The tower of Vlasta. The Needle of Mount Patria.
It is hidden in the massif of Mount Patria in the High Tatras. It rises to heaven, a lonely rocky tower in a
forgotten rocky town.
On the 9th September 1929, she climbed, together with Alexander Škarvan, to this unique needle of Mount
Patria, later named for here, Vlasta´s tower.
The “Štáflovka”, a climbing route from the southern site of the Volia veža tower, is legendary and has cult-
like following among Czech mountaineers.
Vlasta Štáflová, the female Czech mountaineer and writer, climbed it for the first time, together with Karel
Čabelka and Jan Šabata, on the 9th July 1935.
„It is the most beautiful place in the world,“, she said, as she rented a chalet at the Popradské pleso
mountain lake, together with her husband, Otakar Štáfl, the famous Czech painter.
The High Tatras has a smaller and greener brother, with a 42km long ridge and 33 two-thousenders.
The Western Tatras or Roháče.
„It is the most beautiful place,” said Valery.
And still it is invisible from below. It is not majestic, nor high.
But there is a secret limestone town of flowers with white houses and Juraj Jánošík´s treasure hidden at its
It looks like a grey cap on the white rock from afar.
A hiking path starts under the forest, continues through the meadows full of unique colorful flowers, many
found nowhere else in Slovakia. More than 650 species bloom here!
The path through the mountain pine reminiscent of the gaged Rebel´s trail opens the view of the ridge of
the Western Tatras.
And on the summit of Sivý vrch mountain, with one eye you will have a look at the Liptov region and the
Liptovská Mara water reservoir, and with the other, the Orava region and the Oravská priehrada reservoir.
You will see Babky mountain. A grassy ridge evocating the Malá Fatra Mountain´s ridge leads to its summit.
Under the peak you will recognize three sitting stony women, from whom it takes its name.
Standing on the top, you will admire the view of majestic and monumental Baranec mountain, a father of
the Liptov region, proudly protecting all its inhabitants.
Known once as The Great Mountain, it was considered the highest mountain of the Western Tatras.
It is not.
It is the third highest.
A yellow marked hiking path starts in the Žiarska dolina valley. It leads through the steep forest above the
tree line up to a grassy ridge and granite summit.
The path to the Žiarske sedlo saddle overlooks 1,000 m deep gaps to the east and west. There the Chamois
of the Tatras will greet you, and the eagle spreads its wings above you.
There these proud, magnificent, and strong rocks will embrace you.
There light and shadow will play their game.
You will hike until you reach the Žiarska chata chalet, where you will taste the special herbal liqueur
Svišťovka, and listen to a story about Romanian herder boys, who settled down in this territory in the 15th
and 16th century. Their herds gave their names to mountains Baranec (“ram mountain”) and Volovec (“ox
You will harken to a story about a brave chalet, which protected the partisans in WWII and therefore was
burned in reprisal.
For the way back, you will rent a scooter only to stop its fast wheels to explore the cave and waterfall at the
foothill of the Žiarska dolina valley.
And later, while relaxing in the unique open-air wellness Kaďa in the Liptovský Ján village, and watching the
sun set, switching places with the moon and stars, you will believe the beauty of mountains is in their
You will keep in mind, each way is a new goal, and when mountains are calling, you must go.