Winter trekking in the Carpathian Mountains reveals true adventures in the blinding white of the snow that crunches under our steps, while the sun is warming up the atmosphere, under the blue sky.
Once getting to the ridge the view is overwhelming us: huge patches of snow-covered fir tree forests on lower altitudes, snowdrifts and peaks sparkling in the rays of the sun - this is how the “white Carpathians” appear in front of us!
Day trip to Iezer-Papusa Mountains, ascending the Papusa peak, 2391m.
Early morning departure from Bucharest.
The car route follows the Bucharest - Pitesti highway, then towards the town of Campulung. From here, the paved road goes up the upper valley of the Targul River, along the course of which we can see the dam and the Rausor reservoir, built in 1987 for the production of electricity, mitigating floods and supplying drinking water to the downstream towns.
After about 2.5 hours after leaving Bucharest, we arrive at the Voina hut (980m), the place where the mountain ascent begins. The route, marked with red band, follows for a few hundred meters the paved road we just came on, then crosses the Târgului River and continues for about 30 minutes along a forest road; we meet a metallic pole that signals the entrance in the forest and the start of the sustained climb to the alpine area, which we reach after about 1 hour. We leave the forest, noticing a sheepfold to the left, then continue the gentler climb to the Găinaţul Mare Refuge (1810m), followed closely by the Găinaţul Mare Peak (1832m). The panoramic perspective of the upper area of the Iezer-Papusa massif is already opening, to the north, towards Papusa Peak, our summit destination. We continue the easy ascent on the somital plateau, wide and grassy, until Grădişteanu Saddle (1944m), at the intersection of several routes. On the right we can see St. Ilia's glade or the Argesel spring, one of the tributaries of the Targului River. The last section of the route, up to the top, is a little more sustained.
At the top, the panorama is spectacular. To the east we admire the silvery, calcareous crest of Piatra Craiului, and in the distance the Bucegi Mountains. To the S-SE rises the Leaota Massif with its spines, separated from the main peak. To the N-NW, over the Dracsin mountain we can see the Fagaras Mountains, the highest in Romania. Towards the W, slightly arching towards the SW, the ridge of the Iezer-Papusa massif continues; we notice two more prominent peaks, Iezerul Mare, above the caldera that also contains the only glacial lake in the massif, Iezer, respectively Vf Rosu (2469), the highest of the massif. At the foot of the Iezer-Păpușa Massif, to the south, we admire the valley of the Targului River which profiles the Iezer massif in two main peaks that join to the north, like a huge horseshoe, and in the distance the Câmpulung depression,
We leave the Papusa peak, on the same route, back to Gradisteanu Saddle, and then we change the markings, from now on following the blue lane route to the west, towards Cuca Hut(1210m). We entered the forest; the descent is sustained until the hut. From the Cuca hut we follow the forest road for about 4.5 km to the Voina hut, the starting point for today's mountain ascent, at the end of an aproximated time of the mountain ascent of 7 hours.
Back to Bucharest. End of the tour.
Mandatory: backpack, waterproof jacket and pants, two pairs of gloves, thermal parka, warm hat, winter boots, crampons, sunglasses, sunscreen, trekking poles, and flashlight.
Optional: ice axe, helmet, harness.