luni, 14 ianuarie 2013

Walking and hiking trails in Romanian Bucovina to the Giumalau peak

The Mount Rarau is a kind of Romanian Olympus, subject to many myths and legends, and very popular among Romanian, maybe because is easier accessible. There are more possible trails for that, I have already recommended you one.

Compared with Rarau, the Giumalau peak is only 200 meters higher, but so different! Is is not so friendly anymore, he won't allow you to discover it so easy. Giumalau is much more arrogant, has forests up to the peak, and on  its northwestern side you can discover another old genuine protected on 300 hectars forest (600 acres), called Pojorata. The forests is very similar with the Slatioara forests , and consists mainly on bruce firs, in pure unmixed woods! Over 1700 meters the spruce firs are amazing small, and suffer strong deformations due to the permanent winds. At this point of your climbing appear the small, but dense juniper tree (Pinus montana), which you can cross only after big efforts! My tip: leave them, and search for a proper trail. Other plants emerging often here : the blueberry bush (Vaccinium myrtillus), or the Vaccinium vitis-idaea. In the lightings appear Saldonella montana or the bells (Campanula abietina). A new apearance among the birds, a real star: the mountain grouse; about the bigger and smaller mammals, very similar with Slatioara: wolf, fox, roe, deer, bear, lynx in extended populations. You can still hunt there a lot, let me know about it!
The arrogant Giumalau is not impossible to conquer

One possible trail to conquer the Giumalau is starting from Vatra Dornei. You must climb 1057 meters, following the red band. Please leave by dawn, you must walk 10 hours. The trail leads from Vatra Dornei to Chilia Creek-Obcina Mare (1245 meters)-Obcina Mica (1322 meters)-Lighting Ciungi (1550 meters)-Giumalau Peak (1857 meters) -Mountain Hotel Rarau(1520 meters). Observe in Vatra Dornei the first red band in the small park near the local Council. Be so kind and leave at the left the highway, following the road 17B along the picturesque valley of Bistrita Aurie. When the creek Chilia pays its last tribut to the Bistrita Aurie, follow the creek valley (the red band is very easy to see and follow)
You deserve a good rest after  conquering the peaks Rarau or Giumalau, and the mountain hotel Raraul can offer you that

Follow 5 km the forest road , discovering the Obcina mare and obcina Mica. On the meadows appear the mountain typical landscapes: fences and summer rooms for peasants or animals. Don't miss the exceptionally view from the lighting of Obcina Mica. After only 3 km you cross other trails for conquering the Giumalau peak: one coming from Putna Valley and Itcani (red triangle), or from Mestecanis cabin (yellow band). In a short time you will be able to conquer the arrogant Giumalau peak, after 6 hours hiking, becoming as a small attention the breathtaking view. The other few hours you need to reach the Hotel Raraul, as you need lodging somewhere, and this is the most reasonable possibility! Hotel Raraul is satisfactory, you deserve a good rest after conquering a peak of 200 meters. Take also a refreshing dinner, with a glass of wine.

There also other options of trails towards Giumalaul Peak, but the main thing to know is this: it is not impossible conquering it, be self confident. Take good care on the way of you and your group/family, and never lose the from the sight the trail markings. Also important: don't dare to think of hiking these trails in winter, it is too dangerous. Imagine what happens losing the marks and direction!

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