Is it really east face ? ;)
Szczesliwego Nowego Roku !
Thanks a lot, Tomek - no, it's old age/overwork:)
Do siego roku!
I have. So has Wiktoria. (The Slovak trail is much gentler.) In the old days, the hikers and the border police played a kind of "volley plaque" game: the police would fix a metal plate on the summit (to commemorate Lenin) and the hikers would unscrew it and have it drop half a mile down the slope:)
Does it require a rope?
It's a chain-assisted scramble, kind of YDS class 3, done by lots of tourists under summer conditions. Hardly anybody hires a guide, but falls are often fatal so guides have their clients wear a via ferrata set. In autumn winter gear is usually needed: Please see this video.
Thank you. I watched the video. In America it is uncommon to have chains in place to assist ascents. In Yosemite there are a few places where there are steel railings where paths have been hewn out of the rock. I am familiar with fixed ropes and railings anchored to the rock in the French alps. But in America it is very unusual. I believe guided climbs are becoming more common, but it was uncommon during the era when I was most active. It gave a pioneering sense to the adventure. It was generally a surprise to find a piton in place on a route.
You are welcome. As far as I know, such chain-assisted trails are rather rare in Europe too (unlike via ferratas proper), but they are typical of the Tatras. What this particular route looks like in summer you can see here.
That reminds me of the popular "Cable Route" on Half Dome in Yosemite: A challenging hike to do in a day. I've descended that twice, after doing the classic "Snake Dike" route on the SW face. During the summer there are stanchions supporting the cables. By the time I did the climb in the fall the stanchions and boards had be taken down for the winter. There are a number of Youtube videos. Here is one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEpjUqU_GbQ
The last time I descended it was in a snow storm and we were the only ones on the dome.
After watching the video and browsing through a couple of pages about the Half Dome hike, I'd say both trails do seem similar in many ways except that an experienced scrambler can climb the Polish Rysy trail without using the chains (under favourable conditions) whereas it would be rather difficult for one to ascend Half Dome without the cables or rock climbing gear, wouldn't it?
You are right. While almost anyone can climb the cables it would be suicide to climb the 45 deg slope without them or some kind of protection. There are also warnings to not climb if there are clouds over the dome as a number of people have been struck by lightening.