Moldoveanu peak (2544 m) – meeting The King

Oh boy, we did it!! 🙂 In July 2015 we managed to reach the highest point in Romania, Moldoveanu peak at 2544 m altitude! 😀 It was a dream come true to sit here on top of Romania with an astonishing view! 🙂

Brief useful information:
Date: 21st of July 2015
Route: Burnei Sheepfold – Valea Rea Waterfall – Valea Rea Tarn (aka the Triangular Tarn) – Viștea Gate – Viștea Mare peak (2527 m) – Moldoveanu peak (2544 m)
Signposting:      +     
Distance: 5 km
Slope: +1130m
Duration: 3.5 h
Difficulty: medium/hard (abrupt climb until the Valea Rea Waterfall, then another abrupt climb to Viștea Mare peak and a delicate but short part with cables called the Moldoveanu Split)
Water sources: at Burnei Sheepfold and at the Triangular Lake
Accommodation: in the tent at Burnei Sheepfold 
Burnei sheepfold and Valea Rea waterfall in the background
Burnei sheepfold and Valea Rea waterfall in the background

We tackled the trail up to Moldoveanu peak on the fastest and easiest route just as we did when we climbed to Negoiu peak (2535 m). So we took the trail going through Valea Rea (Bad Valley) starting from Burnei sheepfold. There are several alternative trails but none can be done in a single day.

Let’s start with the beginning. I’ll tell you how to get to Burnei sheepfold in the first place. Starting from the city of Curtea de Argeș and heading towards the city of Câmpulung on the 73C highway turn left in Domnești towards Sboghițești and Slatina. You have tarmac until Slatina and then you have to continue on a dirt road until Burnei sheepfold. This road is 35 km long and it will take you about 2 hours to do it. This is the right route to take and make sure to have a GPS in order to keep on track since there are a few crossroads along the way.
wooden bridge over a dry valley
looking back to the valley with Burnei sheepfold

Now let’s tell you about our adventure here 🙂 We managed to get very late to Burnei sheepfold as in we mounted our tents in the dark : )) There was a lot of humidity since it rained earlier and it was very slippery. It was terrible, not to mention it was a bit frightening since we were the only tourists there :)))

Morning came and we were glad to see light, not only darkness 😀 Some menacing clouds were hovering the valley under Moldoveanu peak. Hmmm, we’ll take our chances we said 😀 It’s a one day route since it takes about 3.5 hours to climb up and about 2.5 hours to come back. It’s the fastest route to get to the top of Romania! 😀
We start on a the trail signposted with      and we soon cross a wooden bridge over a dry valley. After this the steep climb begins through Valea Rea. Despite the menacing clouds in the morning the weather was taking a turn for the good, it was even too hot to be honest 🙂 The trail passes along some beautiful waterfalls and even big patches of snow even though we were in the middle of summer and there were temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius in the cities.

It took us about 1.5 hours to get from Burnei sheepfold to the edge of the valley under Moldoveanu. From the sheepfold it looked like this is where the peak is but not at all. It’s only here we get to see for the first time the trapezoid shape formed by Moldoveanu and Viștea Mare peaks. We have quite a bit to go 🙂 Until we get to the top we have to cross this plateau which is pretty flat fortunately for us :))
A few more steps until the edge of the plateau under Moldoveanu
looking back from the edge of the plateau
plateau under Moldoveanu

This plateau is in fact a big wet land (picture above). Since it’s surrounded by the steep peaks of the Făgăraș Mountains water collects here and the ground cannot absorb it all. Thus, you should be careful and keep going on the signposted trail that generally avoids the water hidden by the short grass. You could easily get stuck here 🙂
Here on this plateau we also encountered an active sheepfold not far from the trail and also some curious donkeys, that you can see in the picture below, which were grazing in this place with the impressive trapezoid formed by Moldoveanu and Viștea Mare behind them as a background 🙂
curious donkeys
close to the Triangular Tarn under the trapezoid formed by Moldoveanu and Viștea Mare
The Triangular Tarn

Compared to the climb through Valea Rea the trail in this plateau is like a walk in the park :)) We soon reach the Triangular Tarn (seen from above it has a triangular shape, see in the pictures below). When we reached the tarn we decided to take a longer break (about 15 min long). We ate, hydrated admired the surroundings and looked above to the dominating Moldoveanu peak.

Next, we’ll do the last climb to the first and third highest peaks in Romania. We climb up from the Triangular Tarn to Portița Viștei (Viștea’s Gate) on a pretty steep hill but still a bit lighter that the one through Valea Rea 😀 This climb takes about 30 minutes.
some more climbing until Portița Viștei
looking back to the plateau with the Triangular Tarn
Portița Viștei (Viștea’s Gate)
Portița Viștei (Viștea’s Gate), the Triangular Tarn and the plateau

Once we reach Portița Viștei a truly beautiful show is going on for us 😀 We see the very steep, almost vertical, rock Nordic wall of the Făgăraș. It’s aggressive, very steep, rocky and jagged. This wall dictates the flow of the clouds which pass from Transylvania into Muntenia (the name of the historic region in South-Eastern Romania). Hence the name of the place: Portița Viștei that could be translated as Viștea’s Gate since the clouds are “allowed” to pass through this rock gate 🙂

This phenomenon is absolutely amazing, very impressive. You really feel so small in this place. This reminds of what I heard someone say about these mountains: that he loves the Făgăraș Mountains since they make you feel so small 😛
clouds passing from Transylvania to Muntenia through Portița Viștei
clouds passing from Transylvania to Muntenia through Portița Viștei

I must admit that we stood flabbergasted for a few minutes here and I can say that I’d come here just to be in this place again! 🙂 Further in the distance we see the Viștea Refuge with its well-known red rooftop and walls painted in white and red. It’s about 15 minutes away in the opposite direction.

We continue our way to “The King” on a trail now signposted with. The last really steep climb is next until we reach Viștea Mare peak (2527 m). It’s not extremely hard but it takes a lot of effort 🙂 From Portița Viștei to Viștea Mare peak it takes 40 minutes.
steep climb to Viștea Mare peak (2527 m)
Viștea Mare (2527 m)
Moldoveanu peak seen from Viștea Mare

We left our trekking polls here on Viștea Mare peak (2527 m). Some also leave their backpacks and I think it’s a good idea especially if you have large ones because before Moldoveanu peak there is a short delicate passage where a large backpack could unbalance you.

Viștea Mare (2527 m) is the third highest mountain peak in Romania after Moldoveanu (2544 m) and Negoiu (2535 m). Unfortunately this peak is not highlighted in any way. There’s only a rusty indicator on top. From this peak you’re 30 minutes away from Moldoveanu, “The King” 🙂
before the delicate Spintecătura Moldoveanu passage
Spintecătura Moldoveanu passage

Coming up next is the most delicate part of the route to Moldoveanu. It’s called Spintecătura Moldoveanului (Moldoveanu Split) and it’s basically a “V” – shaped passage that you must climb down and then climb back up on the other side and it has cables so that you can hang on to them 🙂

It’s totally doable but it’s true that it has a bad reputation since some tourists underestimate it and fall 🙁 If you are careful and don’t hurry you’ll be perfectly fine 🙂 You can see this passage in the picture above. After this part we are soon on Moldoveanu peak (2544 m), on top of Romania!!! It’s amazing to be here and feel very proud that we made it! 🙂 We are all really happy and immediately start admiring the views from the highest place in Romania 🙂
Moldoveanu peak (2544 m)
Moldoveanu peak (2544 m)
Moldoveanu peak (2544 m)

There’s not much to say. The view is amazing! We had perfect weather, a blue sky with a few fluffy clouds just enough to look good in the pictures 😀 We had great friends with us and all these put together make up the ingredients for a memorable trip 🙂
You should definitely come here and see all this for yourselves because it’s so difficult to put in words 🙂 It’s not easy to get here but it’s not impossible! I’ll let you admire some of the pictures we took from Moldoveanu 🙂
view to the West
Viștea Mare seen from Moldoveanu
The Triangular Lake and the plateau (North – East)
view to the South
peaks in the Făgăraș Mountains
alternative trail to Nucșoara – Southern route
Our route on the map:

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