Ostrý Roháč

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Žilinský kraj, Slovakia, Europe
Hiking, Mountaineering, Scrambling
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
6850 ft / 2088 m
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Ostrý Roháč
Created On: Oct 27, 2010
Last Edited On: Aug 15, 2018


Ostrý RoháčFrom ENE
Ostrý Roháč
Rohacz Ostry (PL)
Hegyes-Rohács (HU)

ostry = sharp
roh/róg = horn
vrch/wierch = peak
sedlo/przełęcz = saddle/pass
dolina = valley
pleso/staw = tarn

This sharp peak stands on the main ridge of the Tatra Mountains near the east end of the Roháče, which is a sub-group of the Western Tatras extending west from where the Slovakia-Poland border takes a sharp turn to the north, thus leaving the main ridge of the Tatras. Ostrý Roháč sits between Volovec/Wołowiec (2,064m) on the border and Plačlivé aka Plačlivô (2,125m) to the west. It has two pointed summits, a narrow crest and precipitous walls falling both to the north (to the Smutná dolina = Sad Valley) and the south-east (Jamnícka dolina). Ostrý Roháč is one of the two finest summits within the Roháče sub-group, and can only be rivalled by Baníkov
Rohac Ostry 2027m
North face of Ostrý Roháč: main summit to the right of the Notch)
Far right Plačlivé at 2,125m. Photo by Barbon

But Polish people tend to think there are two Rohacze: Ostry and Płaczliwy (Slovak: Ostrý Roháč and Plačlivé, which translates as, respectively, Sharp&Horned and Weepy). Rohacz Ostry is nearly 40m lower than Płaczliwy (i.e. the other Rohacz the way Polish people see it), but the latter is more rounded and doesn't get so much attention. Formed of granite, or rather granitoid rock, which is the actual reason that makes the Roháče look so attractive against the gneiss-schist background, Ostrý Roháč seems to owe its name to its shape. The noun in the name of the peak appears to derive from the adjective "rohatý/rogaty (horned)", and literally means deer stag (roháč/rogacz). Whereas according to the Slovaks Ostrý Roháč is 2,087.5m high, some Polish sources maintain that its actual elevation is 2,084m. Today, technical climbing is forbidden in the area as it has been designated a nature reserve. The north face was first climbed by a team led by Walery Goetel in 1908.
Ostrý RoháčNW face
On the way upSeen from N (centre)
Rohacz OstryNE face & Jamnicky Tarn

Smutna dolina
NW in Dec 2006 (left)
Seen from ENE (left)
Ostry Rohac - 2088 m
Seen from W
User Profile Image
Up the "horse"

For the hiker/scrambler, the tastiest bit is the uppermost part of Ostrý Roháč. The top crag is split in half by a distinct cleft called pretty simply Rohacka Szczerbina (Notch). This place can be more dangerous than the locally famous "Rohacki Koń" (koń = horse: some have straddled it, usually in winter, while moving along; it's the most exposed bit of the marked trail of all in the Western Tatras. It sits on the other side of the NE summit of Ostry Rohacz (which is a couple of metres lower than the main, SW summit). Its southern flank just below its edge is very steep but not vertical, however, several metres down there is a sheer drop so those who have no head for heights are out of play, without a shadow of a doubt. Although the holds are good and firm, so that in good summer weather conditions an experienced scrambler does not have to touch the metal chain which secures the passage here, if you lose your grip, whether on the chain or on the rock, you will have no chance of surviving the fall. This is one of the few places between Rohacze and Baníkov where you usually have to wait several minutes till people coming from the other side have passed this little arete, about a dozen metres long. People usually take good care here so I guess more have lost their lives having fallen down from the Notch. There is no chain at the bottom of the Notch, and if you are in a rush, proceeding very fast, you may trip or slip easily and be gone forever.

Ostry RohacSW face
Ostry Rohac(2084) - South FaceS face
Ostrý Roháč from ESEE face

Surely it does not make much sense to return along the same route. While studying the map, you will see there is always a better option. To my mind, it is more fun to climb the crest of Ostrý Roháč from north-east to south-west, that is to say from Jamnické sedlo at 1,908m towards the summit of Plačlivé. Several minutes' walk up from the saddle, and you will lose sight of the summit till you pass the secondary, NE summit of Ostrý Roháč. You will not see the "horse" either until it stretches just before you, however, you will sense its tangible presence as soon as you can see the first piece of metal chain. Remember not to start "jogging" after traversing the "horse" and the northeastern summit, as there is the seemingly innocent Notch several metres away. From the Notch, a little scramble (another few metres of chain) will take you to the very top of Ostrý Roháč. Don't be surprised if you see a group of friendly Czech hikers, sipping lager from a can. You'd better not join in, just smile and say "Ahoj" (Czech and Slovak for "Hi"), enjoy a superb panorama, then start to return or carry on heading for Plačlivé, along an easier path (picture below; and above, left: "SW face"), one more short piece of chain you may find helpul, and you get to Roháčske sedlo (1,955m). 

Ostry Rohac
The ridge just SW of the main summit - photo by janstolba.

A winter climb, as usual, is a completely different story. If you know what you are doing, the least troublesome access in winter would be from the summit of Volovec which sits on the Slovak-Polish border, less than one kilometer away. But in winter even Wołowiec - not to mention Ostry Rohacz - can turn into a destination that requires an ice-axe.

The  horse ridge  of Ostrý Roháč
Rohacki Koń: Scrambling towards Wołowiec/Volovec (top left). Photo by visentin.

Red Tape, Border Crossing & Routes

Fortunately, border crossing is no problem any more but the national park rules are quite strict. In Poland, you pay a little entry fee but you can walk all year round, although you are not allowed to leave the marked trail. In Slovakia, there is no entry fee but the higher elevation trails are closed from 1 November to 15 June. Here are the detailed regulations for various fun activities.

Na Trzydniowke
Wołowiec (2,064m) - centre and Ostry Roháč
left of the centre (2,088m)- photo by bboltr.

Up the Račková River and Jamnický Creek

Trailhead atNet Elevation Gain (summit minus start) in metresTime for Walk Up (hours)As Crow Flies (km)Actual Length of Hike (km)Marks
Mouth of Račková Valley (South of the ridge): campsite, car park; the route actually starts at Pribylina village (bus stop)
Mouth of Žiarska Valley (South of the ridge): car park, bus terminal

Via the Žiarska Valley

Trailhead atNet Elevation Gain (summit minus start) in metresTime for Walk Up (hours)As Crow Flies (km)Actual Length of Hike (km)Marks
Zverovka (NW of summit): hut, car park, bus stop
yellow (or red-green-yellow)-blue-red
Village of Oravice (N of summit): campsite, car park, bus, thermal swimming pool
Chochołowska Polana, Poland (NE of summit): hut, no car access; actual start at Siwa Polana/Biały Potok (car park, bus stop)
green up onto the ridge, then blue-red

If you climb both Ostrý Roháč and Plačlivé, or both Ostry Rohacz and Wołowiec, the total elevation gain increases by about 160m. If you climb all the three peaks, add 330m to the net gain (tables) to get a rough calculation of your total elevation gain. The northern routes tend to get crowded in summer. In the high season, the first of the southern routes listed in the 1st table above should offer the most solitude.

Maps and Books

There are plenty of options available. For years I used the Slovak maps published by VK Harmanec - for this peak, you will need sheet 112, Roháče (1:50,000). In 2018 I switched to the plastic 1:25,000 map of the Polish and Slovak Tatras by WiT.

ONLINE MAP on hiking.sk

Hiker's guidebooks by Józef Nyka are excellent. I'm afraid they are not available in English though.

Placlivo and Ostry Rohac in Autumn
Ostrý Roháč (right) beyond the Jamnícka Valley, viewed from ESE - photo by rama.


Warning: Rescue Service

In Slovakia - unlike in Poland - those who do not carry commercial insurance have to pay for any rescue services rendered by Mountain Rescue Service (HZS).

Mountain rescue team's phone number:

Slovakia (HZS): 18 300

Poland (TOPR): 601 100 300


The town of Zuberec, at approx. 750m, a dozen km northwest of Ostrý Roháč:

Getting There

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

Viewing: 1-16 of 16


kamil - Oct 28, 2010 11:12 am - Voted 10/10


I give one more voice in favour of Slovak diacritics in the title :)


yatsek - Oct 28, 2010 8:09 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: diacritics

OK :)


Nanuls - Oct 28, 2010 3:00 pm - Voted 10/10

Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

Why not just call it "Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry".

I use duel titles in my pages that have well known names in both Welsh and English. Or is there some reason you would not want to do that here?

Cheers - D


yatsek - Oct 28, 2010 7:13 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

Now that the other heading has been changed from "Ostry Rohac-Placlivy" to "Placlivy" - hopefully "Placlive/o" in the future - I think I'll just replace Ostry Rohac(z) with "Ostrý Rohá?". I don't think the Polish version is necessary since the pronunciation is nearly the same - unlike here . (Plus that "Rohacz Ostry" is the formal name, but the usual word order, i.e. adj+noun, is the same in Slovak as in Polish/English.) And we don't want to end up with "Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry/Hegyes-Rohács (Hegyes-Szarvas/Agancsos)," do we? Any Slovaks disagree? :-)


lcarreau - Oct 30, 2010 9:13 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

Hey, WHY did my comments disappear? Where's my beer and/or bear??


yatsek - Oct 30, 2010 9:25 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

Why don't you ask the bear? If you ask ME, I thought the woman whose comment was deleted along with yours could feel offended - she's not a native speaker of American English. I hope now everybody can have fun having their beer.


lcarreau - Oct 30, 2010 9:39 am - Voted 10/10

Re: Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

Sorry, it wasn't my intention to offend anyone.

If anybody should feel offended, it should be me! I always
wanted to speak another language other than English.

Oh, that's right! I forgot about "body language!"


yatsek - Oct 30, 2010 9:46 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

Thanks very much for your statement, Larry. If you meant that red and white beast, barking at great American grizzlies, personally I don't mind seeing it back here.


lcarreau - Oct 30, 2010 12:23 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

It seems the bear might become angry ???

The only bears I see here are brown and black..

There's some white ones up north, but they're losing their
habitat very quickly.


yatsek - Oct 31, 2010 6:00 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

To all,

Oh bear beer me. Our European bears have a headache too. Thanks for your comments as long as they have a bearing on a particular page. One example may be these.

And the following.



Debowy rogacz

A little something for all the bears, "with some European bitterness" :-)


lcarreau - Oct 31, 2010 8:54 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: Ostrý Rohá?/Rohacz Ostry

Please BEAR with me. I'm searching for a good European brew..


visentin - Oct 6, 2011 2:42 am - Voted 6/10

jeszcze cos :)

Yatsek, you need to fix something on the page's title. It appears correctly in every kind of caption except on the Firefix tab's title where "?" replaces the accented letters.
Have you used Peterbud's codes for the Slovak letters ? Just copy-paste the correct name while editing the page, as it is with accents and without codes. I had a similar issue on Placlivy and not it works fine.


yatsek - Oct 6, 2011 7:38 am - Hasn't voted

Re: jeszcze cos :)

My daughter's made me switch to Google Chrome:) Is it OK now? On IE too?


visentin - Oct 6, 2011 7:41 am - Voted 6/10

Re: jeszcze cos :)

It is :)
By the way, just noticed Ostry Rohac is on the front page ! Are my pictures the reason of that ? :-o


yatsek - Oct 6, 2011 7:46 am - Hasn't voted

Re: jeszcze cos :)

This can't be ruled out, can it? :) Thanks!


visentin - Oct 6, 2011 7:47 am - Voted 6/10

Re: jeszcze cos :)

It can, if you post it on MBPost :D

Viewing: 1-16 of 16