Mix route ascent of Rybička-Šmíd-Svobodová
Stoupa and Baca finished free winter ascent of the route Rybička - Šmíd - Svobodová (1976) to Ušatá stráž (Eared Guard) in the north face of the Little Kežmarok Peak.
The north face of the Little Kežmarok Peak is a frequent playground for winter Tatra climbing. Not far from the chalet Chata pri Zelenom plese, the 800-metre wall is rising, but most of the routes lead only halfway up, either to the ridge or to a slanting footbridge crossing the north face diagonally and separating the steep lower part from the more exposed upper half. In the right part of the wall, directly below the edge of the northwest ridge, there is an overhanging 80-metre triangular wall resembling the shape of an animal's ear, which gave it its name - the Ušatá stráž.
In March 1976, a trio of Czech climbers - Joska Rybička, Jirka Šmída and Věra Svobodová - were the first to climb the line leading through the mixed terrain under the overhanging wall in three days and a total of 25 climbing hours and climbed to the top of Ušatá stráž using aid climbing techniques. The first ascent also served as a preparation for the first ascent of the north face of the Eiger, which Rybička, Šmíd together with Sylva Kysilková and Petr Plachecky realized in about 25 days on this legendary wall in August of the same year.
After almost 50 years, the line on the north face of Ušatka is relatively uninteresting from the point of view of technical climbing. The former A4 has become A2 due to many repetitions, the development of climbing gear and a shift in the grading system. However, the overhanging line is a challenge for today's free or mixed winter climbers. Where pitons, bolts, nuts are not used for climbing upwards, but only to catch a fall in the opposite direction.
The first free climb was managed by a couple of long-time friends Pavel "Bača" Vrtík and Dušan "Stoupa" Janák. They placed five bolts in the lengths of the overhanging wall. Four of them in the hardest length for M9+ and one in the length for M8. They added two bolts for three belay stations in the overhanging head. A free climb using bolts and without hammering in any more pitons is an incomparably more mentally and physically demanding than a technical climb via this route (nowadays) without bolts.
It can be assumed that the route will arouse the interest of fans of mix extremes climbers in the Tatras (there is enough frozen grass for that), because it is a beautiful, logical and airy line. To repeat the route you need 10 quickdraws, a wide range of friends and nuts, a bit of courage and a bit of strength.