Veliko Tarnovo enduro MTB trails, Bulgaria

Last weekend we’ve been to Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria to ride again the trails there, but this time was different. Why?! because we get to ride with the locals :D. And you know is best to ride with the locals, we can confirm this saying :))).

Veliko Tarnovo (BulgarianВелико Търново, “Great Tarnovo”) is a city in north central Bulgaria and the administrative centre of Veliko Tarnovo Province.

Often referred to as the “City of the Tsars“, Veliko Tarnovo is located on the Yantra River and is famously known as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, attracting many tourists with its unique architecture. The old part of the city is situated on the three hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora, rising amidst the meanders of the Yantra (Source: Wikipedia).

Ok, so we’re gonna stop here because we have the important part and that is “situated on the three hills Tsarevets, Trapezitsa, and Sveta Gora”… 3 hills…downhills :)))

So we meet at Veliko Turnovo with the crew from Turnduro and Old Mountain MTB Holiday an did some laps on the trails there and it was sick. The guys really did put some work into some of the trails and you could see it right away and also they have some natural trails or sections that are just beautiful.

So, at this time we can name 4 of the trails, Rodopa, Garga, Ksilifor and Off camber trail. You can find some tracks with our rides here: Track from day 1, Track form day 2.

All of them have from 1.2 km to 2 km and lets say around 200m elevation. Ok, they are not to long and not to steep but its not downhill we’re talking abut and its not Enduro either, its FUNDURO :))). Yes the term is borrowed but we like it and its perfect to describe the trails there, and the guys we’ve been riding with there, Nedko, Petar, Constantine, Ivan and Portokal, cheers mates!

Besides the above 4 named trails there are others, we know 2 more but after discussing with Nedko and the guys we realize that you can stay there for a few days and have a great time and discover new trails, but the key is to ride with the locals :)).

We liked it so much that we think tomorrow we’re gonna go back there and shred those trails.

For more information about the trails you can also check out freerider.ro article at this link, or our article from the first visit there witch includes more videos with the trails.

Until next time, ride safe @ Veliko Tarnovo! Enjoy!

Postavaru mountain bike Trails, Brasov, Romania

This is a quick post about Postavaru trails near Brasov City, Romania :D.

Brașov is located in the central part of the country, about 166 kilometres (103 miles) north of Bucharest and 380 kilometres (236 miles) from the Black Sea. It is surrounded by the Southern Carpathians and is part of the Transylvania region.

The city is notable for being an important centre of Transylvanian Saxons in the past, and a large commercial hub on the trade roads between East and West. (Source: Wikipedia).

Also for us, Brasov is important because of its potential in mountain bike and ski activities.

Near Brasov is Postavaru massive, an almost 1800m height mountain with some awesome trails just waiting to bi ridden.

Also, Brasov is a beautiful chill city, with an nice old city full of activity and beautiful people.

In order to ride there you have to get yourself and you’re bike up to Poiana Brasov, which is a bit higher positioned then Brasov. To get there you have to bike there (around 45min-1h by bike) or take a shuttle bus from the city center. For this check out NH Bike guys witch offer professional shuttle services there, taking riders every each hour from Brasov to Poiana Brasov.

From poiana Brasov are like 4 trails that get down to Brasov, but also from there you can take a cabin up to the peak of Postavaru mountain and from there you have a beautiful over 1200m descent to town witch we really recomand. Also you can take a break at Postavaru mountain Hut and enjoy the view and the bear there :D… oh, and the cookies :))).

Without further ado, we leave you some tracks with 2 of the trails there, and also a movie to better comprehend the fun you will face on Postavaru Trils :))).

Trail tracks: descent from Postavaru peak, descent from Poiana Brasov on yellow triangle mark trail. Enjoy and ride safe!

A SMALL SLICE OF ROMANIAN BULZ @ Ciocanu MTB Trails, Romania

A SMALL SLICE OF ROMANIAN BULZ @ Ciocanu MTB Trails, Romania

This is a short video edit and some pictures from this weekend, shredding the trails @ Ciocanu MTB Trails, Bughea de jos, Arges.
Beautiful sunny day, with dry lose trails. Perfect for skidding around in every corner. You can find 2 of the tracks here, and here :D. Enjoy and ride safe!

Barcaciu skitouring camp VIII edition

When March comes, we know is time for Barcaciu ski touring event! This year it come in the last weekend of March, on an not so skier friendly weather… but how cares, like we say, make haven of what you got, so that’s what we did :D.

We ware pretty happy just before the weekend because some fresh snow was in the forecast, but by the time of the event, the sudden warm up of the weather screw up the conditions and we had a consistent layer of heavy melting snow that made our skis not want to turn when we did :))).

But that didn’t ruin our skiing, at least the snow didn’t but the wind… trying to ski at almost 100km/h winds its something you must try :)))).

But, even that didn’t stop us and we almost made it to Puha Valley :D… but it was beautiful. The hut, the food, the friends and the whole picture of the event make it that way. We had a great time and new experiences like all the years before.

Barcaciu mountain hut is situated at 1550m altitude, in the west part of Fagaras mountains. It’s the second mountain hut in Fagaras, starting from west, and a very casual and welcoming one. Mihai and his parents make it like that, oh, and the food, so great :))).

From the hut you can reach, very easily Scara peak, or Serbota peak and you can ski some pretty nice lines from there right in Puha valley and then all the way down to the trail that goes from Barcaciu hut to Negoiu hut. It’s a beautiful descent that offers lots of lines and is easily accessible if the snow conditions allows it!

Ski touring at Barcaciu is an event held by Mihai in order to develop the ski touring practice in the area. There are marks pointing to the hut and above and you can always count on Mihai to give you some advice about the routes and the conditions there, the guy knows the area like the back of his hand!

The event usually is held during 2 or 3 days and includes a bed over night, food and guiding thru the area as the weather allows it. His main purposes is, as I said, to develop the ski touring in the area and the costs merely covers the goods and the trouble needed for the event.

As these been said, please feel free to check out Barcaciu Mountain Hut whenever you want, summer or winter, it’s always there waiting for you to discover all skiing and biking routs 🙂 . Oh, have we mentioned biking? check this trip out to 😉 you might enjoy it: Fagaras enduro and freeraid tracks.

Bellow we leave you some foto/video material to better get a feel of Barcaciu ski touring event and here are the links for some of the routes we take day 1, day 2. Enjoy!

 

Iezer mountains backcountry skiing

Last weekend we have been to Iezer mountains on our annual ski touring trip there. I think this is the 4th year that we made it here, and it is my 4th year of ski touring :)))… man, time flies so fast…

Each year was similar but somehow different. In terms of snow conditions, this year was a lot more snow and we had some pow in the first descent on the upper part near the ridge of the mountain. Being so hot all of a sudden, I don’t think it was 100% safe to try new lines or spots, so we stayed chill and shred the classic descent from the ridge directly to Iezer refuge. Maybe next year we will try a descent from the peak, that will be cool ;D. I remember last year I was feeling brave and took a climb just beneath the peak. My luck was that fog come and “ruin” my descent :))))

This year the ski party was made by me, Tiberiu, Nicu and Bogdan A. We started touring just directly from Voina Hut, that was a premier because none of the previous years had snow right from the parking lot… What a luck, otherwise we should have walked that stupid forest road until the shepherd’s hut in the alpin area where the forest stops.

It’s a long climb/walk to Crucea Ateneului, around 10 miles or so with at least 1250m elevation. We had great weather, sunny and no wind.

Once we descanted, we had some nice pow at the beginning and some crud later on.

The refuge is looking good, by our standards :D. The guys from mountain patrol are really trying to make it better each year.

We made 3 descents in the first day and then stayed in the refuge, talking and making ourselves some tee and some soup. Nicu had some digging to do in order to get some water. The guys from mountain patrol indicate us the spot to dig for water, thanks guys! It was a nice evening and we took some good night sleep. The sky was full of stars that night and the refuge was pretty warm because of the sunny day we had :D.

We slept like tired skiers :))).

Next day the sun didn’t show his face just until we almost made it back to our cars. We also took 3 descents and then a last one in the fog. At the end of the final descent the sun showed up but the snow was bad, pulling on our knees a bit to hard… it was like we had our skins on our skis :))). In the forest, we just found more heavy snow and sweet our asses off until we reached our car. We stayed to eat something at Voina and then drove our way back home.

The track from the first day you find it here. The retreat was on the same path as the ascent. We leave you some pics and an edit. Enjoy!

Balea lac freetouring powder days

This is not a recent one, but we just haven’t had  time to write something about it.

It happen last mouth in one of the perfect weather weekends that we had. It was an weekend with all inclusive, powder, joy, happiness, problems, panic, doctors and again… powder :))). But all turned out alright as you will see. And we have the pictures to back it all up :P.

The plan was to claim a room that we paid over 2 months ago at Paltinu mountain hut (nice place by the way, VRR approved :D). We hunted this good weather weekend and now it’s here.

I haven’t been to Balea on more then one occasion, doing an avalanche course last year so I was pretty eager to go and better discover the place. Once up by the cabin we went directly to Paltinu to live Bubble (Cosmin’s dog) and go touring.

We climbed to Capra Lake and on the ridge of the mountain to Vaiuga peak. It was the most beautiful ridge walk I have taken so far, man that feeling. After this we made a first descent from under Vaiuga peak to Balea valley and on to the start of the cabin.

After this we took the cabin back up and go again to Paltiu to check how Bubble was doing. It seemed he driven the guys from the hut mad, so we had to take him with us. Bad idea! It was pow day and the dog is like 15 cm tall :))). This being told, Cosmin ended up carrying the dog almost all descent. Then, after following Cosmin on an narrow couloir and straight underneath Balea Cascada, disaster stroke. Cosmin took a silly fall and had his operated shoulder injured. We then had to go to Sibiu and go to hospital to check his shoulder out. We had some luck because Nicu stayed at Paltinu for this last descent and he could send to us some stuff and my car keys in order to go with Cosmin to hospital…. after the hospital experiences, Cosmin’s arm was immobilized and he took the next day off from riding. That night we go out to grab a pizza and then straight to a colleague of mine that helped us with accommodation for that night, thanks!

Next day was a bit cloudy. Cosmin stayed at Balea Cascada, at the start of the cabin, and I have gone up for one last ride with Nicu that ramaind at Paltinu to claim the room :)). We did a nice run to Doamnei Valley and back to the cabin. It was also powder day and the clouds ware low and over 2000m we had such a beautiful day.

After some further consulting, it turned out that Cosmin shoulder was ok and only needed some rest. One important advice, don’t take small dogs on powder days! :)))

Here are the pics and an edit. Enjoy!

Oslea backcountry skiing

So this year I decided to visit Oslea and Valcan Mountains again, near Straja ski resort. Last year I took part of Oslea hike and ride contest that is organised by Red bull and takes place each year, here, near Oslea peak. This year I did not get a place in the contest, looks like its a very popular one, in like 5 minutes all places ware filled up :))), maybe next year.

But, I did something else, I have gone to do some backcountry skiing there, and it was B E A U T I F U L ! It was such a nice 3 days mini vacation that I am seriously consider to do the same next year. First day, being an 5-6h drive from Bucharest (depending when you leave), I’ve been to Straja ski resort. It’s been a while science last time I have been here (first year when I learned how to ski :D). Such a nice resort, like all the ones in the west. Now I really discovered it, finding the second chairlift was a blast, that is where the fun off piste skiing is :D.

After a day at the ski resort, we took our accommodation in Lupeni and went to technical meeting for the contest to learn about the snow conditions on the mountain :D. So they took the contest in the old place, not the one that took part last year. That means that part of the mountain will be all free :D. The snow was perfect and the whether to. The forecast showed clouds but the clouds ware around Retezat mountains that are near and a little bigger so we had like the perfect ski touring day as you can see it from the pictures :D. At the evening we went to the contest party to see who won :D. Big surprises there, places switched and I am glad that the freeride scene is moving on here in Romania.

Next day was powday. We made a track to the contest place. In the ridge of the mountain was 50cm deep pow! It was the best snow I have encountered science I start skiing, balls deep powder! Too bad we had to make only one run because it was the last day and we had to get back home. Oh well, till next year! I leave to you some pics and some short edits for better resemblance of this beautiful mountains. Enjoy!

Photo credit: me and Alexandra Popescu.