Trying to reach Omu Peak (Bucegi Mountains)

On the 1st of June this year we set on a little adventure towards what would end up to be my first proper hiking trip. The plan was to reach one of the highest peaks in Romania and the highest peak in the Bucegi Mountains – Omu Peak which is 2505 meters high. There are multiple routes to get there but my boyfriend thought we’d go via a longer but safer route through Malaiesti valley. Even via Malaiesti you have 2 routes to choose from – there’s a summer route, longer but easier if the snows have melted, and the shorter but more hardcore route via the ‘Horns’.

We left early in the morning from Craiova on the 1st of June and drove all the way to the Diham Cabin – where our actual hike started. I’d say we cheated a bit as this cabin is located at 1320 meters altitude and I believe the normal trail starts at around 1000m, and by doing this we managed to save a lot of time. In our defense though, we did drive around 5 hours to get there and wanted to give ourselves enough time to get to Malaiesti Cabin before it got dark.

From the Diham Cabin we walked around 50 minutes through the forest towards a glade known as ‘Pichetul Rosu’ (1445m). The clouds were gathering above us at that point and I was a bit worried that a massive rain would start pouring down and soak us to the bone but we were very lucky that day because that didn’t happen, even if we had been threatened by the weather for a big part of our walk.

From ‘Pichetul Rosu’ we climbed all the way to 1750m to reach a crossroad known as ‘La Prepeleac’. From there you have the option to either go towards Omu Peak for another 3 and a half hours (via Bucsoiu Peak), or walk one more hour to get to Malaiesti Cabin, which we did. The plan was to spend the night at this cabin and start in the morning towards Omu Peak.

Malaiesti (13)

I think it took us around 4-5 hours to get to our home for the night – Malaiesti Cabin. For a more experienced hiker it would have probably taken much less, but I’m a newbie over here, so we took our time. The hike was beautiful but a bit dangerous as well. We climbed and then went down and then climbed again, sometimes using chains to move along. Some parts of the track were exposed and you risked to slip and fall if you weren’t paying attention and got lost in the scenery. Nature doesn’t forgive, and as we were walking along, the crosses you found on the way, raised for people that had lost their lives in those very spots, was a reminder of that.

The moment we got to Malaiesti cabin was very special for me. We were so tired and hungry at that point, but that amazing view was worth every minute spent on the track. We checked in and ate the best soup I had in months and then went outside to enjoy the view. We also took my camera with us to take some shots before it got dark and while doing this, we noticed a chamois (or black goat as we know it in Romania) not very far away from the cabin. This was the first time I ever saw one in real life and I just had to take a photo of it. And so we started walking towards the little guy and though he noticed us, and when we moved a bit he went a bit further away from us, I actually managed to get a couple of shots with the dude. I felt super lucky and went to bed with a big smile on my face.

Malaiesti (23)

The following day, I was happy to see that it wasn’t as cloudy as the previous one. We had breakfast, packed our things and started towards Omu Peak via the Malaiesti glacial valley.

Malaiesti (26)

Malaiesti Cabin is located at 1720m altitude and we climbed to around 1900m, right at the base of the ‘Horns’. From there, like I said before, there are two ways to get to Omu Peak. You can either take the summer router – which is longer and apparently safer, but it’s open only during..well…during the summer, and via the horns, which is a very steep path, covered with snow all year long, and you would need proper gear and massive courage I’d say to go that way. Unfortunately, when we got there we noticed that the summer path was still covered in snow and it wasn’t safe to go that way yet. We ended up not taking that risk and decided to turn back. I was very sad as I wanted to get to the top so badly, but safety first. And so we turned back towards Malaiesti Cabin, and from there we took another route back to the Diham Cabin, where our car was parked.

 

On our way down towards the cabin we met a family of chamois this time! They were so so beautiful…I consider myself to have been double lucky that trip for seeing those amazing animals two days in a row up close.

Once we got to the Malaiesti Cabin again we set foot towards the Diham Cabin via the ‘Glajeriei’ Valley. This path is the easiest path to get to Malaiesti and I believe it is also the only route open during winter to get to Omu Peak. It is also the longest route and it seems perfect for mountain biking. We went down on that valley through the forest until we got to a spot called ‘La Glajerie’ from where we had to climb again towards the Diham Cabin. And what a climb that was…it literally killed us! That path is very steep and I literally felt at one point that we’d never reach our destination. Couldn’t believe my eyes when we actually got to the car and I could sit down!
We took a minute (or two) to recover from that last bit of track and then we drove to Predeal and stopped for ( I believe) a well deserved feast.

Malaiesti (50)

Ok, so I didn’t reach the peak this time, but it was an unforgettable experience for me nonetheless. I hadn’t been on a ‘serious’ hike before and I had been wanting this for such a long time. It definitely won’t be my last and the next time I will climb all the way to the top!

Malaiesti (51)

Until next time,
Happy travelling!
Gabi

 

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