Winter ascent to Velký Kriváň in Malá Fatra

Mountain range, region / State

Malá Fatra / Slovakia



22. 03. 2022


2 / 5


↑ 1369 m

↓ 1369 m


14.8 km

6 hours


max. 1709 m n.m.

min. 688 m n.m.

Elevation profile of the route

Meters climbed: 1369 m
Dismal metres: 1369 m

Useful information

Circumambulatory trek in Malá Fatra via Velký Kriváň

Starting point

The parking lot at the mouth of the green hiking trail just off the end of Vrátná dolina. The road leads here from Terchová. Parking is free of charge.

Description of the hike

We arrived at the parking lot a little after eight in the morning, so it was completely empty. In the afternoon, however, it's totally packed. We connected with the green sign and started climbing through the forest. Right from the start the climb is quite steep. Luckily the snow was packed and hard and we didn't get any pain at all. We climbed up to the saddle Za Kraviarským. Here the views of the Malá Fatra ridge open up. We continued on to the main mountain ridge. First on the blue trail, then on the yellow trail. The path is clearly trodden by hikers and ski mountaineers. In the Bublen saddle we took a little rest and enjoyed the views of the Malý Krivan.

Then we started climbing up the ridge to Pekelník. Here you can already see the highest mountain of Malá Fatra - Velký Kriváň. Even with the crowds of people on the way to the top. By this time the number of people you meet is still bearable. From Kriváň onwards, however, it's an arterial road. So, after the ridge we reached the top of Velký Kriváň. The views are beautiful, uninterrupted by anything. From the top we descended to the Snilovský sedlo. Eventually, the craving for coffee and strudel won out and we ran to the restaurant by the cable car station.

After a rest we went back to the saddle and climbed the Chleb mountain. We continued along the ridge to the mountain Poľudňový grúň. Here we left the ridge and descended very steeply to the Chalet na Grúň. The descent is really very steep, in the lower part it leads around the ski slope. From the hut we then continued along the yellow trail up to the Vrátna valley and reached the car park. It was already hopelessly full of skiers.



A fair winter trek, during which you will overcome about 1,300 metres of elevation gain. There are quite steep ascents and descents on the route. Frozen terrain is to be expected in winter. It is definitely good to have at least a little bit of physical fitness to enjoy it. We also met dogs on the trail, so a well-trained dog can do it. Kids only older and more athletic.

Water availability

The restaurant is at the top station of the cable car to Chleb. Another option is Chata na Grúni during the descent. For us 1,5 liters of liquids was enough.

Sleeping options

Accommodation is available in the Chata na Grúni or in the valley in the village Terchová.

Mountain peaks

The route leads over the main ridge of Mala Fatra and thanks to that we climbed these peaks: Pekelník 1,609 m above sea level, Velký Kriváň 1,709 m above sea level, Chleb 1,646 m above sea level, Hromové 1,636 m above sea level, Steny 1,625 m above sea level and Poľudný grúň 1,460 m above sea level. The views are great of almost all the main mountain ranges in Slovakia - the Western Tatras, Low Tatras, Veľká Fatra, Orava, etc.


Clearly the biggest problem was the frozen snow on the mountain ridge. Thanks to the slightly frosty weather and wind we were not falling down with every step, but on the contrary we were sliding nicely. We didn't bring crampons, or at least bearskins, which would have made walking much easier. Most of the people we met had them. Otherwise the conditions were ideal. There was no danger of avalanches, the snow was firm. The descent from Poludní grúň to the hut was very strenuous. It is very steep and the snow was slippery. It is definitely a good idea to put on sunscreen in sunny weather. And good winter equipment such as gloves are a must.


We refreshed in the restaurant at the top station of the cable car to Chleb. Another option is Chata na Grúni during the descent.

Posted by: 22. 03. 2022
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Huts on the hike