#hiking #Ciucaș #Carpathians #VerticalStories #Garmin #InstinctSolar

Rodica Voicu, a supporter of the TMF initiative continues her adventures along the Garmin Instinct Solar smartwatch in the Carpathians of Romania! This time, Rodica invited us in Ciucaș mountains in the Carpathians of Curvature! WE hope that her joyful way of telling mountain stories, will be an incentive to explore the mountains of Romania

Rodica Voicu in Ciucaș Mountains / photo: Mihai David

Ciucaș Mountains: Winter Hiking

I was hunting for some time the perfect weather: bearable wind, sun and cold to tie the snow together. This hike seemed to be a relaxing one, with multiple breaks and even more photo stops… it is true that you truelly had what to shoot!. Everything was covered in snow, all those wonderful rocks were white… Almost unable to believe that this place is in Romania, under 2000 m.

I call in advance at the Ciucaș and Silva chalet and the Salvamont (mountain rescue team) to ask about conditions. During the weekend we know it was blizzard, wind and bad weather, so nobody could got o the top.  They tell me there would be around 2 m of snow, and they have no information about somebody having climbed to the top, but the mountain rescue team inform us that there are traces all around and they are pobably made recently.  Five days have already passed since last weekends’ blizzard. We start early in the morning, in order to enjoy the great weather of this day.

Gate covered in snow / photo: Rodica Voicu

Just arrived at Valea Berii, we barely get off the car and we are welcomed by a friendly dog who jumps around me 😊 then he greets each of us. He does not really let me put my snow protections on… nevertheless Cuțu (the dog) will be our companion for the entire hike and also our photo model exactly where needed  : ) immersing himself into the white landscape.

Cuțu on an adventure / photo: Rodica Voicu

I watch my Garmin Instinct Solar smartwatch. It is 9:15 a.m. and I set it on hiking mode. After 2 hours of walking among the tall fir trees we reach  Ciucaș Chalet where we make a break of ….one hou! In fact we were waiting for one of our colleagues who finally decides to stay at the chalet. The rest of us, we continue under the generous sun and calm wind, that we have “ordered” at the meteo.

photo: Mihai David

The more we go up, the more the fir trees and the rocks are covered in snow. Pictures tell it all… far away you can see the Large Tigai, and Cuțu the dog turns his head from time to time and seems to make a large smile … he knows what to expect on the mountain top. 😊

As we progress, the snow becomes bigger and bigger, and soon we make a traversing in deep snow, near a rare fir tree area. Here and there, you can see some ice and some prefer using crampons. The landscape seems taken from a fairytale… everything covered in white powder and huge ice flowers; the trees, the rocks … Nature has gone wild. When we reach Babele la sfat  (The Old Women Rocks) three skiers catch us and they stop for photos. The scenery is breath taking.

photo: Mihai David

We can already see the summit and in about 1h40min from the chalet, we reach it. We meet some happy hikers on the way. Up on the summit it is cold and a little bit windy. Cuțu the dog is resting. My watch shows 13:58, 4h40 of activity since we left our car and 962 m climbed.

Rodica Voicu on top of Ciucaș Mountain / photo: Mihai David

Garmin Instinct Solar / photo: Rodica Voicu

We take some impressive photos and start going down filled with true winter tales. The dog gets back in its role, happy by our side… We leave the trail for a while just to make even more photos with the rocks on the ridge and the fir trees covered in heavy snow. We continue until the chalet where a well deserved ciorba awaits us 😊. We reached the car right after sunset.  

Hiking in Ciucaș Mountains / photo: Mihai David

I check my watch: it shows 16,27 km walked, 999 m elevation gain, 8h27min, 2706 kcal … and since the sun has been with us all day long, the solar intensity on the daily chart is maximum!

author: Rodica Voicu / January, 2021.