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Polish Alpinists Climb Enchainment on Krivan in High Tatras

Maciej Bedrejczuk gearing up on the morning of the second day after a windy bivy halfway up the route.

[Photo] Tomasz Klimczak

Polish alpinists Tomasz Klimczak and Maciej Bedrejczuk recently linked two separate routes creating a significant enchainment on the north face of Krivan (2494m), a peak in the Slovakian High Tatras.

“Honestly I do not think we covered any new terrain,” Klimczak said. “In the 1980s, Slovaks were climbing in this area quite a lot, so probably someone has been there. Where exactly, we do not know as there are no sources. It is quite hard to make anything new in the Tatras, as almost all the interesting lines were made by the Jerzy Kukuczka generation.” Since posting the news of the climb on his social media page a few weeks ago, Klimczak has not been informed that anyone previously climbed this linkup route.

On December 28 and 29, Klimczak and Bedrejczuk climbed the 1960 Jurkowski route (FA: Zbigniew Jurkowski, Andrew Kantowicz) on the lower portion of Krivan’s north face, and then finished up the standard route, climbed in 1914, on the northwest face. They called the new linkup Wild and Beauty (grade 6, 650m).

The two routes ascend separate sections of the north face. The wall’s lower section faces northeast while the upper section faces northwest. A prominent ridge cuts across the face at half-height.

“There are about 650 meters of altitude gain and it is all [technical] climbing,” Klimczak told Alpinist. “The lower section is harder and offers several pitches graded 6 (5.10), with loose rock and sometimes problematic protection.” The two climbers bivouacked on a ridge about halfway up the route.

Bedrejczuk leading the last pitch on the first day.

[Photo] Tomasz Klimczak

“The lower section took us seven hours,” Klimczak said. “The upper section is easier but beautiful. It took us about five hours to the top. The route has alpine character. It is remote and wild with no in-place protection.”

(Top) Walking down from the summit of Krivan on a tourist path. (Bottom) Wild and Beauty (grade 6, 650m) follows the marked red line on the north face. Triangle indicates the bivy.

[Photo] Tomasz Klimczak

Krivan is a prominent mountain in Slovakian culture. A national vote in 2005 prompted its image to be used on one of Slovakia’s euro coins.

The North face of Krivan is rarely ascended due to a long approach and technical climbing on the steep wall. Klimczak and Bedrejczuk are one of the few teams to climb the face in recent years. “Each time it is a great adventure,” Klimczak said.

A video of Klimczak and Bedrejczuk climbing on another route on Krivan the previous winter. [Video]

Robin Klimas

Sources: Tomasz Klimczak,,,