Off-Road on Evil Valley
When you want to bring together your enthusiasm for hiking with the passion for motorcycling, it is difficult, but not impossible. Objective: reaching Moldoveanu Peak – the highest summit in Romania.
Various routes take you to the rooftop of Romania. All of them are tough but one of them gives you the opportunity to reach the top in one day. This is our wish, so we settled into one of the nearby guesthouses to start the Adventure at the crack of dawn.
From the accommodation to the base of the mountain you ride 35 km of unpaved road. The route is easy-to-traverse on two wheels. The only downside is the logging in the area, as if more frequent than in any other regions. Trucks full of logs roam up and down Văsălatu forest road, and the sharp blade accurately operates the Earth’s lung. The surgery was successful, the patient did not survive.
With disgust in eyes and souls, we passed the exploitation areas. While the road itself is not impressive in terms of scenery, the gravel road is ideal for those who want to get started in off-roading. Sections of potholes, puddles and mud can challenge the inexperienced adventurer. The forest road is surrounded by a coniferous forest, hiding the spectacular views from the eye of the passer-by, but impressing with various waterfalls.
At Văsălatu Dam, turn left towards Stâna lui Burnei. 1 km after Gura Bândei the forest road suddenly ends and the impressive picture of the Făgăraș mountains opens in front of you. The rocky peaks can be seen in the distance mysterious and provocative. White and fluffy clouds, look like supernatural creatures dancing an ancestral hora in the wind (hora = traditional Romanian dance). You are at 1420m altitude, and the Adventure is just beginning.
Stâna lui Burnei
The conquest of Moldoveanu Peak is the dream of many mountain lovers in Romania, but more difficult to hike in full motorcycle gear. You turn your gaze to the right and reality strikes. Although we had hope to find someone at Stâna lui Burnei to leave the motorcycle jackets for a few hours, we found the place deserted. We hid the equipment in huge nettle bushes, hoping that no one will dare to walk through this unfriendly environment. After filling the camel bag with cold mountain water, we started the ascent to Moldoveanu Peak.
Valea Rea Waterfall
The path winds up through the natural reservation Valea Rea – Zârna towards the Great Waterfall of Valea Rea. In the glacial basin below Mount Moldoveanu, at an altitude of 2156 m, springs Valea Rea Stream. The water follows its course downstream and plunges resoundingly into the deep hole from a height of over 30m. Seen during springtime, when water flow increases, Valea Rea Waterfall is one of the most impressive in Romania. The rainbow leaves you breathless. Okay, it could be from the rainbow but I guess it’s more from the diligent ascent to 1800m carrying in the backpacks snacks, sweets and water.
After minutes of wailing, laughter, sighs, songs, and enchantments, you finally reach the corrie. The stone paths turn into swampy areas, and the landscape is constantly changing.
The alpine plains include here a diverse relief. The Moldavian Lake, also known as the Triangular Lake, is a glacial lake located at 2159 m in altitude. The bed of the Valea Rea brook is formed at the exit of this lake. The area is preferred by hikers who want to spend the night in tents up on the mountain.
Continue climbing to Viștea Mare Peak, the third highest in Romania after Moldoveanu and Negoiu. Located at 2527 m in altitude, Viştea Mare Peak requires a little more action. A rock-climbing area takes a few beads of sweat out of you, but it is worth the effort.
Only one mountain peak is missing for the Great Trapezoid to be complete. A short section of chains changes the pace and makes the trip even more thrilling. Continue moving to Moldoveanu Summit – the highest mountain peak in Romania. Dizzying heights make your heartbeat faster. The wind blows hard and the frozen smile on your face has taken the shape of a grin. Traveling here you can cross in 5 hours, 3 or even 4 seasons. Stepping on the ridge of the mountain towards Moldoveanu Peak you are welcomed with special panoramas.
If you come here and want to bring something up to the mountain, bring a notebook and a pen, so that you can make room for the messages that will be left by future hikers. The notebook that already here is full, and you can hardly find a blank piece of paper to leave your impressions. Another gift you can give nature is a garbage bag to collect on your way down the dirt left by some people under stones or through bushes.
On the way back, follow the route to Lake Galbena. The curtain of grey clouds occasionally reveals an impressive panorama of the corries and the alpine plains. Galbena Lake is situated on the southern ridge of Făgăraș. Located in Căldarea Scărișoara-Galbena, the lake is the largest in the area.
Walking down through the woods sets your heels on fire. The path winds through a coniferous forest and the smell of nature accompanies you. A light rain makes the end of the route seem further and further. After about 10 hours of ascents and descents with short and frequent breaks for photographs and lunch, the reunion with the motorcycle is exciting. Your legs are already moving without you and you cannot articulate two words correctly.
Corbii de Piatră
On the way back, stop by Corbii de Piatră Monastery. A cave ensemble from the 14th century, the monastery is located 400 m from the centre of Corbi commune, on the left bank of the Doamnei River. Start your search for the Petrified Giant and make a stop at the Blue House located a few meters away from the monastery. The locals are welcoming and eager to share the stories of the place.
- Good physical condition
- Bring snacks and water with you. You will not find anything to buy at the base of the mountain.
- The forest road tends to be crowded on weekends, so it is recommended to take this route during the week time when traffic is lower.
- On weekends it is difficult to find accommodation, if you must travel here on the weekends, book a room in advance.
- The paths are crowded in high season, choose the travel period carefully.
- Do not leave food or drink packaging in nature. Take them with you in your backpack and empty them at the first ecological bin.
If you want a challenge, Curmătura Maliței is waiting for you in the area, a road that climbs you to over 2100m in altitude and offers you enchanting views.
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