Wala's Couloir

Wala's Couloir

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 49.16582°N / 20.12790°E
Additional Information Route Type: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Additional Information Difficulty: UIAA I/II
Sign the Climber's Log


Besides Wielicka Proba and Batizovska Proba routes Wala’s Couloir is the easiest and most straightforward routes that leads to the summit area of Gerlachovsky Stit. It starts at the highest floor of Batizovska Valley and rises to Tetmajerovo Sedlo /2590 m, west wall of Gerlachovsky Stit massif/.

Wala’s Couloir is mainly used as a route for Zadny Gerlach /normal/, Gerlachovsky Stit / from Tetmajerovo Sedlo by Martin’s Route: UIAA II-III/ or as a route for descending.
The couloir is perfect in good snow conditions or when the rock is completly dry. If wet- could be very dangerous: the rock is polished and there’s almost no possibility for placing good belays.

Wala s Couloir TopoGerlachovski Stit /right/ and Zadny Gerlach with Wala's Couloir in the middle

The maximum inclination of the couloir is approximately 40 degrees, the height about 350 meters.

First ascent:
Janusz Chmielowski and Jerzy Wala Jr /guide/: August 8, 1895
First winter ascent:
A.Gyula Hefty and Gyula Komarnicki: February 9, 1913


Starting point for the route is Batizovske Pleso /area: 3.48 ha, depth: 8.7 m/ which is reachable by various marked paths:

  • from Vysne Hagy: yellow marks, 750 m HD, 2h up, 1.5 h down

  • from Tatranska Polianka: green, yellow and red marks, 875 m HD, 2h 45m up, 2h down

  • from Sliezsky Dom: red marks, 200 m HD, 1h up, 45 m down

  • from Chata Kapitana Moravku at Popradske Pleso through Sedlo pod Ostrvou /1966 m/: red marks, 2h 45 m up, 2h down

Route Description

Leave ‘Magistrala’ trail at south- east side of the lake and follow the path through big boulders along the east side of the lake. At the middle of the valley take a wide and well visible path that leads you through the lower floor of the valley. Climb the treshold at the right side of the stream /scree, few paths/. On the top of threshold stick to the right side of the big grassy terace called Niżnia Batyżowiecka Równień and cross it into the direction of Kostolik /2251 m/: a characteristic rock crag in the midle of the upper part of the valley.
Enter onto the morain and start turning into the direction of huge couloir- Wala’s Couloir. Cross the scree below the couloir and walk up by a more solid left side.
Enter the couloir below the first step /about 25 meters high, may be rappelled while descending- there’s a sling on the rocks above the step/.
Rappeling in Walowy Zleb /Wala s Couloir/Rappeling the first step

Choose the right side of the couloir and climb diagonally on the white rocks. After that walk up by a loose rocks at the bottom othe couloir, cross it and take a left side rib. The rock is more solid, steps and holds are good but be careful on grassy ledges.
Wala s Couloir
Descending by Walowy Zlab /Wala s Couloir/
Tetmajerovo Sedlo descent by Wala s Couloir

When the rib becomes steeper enter the couloir again, follow it for about 50 meters and then again escape left /below a huge rock blocking the way up/ on a diagonal ledge crossing the wall from left to right.
Descending Tetmajerovo Sedlo by Wala s CouloirThe diagonal ledge

After that part you are in the upper part of the couloir. There are two alternatives:

  • walk up by horrible loose rocks at the bottom of the couloir

  • choose the rocks on the lef side- a little harder but safer

After about an hour and a half from entering the couloir and 3 hours from Batizovkse Pleso you reach Tetmajerovo Sedlo.
Wala s CouloirThe couloir from Tetmajerovo Sedlo

From here:

Gerlachovsky StitGerlachovsky Stit as seen from Tetmajerovo Sedlo

Essential Gear

For the couloir itself or Zadny Gerlach normal route.

In summer /enter the route only when the rock is dry/:
No special equipment is needed. A 60 meters long rope makes your descending faster and safer /possibility of two long rappels from the two rock steps/.

In winter:
When the rocks are covered by snow:

  • ice axe

  • crapons

Additional Info

For problems like 'getting there', 'accomodation', 'red tape' and 'mountain conditions’ have a look at main page of Gerlachovsky Stit.



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