Facing challenges: Vápeč

We were only 200 m under the summit, when we discovered that we weren´t hiking to Vlčinec, but to
Vápeč mountain.
That´s how it goes in the Strážov mountains.
It is said if you hike there and don´t find the next trail marker within 15 minutes, go back to the last one.
Otherwise you will get lost.
The Strážov mountains have no coherent ridge. They are built from a diverse mosaic of different
formations, acute limestone cliffs, rounded hills, and mountains frittered away without any order.
But be careful, they are not as innocent as they appear. It is a serious mountain range with sharp degrees of
incline, ready to prove your conditioning.
We didn´t reach the summit of Vlčinec, but backtracked to battle with Vápeč.
It was one of these first spring days, when the sun lacks strength, but lures us from our beds.
We started in Homôľka. This famous winter ski centre transformed for the day into a noisy F1 track.
The meadow like a green vestibule of the forest spread in front of our eyes.
And as we saw a wild sow with three little piglets running away, we realized nature had finally awoken.
We continued through the beech forest, which with the change in altitude became more heterogynous.
A hike to the Vápeč mountain is as variable as the London weather. The mild walk transforms into a slight
and then steep climb.
And under the summit everything changes again. The almost Alpine type rocky and steep terrain appears in
front of you.
The 956 m high Vápeč mountain has great ambiance. Though it is not very high, tiny, disappearing in the
shadow of other mountains here.
But only this mountain looks like a rocky town, like the smaller brother of Malý and Veľký Rozsutec situated
in the Malá Fatra mountains, or Sivý vrch from the Western Tatras.
And the mountain has its unique charm and secret atmosphere. As the mountains here use to have.
The hike of 500 m in altitude is demanding. But it is worth every drop of sweat.
The view of the White Carpathians, Moravian Javorníky mountains, Súľov rocks, Malý and Veľký Manín, and
the king of Strážov mountains, is breath-taking.
You can also admire interesting and narrow valleys. And distinctive, almost forgotten villages hidden at
their heart.
The visit rate is low. You could be here alone, only with your thoughts and challenges.
You can get lost. You can meet a bear.
The mineral springs are amazing here. The healing waters in Trenčianske Teplice were priced by Quads and
Marcomanni tribes, and the Roman legions as well.
And the Medieval castles are legendary here.
Trenčín castle with its stones engraved with Roman lettering and its “well of love”.
The ”fairy-tale” Bojnice castle with its 600-year old lime tree of King Matthias. And Uhrovec with its brave
lady, who during the Turkish invasion, recognized the Turkish pasha among his troops and killed him with a
single gunshot.
In Uhrovec the Challenge of the Strážov mountains starts and ends.
The 160 km long trail run snaking through the mountains and valleys with a change of altitude of 8,711 m.
If you do it within 44 hours, you get a badge.
If not, it´s also good. You will feel this electrifying energy of victory and fighting off a challenge. With
And what about challenges? What is accurate and what is too big a bite?
It is said when the adventure takes longer than a week, it is too much.

And which challenge is too much?