THOSE in search of the quintessential Slovak skiing experience might consider Zverovka, a small resort in the beautiful Spálená valley in the Western Tatra mountains. Zverovka only offers four kilometres of marked and groomed pistes but contains many more options for ski alpinists and telemark skiers. Because it sits in one of the coldest spots in Slovakia, the resort and its surrounding peaks hold snow from December through the end of April.
ZVEROVKA - SPÁLENÁ STATISTICS:
Bottom station elevation: 1,030 metres
Top station elevation: 1,410 metres
Lifts: one four-person chairlift, one Poma, and two learning lifts
Total uphill capacity: 2,356 persons per hour
Kilometres of skiing: four
Number of trails: four
Adult ski ticket for one day: Sk580 (€14.20)
The main slopes of Zverovka face northeast, cover a respectable 400 metres of vertical, and are serviced by a modern four-person chair with a capacity of 1,200 skiers per hour. The slope, from its summit to its base, is intermediate in difficulty and lined with trees, making it a good run in low light conditions. All slopes are covered by snowmaking guns. The resort has a designated learning area and a 60-seat restaurant near the base of the resort. A one-day lift ticket costs Sk580 (€14.20).
On clear days, ski alpinists and telemark skiers can hike above the tree line to experience epic high alpine meadows on both sides of the resort. Slovakia is world famous for its off-piste skiing and Zverovka is a wonderful place to practice when the avalanche hazard is low.
The resort is 350 kilometres off Bratislava - approximately four hours by car. One can also reach the mountain by taking an express train to Kraľovany (3.5 hours), and then transferring via a local train to Podbiel (1.5 hours), followed by a local bus to Zverovka.
At night, guests may stay at two hotels, Primula and Tatra-west, for as little as Sk800 (€19.59) a night for a double room. Less expensive pensions and private houses can be found in the nearby villages of Zuberec, Oravice, and Oravský Biely Potok.
For non-skiers, Zverovka offers a two-hour walk to the Ťatliakovo Pleso mountain lake in Roháčska Dolina valley, as well as a good system of cross-country skiing trails. Not far from the resort are the Orava village museum and the thermal baths at Oravice.
26. Jan 2004 at 0:00 | Roman Millan and John Sherwood