High Tatras: hiking climb to the Great Mengus Peak

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Hiking is my passion, and once a year, I treat myself to such a cherry on the cake – a climb with a mountain guide on a Tatra peak. I started, of course, with Gerlachov Peak and last summer, it was the turn of the Great Mengus Peak, the seventh climb with a mountain guide for me. When you “sit down” with a mountain guide, you don’t look for another one, so I have been going with Tibor since the beginning. And also with my husband and sister. Hiking climb to the Great Mengus Peak (Veľký Mengusovský štít) is quite a challenge.

Mengus peak

Last summer was suitable for hiking, and the weather forecast was promising when D-Day came. In the morning before six, we parked at the Popradské Pleso train stop, chatted with Tibor and rode to Popradské Pleso (1 494 m). Tibor handed out our gear (helmet and harness). Each of us carried his own on his own back, and we set off along the blue hiking trail to the Mengus Valley.

We walked briskly, finding out what was new in our family and work after a year, what trips we had taken. Of course, Tibor tells us about his latest expedition and always adds some tidbits and jokes he has experienced on his hiking and climbing trips worldwide. At the same time, we admire the beauty of the surrounding nature and the majestic peaks that tower over the Mengus Valley. In a good mood, the length and height meters are adding up, and before we know it, we are at the Veľké Hincovo Pleso lake.

Veľké Hincovo pleso

Veľké Hincovo pleso (1,946 meters above sea level) is the largest and deepest pond in the Slovak part of the High Tatras. Last year one of the goals of the 7 hills 3 lakes challenge was so we stop at the tourist sign on the shore of the pond and take some pictures.

At the same time, our journey along the blue sign ends here. Blue line continues to the left by climbing the Kôprovské sedlo, but Tibor leads us to the right, along the lake’s shore, under the Mengus peaks’ walls.

Malá Bašta, Predná Bašta, Big Satan, Diablovina, Veľká Capia veža a Hlinská veža from the other bank of Hinco s Lake
Malá Bašta, Predná Bašta, Satan, Diablovina, Veľká Capia veža and Hlinská veža from the other bank of Veľké Hincovo Pleso lake.

Under the Mengus Peaks

Here somewhere, our ascent begins to gain seriousness – we put on a seat harness, a helmet, and I recommend some sports gloves. Of course, Tibor checks whether everything is tightened correctly and ties us to the climbing rope.

We are climbing the rocks, there is no footpath anywhere, but Tibor is leading us in the right direction. The movement must be coordinated so we only pull each other a little because the rope between us is only 2 meters long. We climb to the first threshold, and the view is terrific – Hinc’s basin with the Veľké and Malé Hincovo pleso and Hincove oká in the palm of your hand.

Hinc’s basin A few meters higher, Tibor welcomes us on the main ridge of the High Tatras. We also view the Western Tatras, Red Hills, Polish Tatras and another part of the High Tatras.

Hiking climb to the Great Mengus Peak

We continue further along the ridge, but we are still climbing. The ascent is more complicated, and the views are broader and more beautiful. Sometimes we have a short break while Tibor secures the rope in rugged terrain.

And the “Tatra jump” is still waiting for us. That’s how Tibor named the following terrain unevenness. The two of us preferred to climb down and climb the meter and a half (after all, the rope does not allow much jumping), but my husband managed it with his long legs as the last one on the rope. Only a few tens of meters more, and we are at the top, long and wide, but we are alone. Great!

We accept congratulations from Tibor, and the photo session follows. We found the top book in a heavy metal box; unfortunately, we don’t have a pen. And this time, we also forgot the crampon. Instead, we enjoy a snack, silence and a beautiful circular view of the surrounding peaks, hills and mountains. We have plenty of time. It’s only half past eleven.

Climb down

We don’t want to leave but know we are only halfway there. So we start going down in reverse order. Tibor keeps reassuring us from above, guiding my husband along the right path. We take a slightly different route. We immediately descended the ridge and bypassed the “Tatra jump“. It doesn’t take long, and we are back at the Veľké Hincovo Pleso. We take off our gear and relax. The reflections on the surface of the lake are beautiful.

Veľké Hincovo pleso

We watch the chamois on the nearby slope and continue down the Mengus valley (Mengusovská dolina) to the Popradské pleso. We enjoy a well-deserved beer at the chalet at Popradské Pleso. I can say that we have managed the ascent (and the descent).

Veľké Hincovo Pleso (Big Hinco's lake)
Veľké Hincovo Pleso (Big Hinco’s lake)

We say goodbye to Tibor and promise to meet again next year. I hope. Tibor takes his bike and rides down; tomorrow, he has another client and another climb. We put on our light shoes and walk along the asphalt road to the car. The hiking climb to Great Mengus Peak has been a success. Full of impressions from the climb, beautiful views in good weather, in a good mood. Again, we will remember an experience for the rest of our lives. 🙂

Translation of the hills:

  • Veľký Mengusovský štít: Great Mengus Peak
  • Gerlachovský štít: Gerlachov Peak
  • Mengusovská dolina: Mengus Valley
  • Vysoké Tatry: High Tatras
  • Tatranský skok: Tatra Jump
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Jana Kobelová
Jana Kobelová

Tourism is my passion and once a year I treat myself to such a cherry on the cake - an ascent with a mountain guide to some Tatra peak.

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