Tag Archives: backcountry

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.

Iezer mountains skitouring day

Iezer mountains skitouring day. This happen on Sunday. The avalanche risc was a bit high because of the heavy snow so we decided on a more mellow terrain that implies no such risk. We went from Voina Mountain hut, near Campulung to almost Batrana peak in Iezer mountains on so called Plaiul lui Patru. It is a beautiful skitouring track that takes you to the ridge of Iezer mountains an an nice accessible “ridge”. You can find the track here. Next time in Iezer mountains, probably we will do the classic refuge ride :D. Until next time, ride safe!

Fagaras mountains skitouring day on Lespezi Peak

This one is from last weekend, best day so far this season. It was a close call, we were not so sure we wanna go to Lespezi peak but decided in the last moment and it turned out to be the best decision. It was the perfect day, the weather was as such that we felt the harness of the mountain because of the cold (-15 degrees Celsius) but also the beauty of it because of the bright sunny day and the beautiful pow that awaited for us on descent…

Lespezi peak is also called corporate Everest because it is an easy accessible peak from Fagaras mountains that happens to have a good height of 2517m. We took the ridge track that takes us from Transfagarasan road (Piscu Negru) and passes near a shepherd hut where you can sleep in the winter (1h from the road) and up on the highest ground till the very peak (4h from the road).

All the way, if you have good weather, you will have great view over Fagaras mountain range.

You can find the track right here, don’t mind the ending point, I forgot to stop the activity when we reach our car, but I stopped it when we reached Conacul Ursului where we had a great meal!

We leave you the video and the pics bellow. Until next time, ride safe!

Bucegi mountains backcountry skiing

Bucegi mountains backcountry skiing, Romania.

The pictures and the movie are from Sunday. After on Saturday we stayed on the slopes of Valea Dorului (Sinaia, Bucegi mountains), on Sunday we said to our self that we have to take advantage of the beautiful weather and made some touring skiing to Paduchiosu’ peak. First we climbed on Varful cu Dor peak and made a descent near Vanturis waterfall, then we climbed on Paduchiosu” peak and then back to the slopes.
It took us almost 5h, with snack breaks, pictures and all inclusive. Nice touring day.

You find the track here: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2421291173

Regarding the snow, there ware tow little avalanches spotted, but poor snow, you can see it in the pictures. Until next time, ride safe! Enjoy!

Ski Sureanu

Ski Sureanu, asta am facut weekendul trecut, si chiar ne-a placut.

Stateam in cumpana daca sa dam o fuga la Voineasa sau la Straja dar pana la urma am zis sa incercam o “statiune” noua, chiar daca am condus cam 6.5h pana acolo. Regrete nu sunt caci zona este absolut superba, seamna putin cu Voineasa dar parca are ceva in plus. Pare a fi un rai al backcountry-ului si chiar are cateva fete unde poti face freeride in toata regula, iar legat de partii, suntmai mult decat ok. Astfel, relatam mai jos aspectele de retinut.

Cazarea: Cazarea, daca vreti sa mergeti la Sureanu, ar fi bine sa o aranjati cu cel putin 2 saptamani inainte. Cele mai apropiate pensiuni sunt in Luncile Prigoanei, localitate aflata la 7-8 km distanta de domeniul schiabil. Am impreisa ca este un hotel ceva mai aproape, sf Petru parca ii zice, dar destul de scump, cel putin pentru gusturile mele.

Daca nu gasiti cazare in Luncile Prigoanei, mai gasiti la Oasa, la 22km distanta de partii. Noi aici am gasit dar doar cu cateva zile inainte, deci a fost mai multe decat ok. Am gasit cazare la cabana Oasa, o pensiune mai mult decat cabana, cu camere faine si mancare buna, deci o recomandam cu incredere. Camera a fost 120 ron pe noapte cu mic dejun inclus, paturi comfortabile, caldura din plin si dush in camera… lux ;). Cazarile la pensiunile din Luncile Prigoanei incep cam de pe la 240 ron pe noapte, asta din cauza ca si distanta pana la partie se injumatateste :P.

Drumul: Drumul daca e sa pleci din Bucuresti, este, lung…. dar frumos. Ultimii 22 km de la barajul Oasa sunt neasfaltati, drum forestier. Totusi, am impresia ca este mai bun iarna decat vara. Noi l-am prins inghetat si inzapezit. S-ar putea ca in conditii de zapada abundenta sau de polei, sa trebuiasca sa va puneti lanturile la roti. Totusi, este perfect ca este neasfaltat caci esti nevoit sa te deplasezi cu o viteza mica care iti permite sa observi frumusetea locului ;).

Partiile: Domeniul schiabil Sureanu are cateva partii, cea mai lunga avand 1.6 km. Are 1 telescaun si 2 teleschiuri sau mai bine zis tragalete asa cum le numesc localnicii :))) sa mor de ras cand am auzit, tragalet :))), adica te trage….

Partiile sunt rosii spre albastre si nu sunt batute chiar bine. Am impresia ca in zona asta chiar nu prea stie lumea cum sa le bata si lasa niste santuri pe partie de iti poti rupe usor fashul daca vi mai adormit pe partie… Una dintre partii este marcata ca si neagra dar asta petru o singura portiune de 5 mentri putin mai abrupta :D. Totusi, intre partii te cam poti da pe oriunde iar daca prinzi si cativa centimetrii de zapada proaspata, poti avea cea mai faina distractie prin afara partiei. Optiunile de offpiste sunt nenumarate. Copacii sunt rari si iti va face o placere deosebita sa te dai printre ei.

Exista mai multe baruri/apreskiuri in preajma partiilor si toate is faine si pline de voie buna. Skipassul este 100 lei pe zi si 65 pe 4 ore, o cartela de 20 puncte este 80 de lei iar o urcare cu teleschiul este 1 punct iar cu telescaunul 2 puncte.

Backcountry: Asa cum am mentionat la inceputul postului, Muntii Sureanu ofera nenumarate posibilitati pentru ski de tura si chiar freeride. Are atat dealuri domoale cat si fete abrupte si pare sa fie o zona care tine chiar bine zapada. Am avut timp sa incercam si putina tura pe langa schiatul printre partii si chiar am descoperit o zona in apropierea partieii care ofera multe coborari faine. Dezavantajul ar fi ca este cam batuta de soare si ar fi fost bine sa o exploram in prima parte a zilei ci nu la finalul acesteia cand, dupa o zi insorita, zapada era grea si necooperanta :P. Totusi, asta este doar un loc incercat de noi dar zona are atatea locuri ce asteapta sa fie descoperite, veti observa singuri din pozele de mai jos ;).

Ca si concluzie, ne-a placut mult la Sureanu, vom reveni, eventual cu mai multe zile de concediu ca sa avem timp sa exploram cum trebuie zona :). Pana atunci va lasam mai jos cateva poze si filmulete din zona ce surprind experienta noastra de weekendul trecut. Enjoy!