BUCKET LIST: Driving the ice axe in the ice rock

Natural phenomena of ice need freezing weather to form. Now is the time to tune in to the ice wave. So don’t hesitate, look into the ephemeral beauty of the glittering icefalls. Icefalls – icy mass of running water, important and interesting landscape elements, promise a unique experience. We offer you climbing sites that will show you the world from a different perspective. Ice climbing is guaranteed to raise your adrenaline levels.

Slovak Paradise has exceptional conditions for ice climbing. Ice climbing in the gorges can be handled not only by trained athletes, but also by beginners with the help of a trained instructor. An attractive activity offered by the Slovak Paradise Mountain Guide Association is the basic ice climbing course directly in the canyons of the Slovak Paradise. Please note that climbing is only possible in designated areas and accompanied by experts. This winter sport in the Slovak Paradise destination has a unique offer for you: out of 33 different ice falls, frozen cascades, and gorges. Five localities are officially reserved for ice climbing (Zejmarská Roklina gorge, Sokolia Dolina valley, Kláštorná Roklina gorge, Suchá Belá, Letanovský Mlyn).

1.Driving the ice axe in the ice rock     

Zejmarská Roklina gorge

You may enjoy one of the greatest winter experiences in one of the smallest gorges in the Slovak Paradise. You will need climbing equipment for a climbing tour. When you drive your ice axe in the icefall with passion and all your strength, you touch the authentic essence of one of the most powerful natural elements. In this experience, you will get everything that the right gorge can offer to climbers – waterfalls stagnant in time and place and a view of the beautiful corners of a deep rocky canyon. Sure, in the Slovak Paradise there are also thinner, narrower, more vertical and more demanding sections from a sports point of view, but maybe the Zejmarská Roklina gorge is your challenge! So, take an ice axe, ropes, helmet, grappling irons, and plunge into the wall.

2. Conquering the ice wall 

Sokolia Dolina valley

Although the Sokolia Dolina valley was discovered and made accessible to tourists as one of the last valleys in the Slovak Paradise, you may climb its extremely attractive ice wall as one of the first! In the wildest gorge of the Slovak Paradise which stretches on the eastern edge of the Planina Glac plateau, you will be enchanted by its majestic appearance, the highest waterfall in the Slovak Paradise and the third highest waterfall in Slovakia – the Závojový Vodopíá (veil waterfall). It reaches up to 75 metres in the form of a three-stage cascade. The first, more massive part of the Sokolia Dolina valley, in which the Závojový Vodopád veil waterfall is located, is shorter and more difficult to climb, the second section is longer, with a more moral ascent into the mixes. You will be interested not just in the ice under the Gallery, but the Gallery itself will also enchant you with its vertical sections and high slopes. The two-length, almost 80-metre-long ice, is a real gem. The first, mostly vertical 40-metre vertical section requires a really good climbing experience.

3. Taking your grappling irons out   

Kláštorná Roklina (monastery gorge)

Enough of winter sports where you only thought about yourself! Now is the time to think about grappling irons as well. Take them out. Come to the Kláštorná roklina gorge – a place where a narrow ribbon of a falling stream gushes among the stones in the summer and where a thick layer of a white mirror whitens in the winter. In winter, massive ice veils hang from the rock walls, the falling water of waterfalls, cascades and rapids would solidify. The time will stop. Wild gorges and straits would narrow in the river to a few metres, but they remain deep for several hundred metres downflow. They will create an atmosphere of both tenderness and drama. The Slovak Paradise National Park invites you to the crystal realm in the Kláštorná roklina gorge (Barania Hlava mutton head, Dúhový Ľadopád rainbow icefall, Kaskáda cascade, Krížový Ľadopád cross icefall, Úzky (narrow) and Záclona /curtain).

4. Discovering the chilling outlook at the top

Suchá Belá 

The Slovak Paradise National Park, a mysterious world, hides indescribable natural beauty. Suchá Belá is its most famous and most visited gorge. It generously offers romantic waterfalls that break at the bottom of gorges, fairy-tale-like cascades and rocky cliffs, which you will want to look at indefinitely. Suchá Belá boasts a 30-metre Misový Ľadopád icefall or a 13-metre Okienkový Ľadopád icefall. Not even the 8-metre Side Icefall or the Bočný Ľadopád icefall or the Maďarský Ľadopád icefall will escape your attention. They are monumental, richly decorated with trinkets. While walking through the system of ice sections, you will enjoy the surrounding cliffs and overhangs. You will see and understand that ice climbing in the snowy landscape on frozen waterfalls is indescribable and promises not only magical experiences – climbing to the top, enjoying a beautiful view from a height, a feeling of freedom and liberty, but also overcoming your own fear.

5. Vertical crawling   

Letanovský Mlyn mill

Water appears in the Slovak Paradise in all its forms, often as ice glass in winter. In order to be able to admire its uniqueness, climb the 25-metre Letanovský Mlyn icefall, which has probably lured all the jamesians on its slippery sidewalks. Try the possibilities of vertical crawling in different types and qualities of ice, at different slopes and in different degrees of difficulty. Due to the small inflow of water, glaze flows on the rock from a few centimetres to half a metre of ice. The winter water in the gorges, frozen in the impressive beauties of the icefalls, has unforgettable adventures ready for you! Come and enjoy the wonderful experience of this extreme sport.