How to get to Jasná comfortably, quickly and without stress?
Overcrowded car parks in the resort, access road congestion, and a lot of dissatisfied people on internet discussion boards. But most of them could avoid stress so that they take the time to ski and not to look for a parking place in the resort. How? It´s simple. Do not think of excuses, drop a little of your comfort zone, park in side car parks, and take the shuttle to get you to cable cars. Fast, comfortable and worry free.
In order this not to sound just an advertising phrase, we tried it ourselves. The biggest traffic problems are on the northern side of Chopok. We set out for Jasná from Liptovský Mikuláš a few minutes before nine. It´s Saturday, the weather was sunny and pupils from Central Slovakia, Poland and Lithuania enjoyed their holidays. Traffic overload had been expected on access roads and car parks. We´re reaching the car park P5 Pavčina Lehota. There were a lot of vehicles just a few hundred meters ahead. We got in line and continued slowly until we came to a place where lanes split. The right lane runs to Jasná and is intended for residents and guests from Jasná, the left lane runs to the P5 Car Park and is intended for visitors to Jasná – Nízke Tatry. The right lane was full, the left one was empty. So, we used it.
Several car pars attendants directed us to a parking lot. Several minutes after quarter past nine the car park was already half full. We parked the car, put on our ski boots and carrying our ski equipment we headed for a shuttle boarding place. The car park P5 Pavčina Lehota has a capacity of about 700 cars, which is enough even in the busiest days of the season. The first bus arrived to pick up resort guests. As soon as the passengers got on the bus, it left the car park. The second one arrived within a minute and we got on. Igor, one of the car park attendants, was standing in front of the bus. He is an elderly gentleman, very kind and willing to help. During his active working life he has been in contact with people, so he likes society. He can speak Russian and partly English. He was asked by several foreign guests for the bus direction, if the bus stops at the area of Lúčky and if it´s free. Igor was answering with patience and smile. We got on the bus among the first, so we could sit comfortably. The bus driver was still waiting for other passengers, and as soon as the bus was full, it left the car park. There is no chaos, no pushing, but of course, not everyone sits. However, the bus has a capacity of about 50 seats and enough space for another 30 passengers to stand.
The first stop is the Demänovská Cave of Liberty, where other passengers got on the bus. There was still space, so they could travel comfortably. The journey was running smoothly, there were fewer cars on the road due to the side car park. The next stop is Lúčky, where about half of the passengers got off. Lúčky is the first place where you can get on a cable car and enjoy your skiing on ski slopes. The resort offers other two options for those wanting to get on ski slopes from higher spots. One of them is the bus stop Záhradky with an access to cable cars Záhradky - Priehyba and Záhradky - Rovná Hoľa. Those, who want to get to the resort from Biela Púť and Otupné, can use the last shuttle bus stop Jasná. This is where our journey ends. It took 23 minutes in total from the car park to reach a place from which we planned to get to Mt Chopok.
We enjoyed our skiing to the fullest, it´s time to go home. We´re a bit afraid that we would have to wait for the bus, that waiting would limit us, that the bus would be overloaded and we would have to push through the crowd of people. We ended in the place where we started, i.e. at the Jasná bus stop, beneath Happy End. There were already about 20 people waiting for the bus and one of the car par attendants. Also here you can see the perfect cooperation between car park attendants and bus riders. If there are more passengers waiting at the bus stop, the car park attendant instructs the bus driver and he can leave the car park. There is no need to keep some waiting times between the shuttle buses. More buses run in a row, if necessary. On the busiest days, there are seven shuttle buses circulating in both directions, and of course, several ski buses. Such co-operation and co-ordination is also between the buses and the lower car park. The bus came three minutes after our arrival. We sat again, no pushing, no chaos, and no stress. Other passengers joined us at Záhradky and particularly at Lúčky. We reached the P5 car park, where our journey had started a few hours ago. As we are orderly, we had cleaned our boots and ski equipment from the snow before we entered the bus, so we didn´t make the bus dirty unnecessarily. Well, and the rest of the snow we could not get rid of, dripped on the floor. We put our equipment in the car almost dry. Great!
Jasná has a plenty of parking places; more than 1000 cars can park in the area of Lúčky and Otupné. Jasná is a favourite destination for a lot of visitors arriving by cars. Everyone would like to park close to cable cars, but it´s possible only by the time, the capacity of upper car parks has been reached. Then the access to the resort is closed and cars can park on the biggest and the lowest located side car park P5 Pavčina Lehota. Car park attendants are in contact with various people having different odd requirements because they are not willing to park their cars in the side car park. If they doesn´t have a stay in Jasná or cannot submit any receipt from an accommodation facility or don´t work in the resort, they shouldn´t demand parking just beneath the cable cars. There are also situations when visitors cruise the resort in cars and look for a parking lot. They´re under stress, spend fuel and time instead of enjoying skiing on a slope. Sometimes, there may be some problems with shuttles but they are mainly caused by undisciplined drivers. Traffic jams are often caused by sliding cars on access roads and shuttle buses are then stuck in a row of cars. Subsequently, people are gathering at bus stops and such number of people cannot be transported by buses so fluently.
We also convinced ourselves, that it´s comfortable and trouble-free to leave the car in the side car park and to be transported up to Jasná. We saved fuel, time, and especially, stress from looking for a parking lot that we might have found in a short time, but much further than the bus took us. The shuttle service operates from about 8:00 a.m. in the morning until the last final visitors parking in the side car park are transported to their destinations. Sometimes, it can last up to 6:00 p.m. Shuttle buses are also supported by classic ski buses.
The shuttles also operate on the southern side of Mt Chopok in a similar way as we have experienced on the northern side. Skiers are transported from the side car park P2 at Trangoška to the car park P1 Krupová. Taking advantage of the shuttle service is nothing to be afraid of. It´s a comfortable way how to get to the resort.