Highest point: Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy - 1628 m n.p.m.
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Black Pond Gąsienicowy is a charming,
postglacial Tatra lake. Its trail is interesting not only because of
views, but also events that took place in region's history.
After leaving Murowaniec PTTK Shelter
on Gąsienicowa Hall, for few moments we follow yellow signs, and on
the first crossroads we turn left, switching to blue trail.
Comfortable, stony path goes among rich mountain pine, smoothly
entering the slope of Mały Kościelec. After around 10 minutes we
see the trail cutting through a vast mountain scree. Many years ago a
legendary composer, photographer and mountaineer, Mieczysław
Karłowicz (1876-1909) died in this area. His memorial obelisk
(Karłowicz's Rock), is located on the left side of the trail,
downhill, in the place where his body was found. We however do not go
down to the rock (!), as we venture further along blue signatures. In
front of us we find a steep approach to Black Pond moraine. We have
to be extra careful here, escpecially during spring when the trail is
covered by frozen snow layer, making the route slippery..
After around 30 minutes since departing
from Murowaniec, we arrive at the edge of Black Pond Gąsienicowy.
It's a very delightful place, drawing many tourists who eagerly relax
in Tatra peaks' surroundings (i.a. Kościelec 2155 MASL,
Kozi Wierch 2291 MASL, Granaty 2239 MASL). Once there was a
shelter, offering, besides meal and accommodation, raft rental to to
get across the pond. The shelter burned down in year 1920. Also, tt's
worth to notice a small island, which was originally supposed to
become resting place for poet Juliusz Słowacki. This idea, proposed
by Henryk Sienkiewicz among others, was never implemented.
From the pond we
return to Murowaniec by the same trail.