Archive for December, 2010

Finally the winter came and this week-end we were able to “taste” it on the main ridge of Piatra Craiului. It was a perfect route on an almost perfect day. We’ve started to climb Saturday in the after noon and stayed over night at Curmatura with our friends form mountain rescue. They are always nice company and usually we end up celebrating something over night :D.

Early in the morning though we’ve waked up and after a quick breakfast we’ve started our route: Curmatura, Turnu peak (1823), and descend on Karol Lehmann route to Curmatura.

The “heroes“: Iulia, Tudor, Ionel and me.

Morning sun …

We had a tea at Curmatura and we’ve started towards Turnu Peak. Everything was just right, the weather, the mountain, the company so I will let mostly the pictures do the talking.


Piatra Mica…

Just before starting the climb…

The route that we’ve chosen it’s not for beginners. In winter conditions even an easy route can be quite difficult. Usually the route to Turnu peak is not recommended on winter. It has one exposed area and most of it is on cables. As we’ve started the climb, the rock was quite slippery and in most of the cases small portions of ice were between the rock and the snow. An ice ax is quite handy, although I didn’t used it much. You have to be quite comfortable with a 5a-5b climbing route and pay extra attention on the holds you chose. In most of the cases you cannot rely to much on your feet. Also a rigid shoe is a must. On this route I was able to test my new winter shoes :). I don’t have any contract with Millet, but I have to say that their Millet Ice and Rock are just wonderful in winter.

Some pics 🙂

The heroes in action…

Nobody wanted to take my picture 🙂

A nice view…

Going up …

Another nice view as we were approaching Turnu

The heroes again 🙂

Again I had to take my own picture …

This is the end of the difficult portion. After this you only have to do some slalom between the snowy trees.

As I was approaching the top the view became more an more surreal

The route was so beautiful that we didn’t even felt its toughness and quite fast we’ve reached Turnu.

By the time we’ve reached Turnu the clouds started to come, but I still had a 10 minutes window to take some incredible shots.

… again the heroes, but this time on the main ridge

On the ridge we had to make our own tracks, but we were lucky that the snow was not bigger than 30 cm.

The descent started from Saua Padinei Popii which is at almost 2000 m. The route is some how exposed, but for the moment there is not too much snow on the ridge.

Descending on snow its a real joy … is like jumping on a huge sponge. I really enjoy this part in winter, although my left knee doesn’t.

We started our route at 9 AM and after 4 hours we were back at Curmatura. After some well deserved food we slowly stated our descend through Prapastiile Zarnestiului were I took another great shot (in my opinion 🙂 )

We really enjoyed this two days in Piatra Craiului. Winter has something special in the mountains … it’s more dangerous, but also more beautiful, wild and sometimes almost surreal.

If my knee will let me I have big plans this winter and I hope this is only the beginning of the winter routes.