Javorová dolina

High Tatras: Malý Ľadový štít


Even a frequent visitor of the High Tatras hardly ever heard about Malý Ľadový štít, a peak in the north-east of the Slovakian part of the popular mountain range.

That is somewhat surprising, given that Malý Ľadový štít is 2602 meters AMSL high (i.e. Above Mean Sea Level; every height stated below is AMSL), what makes it the eighth highest peak in the vast Carpathian Mountains that span from Poland down to Serbia (the highest mountain, Gerlachovský štít, outstrip it only about fifty meters).

It is a peak comparatively easily reachable once you’ve made it to Sedlo sedielko (2376 meters), the highest mountain saddle in the High Tatras accessible for an individual hiker and thus a worthwhile destination in its own right.

Butterfly in Javorová dolina
Butterfly in Javorová dolina

Malý Ľadový štít, September 28

In order to get to Sedlo sedielko I had to cross the elongated Javorová dolina valley, and set off in Tatranská Javorina (1000 meters) lying at the Polish-Slovakian border.

It is one for the most part easy hike of about three hours duration on a green-marked trail, leading through a very picturesque mountain scenery with marvellous views to the Belianske Tatry.

The section that follows is about two hours long and leads through Zadná Javorová dolina (“Rear Maple valley”).

Hrebeň Javorových veží (“Ridge of Maple Towers”) seen from Zadná Javorová dolina
Hrebeň Javorových veží (“Ridge of Maple Towers”) seen from Zadná Javorová dolina

Though the paths to Malý Ľadový štít are not marked for they aren’t official tourist trails, you can easily identify them and getting lost may only occur when the visibility is very poor.

Climbing sections are short and not very difficult, and you need no more than around twenty minutes from the mountain saddle to the peak.

As always, the view of the surrounding area is an absolute delight and you should take a few minutes to marvel at the magnificence and beauty of the High Tatras mountain range.

View onto Modré pleso
View onto Modré pleso

The descent is comparatively easy in case you don’t want to actually climb on the quite steep slopes around (only a good idea with proper climbing gear such as a helmet, fine weather and possibly a mountain guide) and turn back on the same way to Sedlo sedielko.

Firstly you descend to Modré pleso (“Blue mountain lake” or “Blue tarn“) on 2189 meters, from there you can proceed to the Téryho chata (2015 meters), walk through Malá studená dolina (“Small cold valley”) and end the tour either in Hrebienok (1285 meters) or in Starý Smokovec (1010 meters).

Featured image: Javorová dolina