Romania travel: Three routes to conquer Romania's highest peak
Excitement, fear, adrenaline. Hiking can offer you a whole range of unforgettable emotions. If you have never climbed on “the roof of Romania,” the Moldoveanu summit, which reaches 2,544 m, it is time to do it. The excitement of climbing the last stones and the happiness of having arrived at the top, of having the world at your feet…suddenly the daily problems seem very small…
All the following routes require good physical condition, proper equipment, food and water supplies, and above all, willpower. Do not drink water from the lakes but from specific sources and always check with the cabin where you plan to spend the night before leaving to make sure it will be open so that you don’t have any unpleasant surprises.
The route that passes through Valea Rea:
Valea Rea (the Bad Valley) ironically represents the shortest and easiest route to reach the Moldoveanu peak in just four hours, if you don’t take any breaks. Overall, the round trip will only take a day. The route starts from a picturesque mountain landscape, with a sheepfold and in the distance Cascada Mare waterfall dominating the landscape. On the route you will pass by Galeata Vaii Rele and the beautiful Iezerul Triangular glacial lake.
The route: Stana din Valea Rea (1,460 m) - Caldarea Vaii Rele - Iezerul Triunghiular (2,156 m) - Portita Vistei (2,310 m) - Vistea Mare Peak (2,527 m) - Moldoveanu Peak (2,544 m).
The route that passes by Balea Lake:
This is one of the most popular routes but also one of the most difficult, requiring no less than nine hours to reach the summit and just as much to return. You can obviously cut the trip in half and spend the night at the Podragu cabin. The itinerary begins at the famous Balea Lake, where you can spend the night so that you start hiking very early the next day. Expect some fog and even some rain.
The landscapes are amazing, wild, you will pass by Capra Lake, a perfect place for camping, by "Fereastra Zmeilor” - the "window of dragons,” a kind of opening in the rock overlooking the sky, you can see marmots and wild goats, but the part where you will have most emotions is called "Three steps from death" (La trei pasi de moarte). Well, do not take this too literally, rest assured, this path has been traveled by many people, even very young people, but you must not be afraid of heights to get to this step, this section being partly equipped with cables and chains.
The next day, from the Podragu cabin, in about three and a half hours, you can conquer two of the highest peaks in Romania: the Vistea Mare summit and finally the Moldoveanu peak!
Route: Balea Lake (2,034 m) – Saua Capra – Capra Lake – Portita Arpasului – „La trei pasi de moarte” – Saua Vartopului – Arpasul Mare – Iezerul Podul Giurgiului – Saua Podragului – Saua Ucei Mari – Saua Orzanelor –Vistea Mare Peak (2,527 m) –Moldoveanu Peak (2,544 m).
Contact Podragu cabin: Podragu.ro/telefon-cabana-podragu
The route that passes through Valea Valsanului:
This route requires sleeping somewhere because of its length: between 12 and 16 hours of walking. A total of 35 km, starting at the Valsan dam and passing through forests, meadows with springs and rugged landscapes. After admiring the beauty of the accumulation lake, you can continue on a forest path that leads to the village of Bradet in the Valsanului Valley. You will then pass by the mountain peak Tuica, then by the depression Saua Scarisoara that offers one of the most beautiful perspectives on the Moldoveanu summit which appears like a pyramid. Then you will reach the Galbena Peak from where you can see the Galbena lake, and this means that you’re quite close to the summit!
Route: Valsan Dam –Galbena Peak (2,419 m) – Galbena Lake – Rosu Peak (2,489 m) – Moldoveanu Peak (2,544 m).
The original article, in French, is available at Lepetitjournal.com.
(Opening photo: Amorphisman/Wikipedia)