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One Night with a Crooked King

In the harsh yet mesmerizing grip of winter, a group of friends embark on a transformative journey to summit Kriváň, finding unexpected beauty and profound connections amidst the icy, celestial landscape of the Crooked King.<br>

It’s early February, 10:25 pm, and we’re in the first quarter of the route to the summit of Kriváň — the Crooked King.

In the fragile glow of early February, at 10:25 pm, we commence the first leg of our journey to conquer the elusive summit of Kriváň, affectionately known as the Crooked King. This looming giant has a descent that stretches one thousand and four hundred meters, resembling an ancient sentinel watching over the land with stern yet gentle eyes.

As my headlamp casts shadows that mingle with the moon's tender glow, weaving through the heavy grey clouds, the visibility dwindles, leaving us with mere silhouettes of my companions, a few meters ahead. The wind sings loud and fervent songs, swallowing the crunching symphony of ice breaking under our steel crampons. The cold bites with a vengeance, claiming the atmosphere as its own, making sixteen degrees feel more like a biting thirty below.

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