Archive for October 22, 2010

Last year in this period I was coming home after a party at Curmatura and at La Refugiu sector there were some guys rock climbing. I have to admit that I was always attracted by this sport but in some strange way I wasn’t able to practice it from various reasons. So as we were passing by that area a friend of mine, Ionel, already mounted the rope and he hadΒ  invited me to give it try on Marina route. This is the easiest route from that sector – 5a and it has 25 m. First I hesitated, but Ionel told me that it is easy and he will borrow me his equipment. OK … let’s give it a try than. The first part is very easy – probably 4a – 4b, but after 10 m the route becomes steep and if you are afraid of heights its not a good idea to look down. However I was determined to finish the route and one step after another I’ve manage to reach the top. To be honest I’m very proud of my first ascent. I will keep it with me for the rest of my life. Marina its not easy for a beginner, not to mention for somebody who is trying this sport for the first time. However, starting from last year I’ve got infected with this virus and since January this year I have started to go in Brasov to Natural High climbing gym.

So much for the beginning. This year in May, Ionel invited me to Prapastiile Zarnestiului for another round and this time I was anxious πŸ™‚

We started on Grota Sector. More details regarding the routes can be found here.

And this time I was much better … but I wasn’t able to finish in one round. In the middle of the sector I slipped, but I continued from there and finish successfully.

Some shots…

The routes from this sector are harder than Marina, they have 6a (Gruia) and 6a+(Gusatu). It was a grade more than what I have tried last time on the rock and I was satisfied with myself. After that we moved at La Refugiu sector, and there I’ve manage to successfully climb in the first round Afumatura which is 6a+.

Also I’ve climbed Marina but this time with no problems. Another shot with me an Iuli to the left. You can see how bad I was climbing :), my hands were not stretched and I was holding a static position with muscle power. This is something to avoid, always the arms stretched and most importantly footwork.

Since May I was many times to Prapastiile Zarnestiului for climbing. Mostly at La Refugiu sector because every time was raining and that was the only place where is safe to climb due to an impressive overhang which shelters the routes.

That time I’ve also learned that its not a good idea to go rock climbing in shorts. My knees where filled with bruises, but I’ve learned my lesson :).

It was almost the beginning of August and so far I wasn’t able to find some time to climb on Piatra Craiului ridge. I’ve made a lot of sightseeing in that area either with my bike or by foot, but each time I was stopping at Curmatura(1470 m) or below the ridge. So along with two friends we’ve decided to go for the ridge this time no matter what :).

This was the established route:

Botorog – Curmatura – Padinile Frumoase –Β  Ascutit – Piscul Baciului – Grind – Prapastiile Zarnestiului – Botorg.

Its quite a long route and you need some training to finish it in one day … having in mind that you will definitely stop for pictures.

So early in the morning – 8 AM we’ve started from Botorg and climb in about 1,5 h to Curmatura. There we’ve stoped for that wonderful tea – rododendron with brandy πŸ™‚

At 9.45 we’ve started from Curmatura, next stop being Ascutit (2150 m).

The weather was wonderful, maybe a little too hot, and a lot of tourists were on this route. Being almost an year since my last climb on Piatra Craiului ridge I’ve started the climb with times on my mind. I wanted to see how fast I can climb this route. So I left my friends a little behind and I’ve started to overcome the groups who were climbing slower or just slower than me πŸ˜€

At 11.00 I reached Ascutit and the ridge was looking wonderful.

We’ve stopped there to eat something and after half an hour we started for the next check point – Piscul Baciului (2239). The same thought was in my mind … what time do I need to finish this part of the North ridge?

But I had to stop a couple of times to take some pictures πŸ™‚

And again

This one was recovered from a paparazzi πŸ˜€

I was feeling really great. The sun was shining, the ridge was beautiful, all the ingredients for a wonderful day. I went directly on the ridge although the path was going around some peaks.Β  In some portions I had to do some easy climbing, but the difficulty was quite low. In some portions near Timbale there are some exposed areas but I didn’t wanted to cheat … only on the ridge.Β  We’ve started our route for about an hour and Piscul Baciului was looking closer and closer. Finally after 1,5 hours I reached the peak, closely followed by my friends. The peak was really crowded as you can see.

After 30 minutes the peak was all ours so I could take another shot just with me πŸ™‚

More than half of the people who were on the peak didn’t have proper equipment, mainly shoes. I didn’t wanted to be in their place when they descent. We decided to go on Coltii Gainii and not follow the regular route down. I was very happy with this decision because a lot of flowers – flori de colt- were in that area. And now some artistic shots πŸ™‚

After a long walk from the base of Piatra Craiului to Botorg we reached our car at 8 PM.

Although is October I still remember that day and how good I was feeling on the ridge. When I reached Piscul Baciului I wasn’t feeling any fatigue in my muscles or in my joints. I was feeling sorry that we didn’t thought to do the whole ridge in that day. Piata Craiului’s Noth ridge is a very nice route, not very challenging but a little longer for those how don’t have some training. I’m planning this year to do the same route in the winter, but till winter comes maybe I will give it a shot this week-end as the weather forecast isΒ  looking good.