13 August 2013

Piatra Craiului North Ridge

Piatra Craiului is considered by many to be the most beautiful massif in the Carpathians. Its long svelte white ridge rises more than 1000 meters higher than the surrounding area. Once on top one can only be amazed by the narrowness of the ridge and the steepness of the rocky mountain sides.

The ridge of Piatra Craiului is a popular hiking route. It is usually covered in two one day hiking stages. On Friday I did a day trip on Piatra Craiului with three other good hikers. It was a beautiful but rather hot summer day. We set off very early so we could get up on the main ridge before the weather became hot. We then covered the entire length of the north section of the ridge from Turnu peak to La Om peak and returned back to the car that was left close to Zarnesti - a town located at the bottom of the mountain, the main access point to Piatra Craiului.

Most routes in Piatra Craiului are quite technical. I would never recommend hiking on the steep trails to the ridge or on the ridge with a large backpack. Set your base camp at the base of the mountain and do day trips with light equipment. Do not forget to carry enough water. The whole mountain is limestone, meaning that there are no water springs in the high area.

I haven't been for many years on the north ridge. It was a good refresh trip as I plan to do a trail running trip to cover the entire length of the ridge in one day. Last year I hiked the southern section of the ridge so now I am quite familiar with the entire length of the ridge.

I can say that on fine clear weather, if it is not too hot, with light trail running equipment and good training, there should be no issues to cover the whole length of the main ridge, from Turnu peak to Funduri saddle, including the ascent to the ridge from Zarnesti and the descent back to Zarnesti.

Here are some of the photos I took on the day trip.
Piatra Craiului North Ridge, a set on Flickr.

P8091796_webP8091717_webP8091723_webP8091725_webP8091741_webP8091743_web
P8091747_webP8091750_webP8091754_webP8091755_webP8091756_webP8091758_web
P8091760_webP8091765_webP8091767_webP8091772_webP8091778_webP8091780_web
P8091786_webP8091789_webP8091793_webP8091794_webP8091797_webP8091803_web

And the GPS track of the day: