Time: 3 days in total
Start Point: Vernar bus stop
Low Tatra mountains are a beautiful mountain range just south/south-west of the High Tatras. They're much less visited and not as overcrowded as High Tatras and this gives them a lot of appeal.
We visited Low Tatras in September, as all students and children went back to schools and it was quiet (not that you get a lot of people in Low Tatras). Because it was still summer, the temperatures were still quite high (around 20-25 degrees)
How do I get there?
You can fly to Tatras/Poprad airport and then take a bus from Poprad to Vernar as we did.
Here's the link where you can see departures of the bus:
We started on the eastern end of the Low Tatras, starting from Vernar..
As I mentioned, we started in Vernar. From Vernar we took the red route and the blue one towards Kralova Hola (1946m npm).
That's the red route just outside Vernar on the image below.
The image of the map below shows the red route we took from Vernar (then followed by the blue route) to get to the top of Kralova Hola:
Once we got to the blue route there was even more 'climbing' in the direction of our destiny. Locals say the route from Vernar to Kralova Hola takes 5 hours. I think they mean 5 hours running ;-) as it took us all day, even though we had quite good pace.
We reached Kralova Hola after 6pm and fortunately we managed to get quite a good weather. The weather was beautiful sunny, September is great for your mountain hikes, and the sun was shinning all the time until we got to the bottom of Kralova Hola.
This is what the weather was like on the blue route (that's the view towards High Tatras in the north):
As we were approaching the summit it was all covered in clouds (and it was going to stay like that for the next few days at least.
On the top of Kralova Hola there is some kind of observatory, where one can stay overnight in the hall. That's what we did. All we really needed was having a place to sleep in warm and dry. The hall is not too big, it fits about 5-6 people on the floor and it's just next to the entrance so we could hear the wind blowing just outside.
The next morning when we woke up all we could see was fog. That's when we decided we would need to alter our plans and find an alternative route. We wanted to do the entire main range moving westwards towards Dumbier massive.
However, because of the weather we needed to move down. Unfortunately because of the poor route system this meant going all the way down (all day walk) and then moving westwards to get to another route which would take us to the main range again, this time in the Dumbier massive.
So we spent all day descending towards Liptovska Teplicka. From there, because of the way connections work (funny really), we took a bus towards east to Poprad and then a train to west again to Kralova Lehota.
And here's another interested story about the travel. The quickest way to get from Poprad to Kralova Lehota was to take a train from Poprad (east) to Liptovsky Mikulas (west - faster train, train goes through Kralova Lehota but doesn't stop funny enough) and then change at Liptovsky Mikulas and take a slower train towards Poprad again going to Kralobva Lehota!
From there we hitch-hiked to a pass just above Vysna Boca, from where there is a route that will take you to Dumbier.
On this route, red route from the pass all the way to the hut (General Stefanik hut) the mountain hut is just underneath the summit of Dumbier, where we had a short break for some hot drinks (or cold) before heading off traversing around Dumbier and Chopok (highest peaks in Low Tatras) and then descending into Demanovska Dolina.
Here's an image of a traverse around Dumbier:
As we were descending towards the valley there was one more surprise waiting for us...
As we were on the yellow route from Pod Krupovou Hola pass towards Krakova hola, where we were going to turn onto the blue route into the valley for the night camp, just before Krakova hola the route simply disappeared...
There were no signs at all and to make things more interesting, there were loads of fallen trees. Fortunately, we are very experienced mountaineers and we knew we could handle that. It took us much longer because there was no route and no real path but managed to get through and finally after all day we managed to descend into the valley for the rest.
And obviously, in the valley the sun was shining!
Descending from the pass under the summit of Dumbier, everything was covered in fog like on this image above. As soon as we descended quite far into the valley the sun started shining. Mountains are like that. All this fog and clouds seemed to be starting from about 1500-1600m above sea level.
We started seeing a bit of scenery as we moved below the pass called "Pod Krupovou Holou" (1810m) and that's what we saw descending into the valley: