Chopok (2023m) – Certovica

Stage   no. 63
Date Tuesday 29 September 2009
Distance stage     12,5 km
Distance acum. 2411,0 km
Quality of signs Good
Quality of the hike C (good): down hill, nice views

Today is the last day of my two-day hiking trip. Although this is an official mountain refuge any West-Alpine situations are unheard of. No climbers that get up at 1.00am or 2.00am to prepare for their big climb. Over here the breakfast is served as of 8.00am. Today, I am the first who gets his. I only have a short stage ahead of me, going down to the pass of Certovica, where the next bus stop is situated. I would have time enough to do some more kilometers, but after Certovica the Trail enters into the eastern part of the Lower Tatra, which are not so well exploited as the western part. Between Certovica and Telgart there are almost 40 kilometers of the Trail to be done, but without break or return possibility along the trail. I will have to leave the eastern part of the Lower Tatra for the next trip.

At 8.30am I leave the refuge. The weather is again very nice, lots of sun, not too warm, gentle breeze. Descending is not my favorite activity, so I keep any easy pace, having no need to rush downhill. I pass the Dumbier, the highest peak of the Lower Tatras. It is an extra hour to climb this peak as well, which is not worth it to me. The view from the Chopok yesterday was superb, matching the Dumbier’s. In addition I have to catch a bus at the Certovica pass, and I don’t want to rush, so I continue my way down. South of the Dumbier I pass the refuge Chata Generala Stefanicka.

Chata Gen. Stefanicka and the Dumbier

Also on this side of the mountain range there are many tourists on their way, even in the morning. After a short break I continue my way down. The view straight ahead is magnificent, with it the far distance the enormous tower on top of the Král’ova Hola. The soil here is very dry, even between the bushes. Only dry sand and dust. Further down the slope there’s also grass. Just above the pass Certovica the slope gets steep and the descent is uncomfortably and requires attention and energy. At 11.20am I arrive at Certovica.

signs at Certovica

Certovica is the name of the pass, where some worndown buildings are situated, plus a pension that is still in business. In the past, when the roads in Slovakia were not of high quality this used to be a common break during a one or two-day trip across the country. Nowadays one drives in 6 or 7 hours from one side of Slovakia to the other, and the pension/restaurant at Certovica is only used for a small stop. The bus picks me up exactly according to schedule. A great trip is coming to an end.

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