Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fagaras Mountains: Access from Avrig and Mount Barcaciu

The town of Avrig is a good place to start your ascent from the west. If you arrive by train there are some minibuses that can take you to the start of the mountain trail, at Poiana Neamţului Chalet, which is more of a pension The contact numbers are: 0040723/170.219, 0040723/527-818 and last time we checked, in the winter of 2011, it was around 80 lei for the whole minibus. The bad news is that this money divides among the occupants, so the more the merrier. Or you can walk and hope to hitch a cheaper ride with a local, as we did. However, should Fortuna not have a wet spot for you you might get stuck walking for about 20 something km. If you arrive by car you can leave it in front of Poiana Neamţului Chalet, just talk to the people there, they're really nice. But if you want to trek a long portion of the ridge it's far better to go by a means of locomotion you don't have to return to.
From here, it takes about two hours to get to the next Chalet, which is Bârcaciu, following the trail marked with a red cross.

You start on a forestry road, bordered by raspberry bushes through the forest, then pas through a small valley, and, leaving the road, you enter a small path, climbing steeply on the Piciorul Bârcaciului, which is the foot of Muntele (Mount) Bârcaciu, one of the many secondary ridges.

In the last portion, just before reaching the chalet, there's a clearing formed by a forest fire, which is now invaded with a pink sea of Epilobium.

The pink invasion

The men at Bârcaciu Chalet are quite strange and sometimes really grumpy ( I mean the two guys, 'cause the lady is very nice to people), but it's full of dogs and chickens and donkeys, making for quite an entertaining place to rest a bit before continuing your ascent.

Welcome visitors! Has you any food?

Hello! I heard you were having lunch.
From here there are two possibilities: you can go north and west towards Avrig lake, or north-east, towards Scara Peak. There are two alternatives for each of the destinations.
To get to Avrig lake you can take the trail marked with a blue dot, descending in the valley below, then climbing into the Avrig caldera, or continue on red cross towards Scara Peak and follow the ridge trail west.
In our trip, we continued towards Scara Peak (2306m) climbing Muntele (Mount) Bârcaciu. There is also a way east, under the peak, safer for winter ascents.

Getting to the ridge
The sights, and especially the sunsets from Mount Bârcaciu are quite spectacular. There's a steep climb, then the small plateau of the mount and at the end another steep climb up Scara Peak. If you aim for the peak you should not stay on the marked trail which goes around and behind the peak, but remain on the easterly slope and make your way around the rock outcroppings -- only for experienced hikers!
The view from the mount's back is beautiful and it's full of blueberries and all sorts of flowers. We were climbing before sunset, with the sun behind us and the air was quite hazy, shrouding Transylvania with a blueish mist. The mount was dotted green from juniper, brownish-orange from  Agrostis and bright pink from Bruckenthalia, poking it's flowery head around the rocks.
A view of Barcaciu Chalet from Mount Barcaciu
 To our right (west) we could see the great Avrig caldera and valleys, and the Ciortea East and West peaks. The narrow ridge is guarded by the stone tower of Gârbova. In front, Scara peak rising tall above it's limestone-studded caldera, a rare sight in Făgăraş. All was golden in the evening sun.

A view from Mount Barcaciu
Garbova and the trail mark

To the left (east) we could see Negoiu peak (2535m) in the distance and one of the mightiest secondary ridges: Piscul Tunsului (the sheering ridge), connected to the main ridge by Custura Ciobanului (the shepperd's narrows). In front of it is Piscul Şerbotei (Serbota's ridge), holding Negoiu Chalet on it's back.

A view to the east from Mount Barcaciu

Mount Barcaciu in the evening light

My lady of the flowers

Scara Peak

The sunset from Mount Barcaciu
After we enjoyed the sunset we managed to get to Scara peak by dark. We slept in the new shelter. It can house about 14 people and has solar powered lights.

No comments:

Post a Comment