Normally I’d never have the idea to make the trip to Romania for snowboarding in the Carpathian Mountains. But the CNF Romania FWQ***(http://www.freeridetransylvania.ro/) took place in Balea Lac and so one had a good reason to explore some of the mountains east of Austria.
We decided to head to Romania with the camper van, which turned out as a good idea. We found nice free camping spots, where no one ever complained about us. And we were woken up in the morning by horse carts passing by. Parking in the cities is very well regulated and for sure there were some potholes on the road, but who cares, if one takes it slow and easy?
Romania has a great cultural history, which one can experience in every city. There is great Architecture from different epochs and people who really care about their heritage.
Our route led us from Vienna over Budapest to Szeged, over the boarder to Romania and through Arad and Sebes to Sibiu, from where we headed to Balea Cascada. In Balea Cascada one takes the cable car up to Balea Lac. Balea Lac sits in a bowl open to the north at 2035 m above sea level, the walls are up to 500m higher, and one hikes everything, as there are no ski lifts. With enough cash, heli-skiing is possible, tough.
The contest took place on a face which one could check from the dinner table, the competition had to be a one run competition, because of instable weather. Balea Lac tends to have fast changing weather conditions and we experienced a lot of fog.
Nevertheless, the possibilities for spectacular lines in that bowl are endless. The contest gathered riders from Europe and North America, which resulted in a very high level of riding.
I managed to ride my line without major mistakes, and got third, yippie-yeah. In Balea Lac all the riders liveed up on the mountain, so the party was bound to get good.
Because of the party, Saturday started late, and when I finally was ready to start hiking, the fog came in. This resulted in the funny situation of 15 people sitting on the ridge and waiting for better visibility, when a thunderstorm with flashes in the fog came in. Everybody rode down very fast.
Next day Saul and me hiked up to the ridge again and in a weather window decided to ride down into another valley, where we knew that there would be a long hike out through a wild forest, which also is home to bears. Luckily all the hiking paths were very well marked, and we were talking constantly so that every animal could hear us from afar.
The next day with stable weather was Wednesday, so Saul, Kurt and I spend some lazy days around Sibiu in the van. Wednesday Saul and I went touring into the neighboring valley, just to explore the area. For next year we spotted some interesting lines.
Saul brought his Camera to Romania, so we got some nice Photos, which I´ll just post here, and which also should give an impression about this wonderful country. Big Thanks to the Organizers of the CNF Romania for making this experience possible!!!
Checkbox, what one should think of:
Even if it’s recommended the other way round: bring Euro cash and change there into LEI, the exchange rate on the street is differing, but still a lot better than to do withdrawals
When travelling by car, bear in mind, that there are unexpected potholes.
Always have enough cash with you, there are no cash machines on the mountain and in smaller villages.
Inform yourself well, before doing a tour, the locals are very friendly and helpful.