Difference between revisions of "Low Tatras"
Revision as of 10:52, 15 January 2010
The Low Tatras or Low Tatra (Slovak: Nízke Tatry; Hungarian: Alacsony Tátra) is a mountain range in central Slovakia. It is located south of the High Tatras, from which it is separated by the valley of the Váh River. The valley formed by the Hron River is situated south of the Low Tatras range. The ridge runs west-eastwards and is about 80 km long.
The Čertovica pass divides the range into two parts. The highest peaks of the Low Tatras are located in its western part. Ďumbier is the highest mountain at 2,042 m AMSL. Its neighbour Chopok (2,024 m) is accessible by a chairlift, and it is the most visited place in the Low Tatras. Other peaks in the western part include Dereše (2,004 m) and Chabenec (1,955 m). The highest peak in the eastern part is Kráľova hoľa (1,946 m). The best viewpoints in western part are Veľká Chochuľa, Salatín, Chabenec, Skalka, Chopok, Ďumbier, Siná, Poludnica and Baba.
Several karst areas are situated in limestone and dolomite formations at the southern and northern edges of the main ridge, which is composed of granite and gneiss. Among many discovered caves, Bystrianska Cave (Bystrianska jaskyňa), Cave of Dead Bats (Jaskyňa mŕtvych netopierov), Demänovská jaskyňa Slobody, Demänová Ice Cave (Demänovská ľadová jaskyňa), and Važecká Cave (Važecká jaskyňa) are open to the public. The biggest canyon is Hučiaky under Salatín in Ludrová valley near Ružomberok (7 caves - not open for public), suitable for canyoning. The highest waterfall is under Brankov near Ružomberok - Podsuchá (55 m high), reachable by green marked footpath from Podsuchá (20 min). The biggest tarn is Vrbické pleso in the Demänovská dolina Valley.
The mountains are densely forested and their rich fauna includes bear, wolf, and lynx. The alpine meadows are the habitat of chamois. []
Most of the Low Tatras is protected by the Low Tatras National Park (Národný park Nízke Tatry; abbr. NAPANT), established in 1978. The area of the National Park is 728 km² (281.08 mi²) and the buffer zone takes 1,102 km² (425.48 mi²); 1,830 km² (706.56 mi²) together. Low Tatras National Park (Slovak: Národný park Nízke Tatry; abbr. NAPANT) is a national park in Central Slovakia, between the Váh River and the Hron River valleys. The park and its buffer zone cover the whole Low Tatras mountain range. The National Park covers an area of 728 km² and its buffer zone covers an area of 1,102 km², which makes it the largest national park in Slovakia.
It is divided between the Banská Bystrica Region (Banská Bystrica and Brezno districts), Žilina Region (Ružomberok and Liptovský Mikuláš districts) and Prešov Region (Poprad District). The park was established in 1978 and at first covered 811 km², and the buffer zone took 1,240 km²; 2 051 km² together. Its borders were adjusted in 1997, reducing total area to 1,830 km². The highest peak is Ďumbier (2,043 m or 7,063 ft). Four major Slovak rivers rise below the Kráľova hoľa peak: Váh, Hron, Hnilec and Hornád.
Tourism is very popular in the Tatras. During the winter there are several ski resorts in Low Tatras, for example Jasná, Mýto pod Ďumbierom, and Tále. Not only are these hubs of hiking and cross-country skiing trails, but Jasna is the largest ski resort in Central Europe and is served by the tourist town of Liptovsky Mikulas. Liptovsky Mikulas also offers a range of summer activities such as rafting, kyaking, boating on the lake, fishing, Tatralandia - the hot springs aqua park and hiking etc. There are many good places to stay and plentiful restaurants and bars in the town, which offer excellent food at a great value. Chalet Slovakia  which is based in Mikulas offers visitors accommodation, transport and organises of winter and summer activity breaks. The steep northern slopes of the range are popular with climbers. Other attractions include an 18-hole golf course near Tále.
Demänovská Cave of Liberty
Demänovská Cave of Liberty (Slovak: Demänovská jaskyňa Slobody) is a karst cave in Low Tatras in Slovakia. Discovered in 1921 and opened to the public in 1924, it is the most visited cave in Slovakia.
The public entrance is at an altitude of 870 metres (2,900 ft). Of the total length of 8,126 metres (26,660 ft), 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) are open to the public.
Cave bear bones were found in a passage now named Bear's Passage (Slovak: Medvedia chodba).
Demänovská Ice Cave
Demänovská Ice Cave or Demänovská ľadová jaskyňa (in Slovak) is an ice cave in the Demänovská Valley (Low Tatra) in Slovakia. It was first mentioned in 1299 and is one of oldest known caves in Europe. After the opening of Demänovská jaskyňa Slobody in 1924, interest in this cave declined. It was reopened to the public after the reconstruction of wooden stairs and electrical lightning in 1952, with 680 m accessible out of the 1,975 m. Currently, the route for visitors is 850 m long and takes about 45 minutes.
Važecká Cave (Slovak: Važecká jaskyňa, and Hungarian: Vázseci-barlang) is a stalactite cave near the village of Važec in northern Slovakia. It lies at an altitude of 748 metres, in the Liptov Basin near the Biely Váh River, on the northern edge of the Low Tatra mountain range. The cave was discovered in 1922. With the length of 530 m, 230 m are open to the public.
Although it is one of the shorter caves, it is known for its rich stalactite decoration, as well as for its cave fauna.
Ďumbier (2,043 m or 7,703 ft) is the highest mountain in the Low Tatra range, in central Slovakia. Despite the remains of medieval mines (gold, iron, antimony), the massif is now protected as a part of the Low Tatra National Park.
The easily accessible summit offers a scenic view of High Tatra, Liptov and the valley of Hron. A chalet called Chata M. R. Štefánika is situated under the summit (1,740 m). Ďumbier, as well as the nearby Chopok mountain, can be reached following the hiking trails either from the north (from the Demänovská dolina and Jánska dolina valleys) or from the south (from the bus stop Trangoška).
Chopok (2,024 m) is the second highest peak of the Low Tatra range (just after the neighboring Ďumbier mountain) or third (after peak Štiavnica), in central Slovakia. The peak offers a panoramatic view of High Tatra, Liptov and the valley of Hron. There is a chalet (called Kamenná chata) located near the summit.