I remember as it was yesterday even though it has been almost 12 years. My first mountain trip. We had no experience or knowledge about buying the proper gear. All I had was a cheap backpack, a tent, which later on I was going to find out is not waterproof, and day to day clothes. If only somebody would have told me climbing in jeans is not a good idea. ( That’s me in the orange T-shirt.)

We took the early morning train and before midday we were in Bicaz station. Our aim was to climb Toaca Peak and we set up camp just outside Izvorul Muntelui village by a small river. After dinner we hang our food in the trees far away from the tents and went to sleep.  At least we thought so. At first the bears grunting kept us awake. Good thing we didn’t have any food around. And then it started to rain and not only outside but through the tent. I remember running against the wind with a piece of nylon trying to cover our tents in the middle of the night. Next morning we got a fire going and improvised a new technique of drying clothes:

As we pass Ivorul Muntelui Hut, we took the red band trail on the left side. A 5 hour hike through the woods until Dochia Hut and another hour to Toaca Peak. It was muddy and damp. Mix this with a cotton shirt, jeans and street leather boots and you got a hell of a trek. But the excitement of my first mountain trip won over exhaustion and we got out of the forest into Poiana Maicilor (Nun’s Glade). After a deserved rest we moved on and in short time reached Caile lui Miron. A rock formation named after an old shepherd that used to play folk music at his flute.

Caile lui Miron

By the time we got to Dochia Hut (1750m) it was already late. Being tired and wet we all agreed is time to turn back while is still daylight.

Dochia hut

I don’t remember being disappointed because we missed the peak. On contrary I was proud we managed to reach almost 1800m with no equipment or training. We returned via the same route, camped at night and left the next day. Judging by the picture we took while waiting for the train I’m pretty sure I never lost so much weight in 3 days.

We all have to start somewhere… and this was mine.

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