska Przełęcz/Východné Mengusovské sedlo.
To the north the mountain puts out a short spur with Kazalnica Mięguszowiecka
Kazalnica (The Pulpit) - photo by brade
Guides from Zakopane first led tourists to the summit of Mięguszowiecki Szczyt Czarny/Východný Mengusovský štít in the 19th century. The first winter ascent was made by Mieczysław Lerski and Jerzy Maślanka in 1910.
Normal Route from Nearest Hut
The peak from Pod Chłopkiem/Mengusovské Pass - photo by Kamil Slimak
From Morskie Oko take the red stripe trail (the eastern variant is a bit shorter) to Czarny Staw (Black Tarn
), from where the green marks will lead you to Mięguszowiecka Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem (literally Pass under the Little Bloke
) or Mengusovské sedlo (the Slovak name): Please see this page
. From the pass, in theory you can only continue with a licensed Tatra guide (see the Red Tape chapter).
At the pass turn east and follow a distinct path, marked with cairns. This path traverses the south side of the mountain almost horizontally. Follow the path across a few chutes and ribs. When you have crossed a chute with a chockstone stuck over a dozen metres above your path and have reached the next rib, which is bounded on the east by an outstanding, large chute, climb up the rib to the crest and finally to the very summit.
Morskie Oko Hut to Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem/Mengusovské sedlo: 3-3.5hrs
Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem to the summit: 20-30min
Back the same way: about 3hrs
Net elevation gain: 1,000m
Total elevation gain: approx. 1,020m
Rock difficulty: Polish grade 0+ / YDS class 3-4
The mountain is less often climbed from the Slovak side. There used to be a waymarked trail (its green marks still show on the rocks there) that led from the southeastern shore of Veľké Hincovo pleso to Mengusovské sedlo, but it was closed years ago due to a serious rockfall hazard. The trail is marked with red dots here on www.sprievodca.ta3.szm.com/
Popradské Pleso Hotel to Mengusovské sedlo/Przełęcz pod Chłopkiem: 3.5hrs
Mengusovské sedlo to the summit: 20-30min
Back the same way: over 3hrs
Net elevation gain: 916m
Total elevation gain: almost the same
Rock difficulty: Polish grade 0+ / YDS class 3-4
Panorama from the summit to the south, west and north (credit: Mariusz Kupiec):
When to Climb
All year round. As for scrambling/hiking, July to October, depending on the weather.
Summer: Czarny/Východný right of centre - photo by visentin
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)Poland
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 town
s 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.)
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
Huts and Campsites Poland
Schronisko przy Morskim Oku
at 1410m. It has two buildings: the 'new' one (built over a hundred years ago), which resembles a mountain hotel, and the 'old' one - in fact the oldest existing mountain hut in the Polish Tatras, which has an unforgettable ambience.
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
Morskie Oko Hut Roztoka Hut Popradské Pleso Hut, i.e. 'Hotel'
In high season expect all the huts (and the campsite) to be fully booked. If so, except for the hotel, you can normally get a place on the floor, which in 2016 cost €7-10.
ONLINE MAP on hiking.sk
As for the paper maps, there are plenty of options readily available, for example please have a look here
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.
You don't 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
Another forecast for Zakopane