30 August 2014


Today I did a speed hiking/trail running tour in Bucegi Mountains. A wonderful route through the highest and wildest area of Bucegi mountains. Here is the track of the day. Only 20km, but hard, with steep and often rocky slopes and around 1800m of accumulated elevation gain. The highest point of the route was the imposing Bucsoiu Peak, at 2492m.

At some point along the route, Cristi, my running colleague of today spotted lots of edelweiss flowers, just a few meters below the trail! There were lots of them. I have never seen so many... In fact I am not sure I have seen edelweiss flowers in the wild before. Of course we left them untouched and I hope that nobody will harm them as they are quite rare and of course, a protected species of flowers.  Here are a couple of photos:

04 August 2014

Run of the year!

After so many rainy days and weekends that forced me to stay close to home, the weather forecast for Sunday was looking very good, although it was a bit hard to believe it after the stormy Saturday afternoon. A good opportunity to venture further on higher mountains than Brasov's home mountain Postavarul.

On Saturday afternoon I phoned all of my runner friends trying to organize a run in the mountains. To my disappointment nobody was available. So it looked like I will have yet another run on the usual paths on Postavarul mountain where I feel comfortable to run alone.

On Sunday morning I reluctantly prepared myself for my usual running tour to Postavarul. Lightweight equipment: a pair of good train running shoes, shorts, t-shirt, my belt with the 600ml bottle, my running cap, my phone and some cache. I quickly eat my usual portion of oats, then hit the trail that starts just behind our house.

Just five minutes later into the run, up the hill I get a first glimpse of the mighty Bucegi Mountains. I see the beautiful and massive rocky peaks shining in the distance under a perfect blue sky. Quickly an idea takes shape... well, it is a beautiful day, with stable and warm weather and I feel full of energy... So why not! Let's run all the way to the Bucegi Mountains and if the weather is good maybe I can reach the top! Actually it is not that far away... so let's do it!

After running and hiking for 36 kilometers, and 2400 meters of elevation gain, 5h30 after leaving my home I reached the Top of Bucegi: the famous Omu peak at 2505m! What a great feeling! I did all this on my own!

Here is the GPS track that I recorded of yesterday:

And a few photos taken with a cheap phone camera.

On the beautiful Malaiesti Valley, climbing towards the Summit of Bucegi 
A look back from Bucegi. That mountain in the distance is Postavarul and behind it, my city Brasov. I ran all the way from there!
Last ascent towards Omu Peak. The meteorological station and the hut are visible 
Now a shot note of caution...
Do not attempt a run like this alone, unless you are well prepared both physically and mentally. Running alone for long distances on high mountains is quite different from running in the park!
In my case, I am well trained for long trail runs in the mountains since I train on hills and mountains almost daily. Very importantly, I also know the area quite well. I can visualize it 3D in my mind, I know the distances and the elevations. In case the weather turned bad I knew my route options. I also did this run on a Sunday with beautiful weather and ran along popular paths where I knew that I will meet many other hikers. So although I ran alone, I wasn't alone in the mountain!