Winter was about to settle in the Carpathians and I was keen to taste some climbing somewhere close to home.
The weather forecast wasn`t very promissing so we chose the Retezat Mountains where I knew we could try some climbing routes regardless the weather. We were a little disappointed to see there was no snow lower in the valley. There was no snow in the forest either, so we enjoyed an approach along the Pietrele Valley filled with lots of green grass and wet boulders.
Higher up we noticed the grey clouds covering the peaks and we saw that winter was actually knocking on the door :). We had a nice trek around Pietrele Lake and Stanisoara Valley with a group of friends and later in the evening we enjoyed a beer at Gentiana hut.
The next day, I went climbing together with Alin Iliesiu in the Bucura II North wall. The granite was coated with a layer of fresh snow. It seemed like true Patagonian conditions but unfortunately the snow wasn`t strong enough to hold the peaks of the ice axes. We changed the initial plan of climbing the “October 25th” route, to a more accessible line, the “Furcile Chimney” on the Northern side of the wall.
After all we found lots of snow during our climb and we enjoyed the proper Romanian “alpine” conditions. In the end, I would say winter can always be found “this time of the year”, you just have to search long enough for it or to just look around the corner 🙂