Made it to the top! 4th ski touring day in Ciucas mountains has been great. No more fog, just a perfect sunny bluebird day, great for pictures and with corn snow and hard pack on descent.
Enjoy and ride safe!
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.
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!
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!
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. 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!
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!