Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fagaras Mountains: Negoiu Challet and Serbota ridge

Negoiu is a great chalet, with very nice owners and keepers. They will treat you very well as long as you show respect for nature and thair work. Lady Mioara seems to be the boss and heart of the place. She is also quite funny and will always help those in need. Another great guy is John, who used to manage Turnuri chalet with his brother, Nae.
The thing we like most about this place is that it feels more like a home than an accommodation. The rooms are cosy, the view amazing and the food great.
If you choose it as a start point you can come by foot or car from Porumbacu de Sus for about 22 km on a bad forestry road, then climb a steep trail through the forest marked with a blue triangle. There is a place where people can leave their cars, past an abandoned quarry.
The chalet is very big, the food and beer relatively cheap and the rooms have the most amazing view.
Accessing the ridge can be done in three ways:
- west, over Puha ridge, to Scara Peak
- straight over Serbota ridge
- towards Negoiu Peak, through Sărata  valley and the northern caldera under Negoiu. You can either climb straight to the peak or go to Călţun lake through Strunga Ciobanului (the shepherd’s pass).

Getting to the ridge from Negoiu Chalet
A single day is enough to climb from Negoiu Chalet to Negoiu Peak and return to the chalet. Şerbota ridge is also a lovely ascent. You may find yourself in the clouds on some mornings, but as you climb you soon poke your head above them and gaze at the white sea below from the top of the ridge. Blueberries are everywhere.
We saw our first bears in Făgăraş from Negoiu Chalet.

Negoiu Peak and Custura Saratii, seen from Negoiu Chalet

Brown bear across the valley
A view of the sunset from Negoiu Chalet

Scara Peak above the clouds

Serbota ridge and Negoiu Chalet

Cicerbita alpina

Spider web decorations after a rain

 The blue triangle trail, going straight to Cleopatra's saddle, roughly follows the same altitude to the Sărata caldera beneath Negoiu Peak. Just before the caldera, big blueberry bushes will surely delay you for a while :)

The cadera beneath Negoiu Peak

Sarata's waterfall

A view of Serbota ridge and Sarata valley from the caldera

Negoiu Chalet and the Olt river

A steep climb along a big scree with huge rocks takes you above the caldera, to Cleopatra's saddle. A sharp, towering rock below the saddle is called Acul Cleopatrei (Cleopatra's needle).

Cleopatra's needle
From the saddle you meet up with the ridge trail, taking you to Negoiu Peak.

To Negoiu

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