After exactly 2 years from our first ever winter hiking, here we are again on the trail to the Bârcaciu Chalet. This time there was much more snow and no snow storm alert as 2 years ago.

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We followed the same trail, from Sibiu to Avrig and than to Poiana Neamțului, where we left the cars and meet some friendly cows and dogs. The Poiana Neamțului chalet has reopened and you can have a hot tea or soup if you feel like. We had some warm drinks on our way back from Bârcaciu.

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As I remember, last time the forest road was very muddy, but this time it was all frozen. At about 11:30 AM, we started our ascension on the forest road and soon after we saw the first cross_red sign to the Bârcaciu Chalet. For me it seemed that the forest road got wider due to all the TAFs used for the logging.

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After approximate forty minutes we see the small wooded bridge, crossing the river and this means we are finally leaving the forest road and the climb of the Bârcaciu mountain starts.

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From here the scenery changes totally. The frost disappears and we can see a Spring like landscape. Lush vegetation, Crude green moss on the trees and rocks and spotless white snow. The view is absolutely breathless.

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Soon after, we reached a window in the forest and we had a sneak-peak to the mountain ridge and to what we believe is the Suru Peak. We also passed the 40 minute sign to the Bârcaciu Chalet, so we knew will not be long until we exit the coniferous forest.

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Here we made a short stop to have some snacks, recover our strength and prepare ourselves for the final climb to the chalet. The view was just superb. The mountain ridge was beautiful in the light of the midday sun. And the snow was quite deep, in some places we could find ourselves berried in it up to the waist.

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Unfortunately, also the damage and rampage of the logging are visible from this side of the mountain as witnesses of human selfishness. It’s a real pain seeing so much beauty destroyed by the greed of man and the power of money. Romania has a real problem with the logging and especially with completely “shaving” forests.

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After a few more minutes climbing the mountain slope in the beautiful sun we reached the 15 minutes sign and soon the chalet was in our sight.

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Anuk, the great and beautiful white dog, was waiting for the visitors as it was 2 years ago.

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It was already 3:30 PM when we arrived and the weather was so nice, that everybody was out on the terrace enjoying the splendor of the winter view.

Our initial plan was to get to the Bârcaciu Chalet, leave out backpacks and head to the Scara plateau, but it was already late and we had only 3 hours of natural light left. Also it was orange code for avalanches, so Mihai, the son of the caretaker of the chalet, recommended us to take another hiking trail, the cruce-galbena to Scara Saddle, promising us some nice views.

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This was the same trail as the one to the Negoiu Chalet, marked spot_red, and after about 40 minutes we reached the crossing where they split. We followed the cruce-galbena trail to the Puha Edge. This was an unbeaten path, the snow was very deep and there were no walking traces from other hikers, that we could use, so we had to make our own way through the snow. But, after approximate 10 minutes of digging through the deep snow, we were rewarded with one of the most spectacular views our eyes had ever seen. The high ridges of the Făgăraș Mountains were in display in their full splendor.

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My guess, these are the Negoiu (2535 m) and Lespezi (2522 m) Peaks, but I’m not sure about this. Anyway the view is just breathtaking.

After a lot of pictures and play in the 2 meters snow, we returned following our own foot traces, trying to be back at the chalet before the sunset. We where there just after 6 PM, in time to catch the beautiful colors of the sky at sunset.

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Dinner and some beers and we were in our sleeping bags at around 10 PM. A good night sleep, great breakfast cooked by Tanti Mariana in the morning and then we where ready to return to our cars.

Here some information about costs:
Bârcaciu Chalet: 35 lei / person
Vegetable soup 10 lei
Polenta with cheese and cream 7 lei
Herbal Tea 3 lei
Beer 8 lei

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