Coltul Balaceni, Fagaras. Winter climbing

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Together with Silvia, we spent  New Year’s Eve with the tent at the foot of Coltul Balaceni (2196m) in Fagaras Mountains. During 31 Dec-02 Jan 2012 we enjoyed a small vacation and did some winter climbing in this remote and special place from Romania. Below is a Topo with the routes:

On the 1st January 2012, we’ve started climbing route no 3. We’ve climbed 4 pitches (out of eight-we used a 40 m rope) and then decided to rappel down as the time was late and our progress slow. This is the hardest route in Coltul Balaceni (5B, Romanian grade). See our video:

On the next day, 2nd January, we’ve climbed route no 1 (3A, Romanian grade). The conditions we found during our climb were not the greatest, but we had fun, see in the video:

The rock you will find in Coltul Balaceni is granite and schist, mostly solid and very nice to climb. I heard the last 2 pitches from route no 2 are not as solid…

There are pegs on the routes, but is good to have 3-4 pegs with you for route no 3 (the hardest). We also had a set of nuts and 3 cams with us (small size). We used a 40 m rope. If you use a 60 m rope, you will get to the top in 5 pitches.

The climb starts at an altitude of 2000 m. From the top you can follow the path to the South till you get into the Fagaras Main ridge (marked) and then go West to Fereastra Mare a Sambetei where you can descend back to the North. 

You should consider a full day for approach if you start from Sambata de Sus Monastery, or 2 h from Valea Sambetei Chalet.

Some picture from route no 3 (climbed on 1st January):

Pictures from route no 1 (climbed on 2nd January):

 

 

 

 

 For a more detailed story of our climb, please see Silvia’s articles here and here.