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The North of the Tatras


After the endless access through Bielovodska Valley, we finally stand under the northern wall of Duck Monk. The condition looks more than good! At seven in the morning, we start with the route called "Chimney 100" (V, A2) by Andrej Belica, which has probably only two repetitions since 1977! The first three pitches were as a reward, full of frozen and ice-covered grass, alpine firn and beautiful mix climbing.  

By the fourth pitch, we were beginning to suspect a big change that came as a blow from heaven and suddenly I crawled in a totally broken rock in which it was difficult to find a fixed place to belay without endangering safety of the belayer! The fifth pitch was the hardest and the worst of all.

There were already flying large blocks of rocks! 

We probably had more luck than brains, and so after two hours of struggling for AF we continue with another totally rotten pitch to the edge of the wall. Beyond the edge, we were relieved to finally get out of the vile chimney, and we enjoyed the next three easy pitches to the top. At half past four in the evening, we are sitting happy on top of Duck Monk drinking tea and dealing with where to go down ...

I only stayed at home for a week!

Sitting at home and thinking about the perfect climbing conditions in the Tatras, I was not able to do that for more than a single week only!

This time, however, I had a problem with my partner because Ondro climbed in Chamonix and getting someone for winter climbing is quite a problem. After endless phone calls and SMS messages I finally got a message from Jenkys (Petr Jenka) that it was OK, I took a vacation, and we could go!

As I stepped into the West Iron Gate and descended below the north-east wall of Ruman Peak, I was a little worried about the condition but when the ice axe stuck in the first clump of grass, my doubts disappeared. With the slogan of Ferdinand the Ant "With minimum equipment, I am wandering for fun ..." we set out for a new adventure. Right at the beginning we sent three brisk pitches from the "Bakoš - Petrík" route in a fairly dry chimney which brought us to the first snow field after that we came to the variant chosen by us, namely "Kopold - Krasňanský" for M6.

Beautiful perpendicular wall with logical line and great rock! 

The key pitch was easy to belay and so beautiful that I rhapsodized about it until the evening, how amazing it was. On the edge we joined the "Right Pillar" route and continued with light mixes with alpine firn to the top of the wall that we reached about half past three in the afternoon. One hour of light was not enough to make it to the top, so we took advantage of the luxury snow platform, dug up a tent site and bivouacked. As the father of two young children who are able to jump at me at 7 in the morning and demand attention, I set my alarm clock in the evening which told me that it would turn on 10.5 hours later, and with a faint smile on my face I fell asleep ...

In the morning, I was woken up by wind and cold! 

There was fog outside, damp, the wind slamming the tent, and the sleeping bag stuffed with exhaled condensation was no longer warm. The body looked completely used, but the top part of the wall above us gave us the impression that we would still move properly and warm up. Three difficult pitches to the saddle in bad weather and under falling snow from above trained us properly and I can say that they were definitely the key issue!

On the ridge beyond the edge, the wind was so strong that I was frozen to the bone when Jenkys reached my place, and I didn't even think about the peak. We started to descend down to Ruman Valley, but after about fifty metres we stopped, looked at each other, and it was clear to both of us that we are not going down without the peak! There was less wind from the south, so we found a simple route on the snow ramp that led us to the very top of Ruman Peak ...

Ján při výstupu používal dvojčata Master 7.0


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