Winter season is coming to an end so I decided to do one more climb before waiting for the summer. I got in touch with my mountaineering club and they were heading north in Moldova so I joined them. At 9pm on the 25th we were in the train ready to start our journey. After a long sleepless night  we got to Cimpulung Moldovenesc at 6 in the morning. After a quick breakfast in the train station the team was ready to go.
The journey starts at 620m from Cimpulung Moldovenesc city, passes by East train station and then reaches the main road that leads to Izvorul Alb (White River) Valley. Once you got there the yellow cross route leaves the road behind and after about 3km you find yourself in Limpedea Valley. Surrounded by hills and grass fields we continue our hike for another 2 km. From now on the trail cuts through the forest all the way up to Rarau Peak. At first the snow doesn’t seem to be that deep however we have to cross many frozen creeks and that slows us down.

The more you climb the colder it gets and the deeper the snow. Small gaps in the forest reveal the valley. A good time to refill our energy with some chocolate. And also a valuable lesson to learn. Always carry a thermos with you when you climb in under -15C. Or you will end up like me with a frozen bottle of water.

Frozen waterfall

 

After 4 hours of climbing, just when the forest seems to never end we see it. The red band trail that will take us to the hut. A few minutes later an ocean of white – Saua Ciobanilor.

Above forest lineA few hundred meters away Rarau Peak reveals itself. The wind blows so hard freezing our faces. Is no place to rest here so we keep going. Relatively an easy summit at 1651m as the peak looks more like a hill.

Rarau Peak

One that reaches the top is delighted with a superb view of Toancii Valley. The well known rock formation Pietrele Doamnei ( Lady’s Rocks) dominates the surroundings. We spot some signs of civilisation  – electricity cables – and we know the hut is close.

Pietrele Doamnei ( Lady's Rocks)

One hour we reach Rarau hut. It’s actually more of a hotel by the size of it. I remember taking a picture that is nowhere to find. We spend the rest of the day drying our clothes and resting.

We’ve decided to return by another route and we follow the yellow triangle that will take us to Poiana Sihastriei. It’s an easy hike and it shouldn’t take us more than 3 hours. The massive forest clearance makes it difficult in finding the trail but the instinct kicks in. We are just sad to see nobody does anything to save it.

Deforested area

The trail continues beneath the Bodea Peak into Valea Seaca (Dry Valley). We can see some houses in the distance and in less than an hour we are in the restaurant waiting for the a well deserved dinner.

Valea Seaca (Dry Valley)

 

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