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The High Tatra Mountains

High Tatras, National park The mountain range is divided into eastern and western sections. The West Tatras consist of six geomorphic units (Osobita, Sivy vrch, Rohace, Liptovske hole, Cervene vrchy and Liptovske kopy). The East Tatras include the High Tatras and Belianske Tatras.

The tallest and best-known part of this range are the High Tatras, the tallest peak being Gerlach, spiking to a summit at 2655 meters above sea level (m a.s.l.). These mountains, the only of alpine character in Slovakia, stretch their 32 valleys over a mere 26 kilometers, making the range one of the smallest of its kind. The sharp, stony peaks owe their shape to glaciers, which shaped the High Tatras many thousands of years ago.

Having fulfilled their task, the glaciers then disappeared; and therefore glaciers do not present barriers here, as they sometimes do in the Alps or the Caucasus. Nature's work has been supplemented by man's, rendering the area uniquely accessible -- well-maintained trails lead through valleys and passes, and even to the summits of 10 mountains.

Transportation and building has also attained remarkable heights:

  • the settlement of Strbske Pleso (1355 m a.s.l.) is easily accessible by road or rail
  • an inclined plane reaches the Hrebienok ridge (1285 m)
  • Skalnate Pleso (1751 m) is attainable via cable cars..
  • .. and from there another cable car will take you to the peak of Lomnicky Stit (2632 m)
  • other aerial trams goes to Solisko (1815 m)..
  • .. and up to the col Lomnicke sedlo (2200 m)
  • a mountain hotel sits next to the tarn Velicke Pleso (1670 m)
  • a hiker's chalet, Chata pod Rysmi (2250 m), offers the highest lodgings in the Tatras

    Only a short distance separates these points from the High Tatras summits, often stretching to heights above 2500 m. This puts even an average hiker within reach of many spectacular sights.

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