#SkiLocal - High Tatras

This has been a special winter for me. The lifts were closed all winter because of the pandemic, so we had the opportunity to explore our home mountains in Slovakia. We did lots of ski touring and skied some of the most beautiful lines of my entire life. Although most of our trips started with me complaining about how much I wished I didn't have to try so hard to ski, Tomas (my best ski buddy) was very good at dealing with my moods. He even proposed to me at the end of the season.

This ski adventure, like most this season, started with me whining. The hot weather and coffee deficit were a real thing. But, once we got out of the woods and I saw the first mountains, I was calm and could stop worrying. One of the positives of this season was that the mountains were empty and the districts of Slovakia were closed. I am very lucky I live next to the High Tatras and this time we were almost alone in the mountains. Tomaš was in charge, as he is the "brain” behind our trips, and our goal was a 2 230 m high peak. We aimed to ski the couloir that starts about 100 m below the summit.

For me, the best thing about ski touring is the space you get. Some people ski tour as a form of exercise, but for us it's more about space and time, where you can talk about anything, make jokes and enjoy the view.

We skied past the south face of the mountain as fast as we could. It looked really sketchy and there were some minor avalanches. We decide to continue the hike on the ridge to keep the risk as low as possible and strap skis on our backpacks.

The hike included scrambling on rocky terrain, so we felt like real ski mountaineers in the moment. We were grateful that no one could see us, except for the few chamois we met along the way. They must have been enjoying themselves too. We approached the top of the couloir and took our skins off and enjoyed the best ride of the season. The couloir faces northeast; it is mostly shaded, so we were able to find some powder to ski. Chamois watched us ski down, which was followed by loud screams of happiness, followed by us heading to the nearest ski hut for a drink. In Slovakia we drink Kofola, a local cola drink that is a must try when in Slovakia. After, it was time to head back home where our little dog Maui was waiting for us. Even though she often goes with us, this tour was too long for him.

Martina Radekova

IFMGA Gorski vodnik

"Hi! My name is Martina and I come from the High Tatras, Slovakia. Obviously, my biggest passion is skiing. I love discovering new and untouched places in the mountains, and ski touring is my favourite way to do that. The best part is that you are usually rewarded with beautiful powder to ski in. My IG bio says I would go anywhere the mountains are, and I think that describes me best."