On a high – Bucegi & Piatra Craiului, Romania

 

Feels like on a high. 6 days in the mountains. First some days with the bike team and then 4 days sharing favorite trails and discovering new ones with Ștefan.

8.000 meters up and 10.000 meters down. 200km of riding. We covered the “good old” Bucegi and Piatra Craiului.

Due to some virus I wasn’t feeling too good setting off from Bucharest but mountains are for me the medicine to all evil. Just approaching them and knowing there will be good biking coming up, is enough to get better. I arrived late afternoon to Padina and would meet up with the guys later on so just enough time to sneak up the cable car from Peștera to Babele and get a ride on the plateau and down.

The cable car arrives at 2200 meters and I then made it up to The Heroes’ Cross, honoring the heroes who died on duty in WW1, with the looking-out-of-an-airplane-view

Makes you happy…

First time down these trails on the 29”wheels and I gotta say the bike is performing. Further down I come across some DH-guys all dressed up in their DH pyjamas. Bit of an overkill on that trail and I got tired of waiting for them and hit the trail at high speed. Coming out of a forest section I’m five meters from crashing into a bear. Luckily the bear was more scared than I was and ran off. Close encounter… I stopped several hundred meters down the trail. Looking back, no bear. Time to enjoy the view instead

So, the reason for coming up to this place was to support the team in their arrangement of a team building event for an IT company. Sunday ride with the IT guys was a good one and we had a great time

Got my stuff packed and left to meet up with Ștefan and we checked in on the other side of the mountain. Monday morning we got going directly from the hotel. From Cabana Gura Diham we had to push a lot before reaching this uphill trail

At Cabana Poiana Izvoarelor we recover from the pushing

At Pichetul Roșu we continue on to a very demanding trail working its way horizontally around the mountain.

Ștefan solves some work stuff with a nice view

It’s tough terrain

But we are strong

Looking North East

After a lot of pushing and carrying we can spot Cabana Mălăiești

Magic hard-to-access-place

The trail we came from

We get going down the trail

For once the lack of pics on the way down was compensated… Ștefan brought a GoPro:

We end up in Poiana Bunacu and make it up to Cabana Diham and onwards back to Pichetul Roșu

From there there’s a section of ups and down before the long downhill down to Bușteni:

New day. New adventure. We arrange a transport up the mountain to 1600 meter elevation and bike it from there up to towards Vf. Omu at 2507m.

The three of us at Babele

Almost there

Just beyond the peak. Down there, by my right thumb, Cabana Mălăiești from yesterday

Big mountains bring big rides

And moments of contemplation

We make it around the corner

We tried waiting for some rain showers to pass by, but they wouldn’t and we couldn’t wait to enjoy the classic downhill from Șaua Strunga to Șimon so we got going. Some of it caught on film but then it got to wet. At least we had the pleasure of bumping into Horia from MTB Tours on the way down.

We arrive soaking wet from the rain and then the rain stops of course… Dinner is served

The following day we go for Piatra Craiului to make two sections of climbing and descending. In the afternoon the clouds are getting darker and darker but no rain.

First section

Second section

Last day… We decide for the unknown. Something we haven’t tried before. We start a long climb up the valley from Șimon

…and reach a section of the trail we did two days earlier. It was a heavy climb getting there so we have a snack with this view

… and then we go north on what seemed a very good trail on the map. Partially it is… but partially…

Some parts are awesome though

We are exhausted and the sections of pushing and carrying are longer and longer until we finally get to only carry the bikes. We arrive at Şaua Polițe. Ştefan is commenting that the downhill better be good or the carrying was for nothing. I’m of course thinking the same but don’t dare to say the words loud. What if we spent all those hours of hard work just to end up with a trail that we can’t even ride? Well, we get paid for the hard work.

What an ending of six days on a high!

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