marți, 24 septembrie 2013

Romania, Lotrului Mountains: into the world of Southern Heights

Latitude/Longitude: N 45° 30' 0.00"  E 23° 52' 0.01" (45.50000, 23.86667)
Location: near the cities of Sibiu, Brezoi, Voineasa (Valcea/Sibiu Counties)

Lotrului Mountains are located in The Southern Carpathians, having the highest point in Steflesti Peak (2.242 m). This area is made up by crystalline schists that forms the Getic Web. The glacial relief is less developed, but brings a special note to the whole landscape.


The mountain slopes  are covered with rich forests of spruces, or a mixture of this vegetation with beech. As well as this, the alpine pastures broadening on crests above 1800 meters altitude.

Tourism activities that can be practiced in the Lotrului Mountains are trekking, mountain-biking, off-road, wildlife watching and skiing.

Central part of Lotrului Ridge (Steflesti Peak) seen from Cindrel Mountains

Steflesti Peak - 2242 m

Vidra Reservoir

Many touristic routes are extended within this area,  many reservoirs are gathered at the foot of the slopes. the panoramic view is very impressive and the chilling time spend here should be a blessing for everyone who dare stepping on these heights.

Weestern Fagaras Ridge seen from Lotrului Mountains

Southern Fagaras Massifs seen from Lotrului Mountains

In a whole, Lotrului Mountains composed of a main ridge west-east oriented, comparable in length with Fagaras Ridge (over 60 km in a straight line), and for those who discover the picturesque trails, wilderness is the key word, the pleasant surprise of finding this area being spiced-up with a dash of adrenaline. 

If you want to wander as the rebel bands did several hundred years you came in the right place, everywhere in this corner of the Carpathians legends are still alive, as ridges and valleys have their names taken from the powerful leaders of outlaw gangs in the Northern Valcea County: Voinesita Peak com from a man called Voinea; Braneasa Peak from Bran Head; Pascoaia Village - from Pascu etc. The very name of Valley and Mountains of Lotrului is synonymous with "bandit", "highway robber". 
The legend of „lotrii” (bandits) come to reality thanks to the documents of the Seventeenth Century and Eighteenth Century of Agia (Police of The Romanian Kingdom), as well as the written sources of Austrian Imperial Army. The latter was ruler for a short period of Wallachian territory of Oltenia (1718 - 1739). During that time the Vienna administration imposed tough reforms which led to a spiralling of outlawry unprecedented in Europe.

 The hidden mountains envisaged in this description become a shelter for people rebelled against Habsburg occupation, as a result Austrians left the region of Oltenia after 21 years from the annexation.

As mountains of crystalline origin, homogeneity is the defining factor of their unfolding landscape with high peaks and strong,  prolonged and heavy ridges, furrowed by numerous valleys with furious streams.

Traditional shepherd fold

All in all, to  cover the longitudinal ridge from Transalpina Mountain Road heading to Olt Valley (or vice versa) you need a minimum of 3-4 days, if not five counting the transition to / from these mountains as well. The tent is the ideal partner in this massif, even though  many  shepherd's folds  are to be taken in consideration as points of refuge (especially during off-season).

Eastern Heights of Lotrului Mountains 

Looking at the pictures, your attention will be focused to an alternative route in these mountains, very attractive, i.e. a semi -  circuit with arrival and departure in the Olt Valley. We will check out  most of the objectives of the two edges (eastern and north-eastern) branched nearby Peak Voinesita . 

View from Prejba Chalet

For this route is good to have three spare days, for a medium backpacking route. More likely, with a touch of "running" this trip can be done ​​in two days, but in a relentless manner, for which I believe the first choice is more reasonable. 

For more pictures of these mountains please have a look here: 1, 2, 3, 4

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