Făgăraș Ridge 1/5 – Făgăraș Mountains

Lazaret (350) – Raven’s Saddle (1568) – under Chica Fedeleșului (1750) – Tătarului Saddle (1780)

 

 

This is Făgăraș Ridge 1/5 – the first stage of the “full ridge” route of the Făgăraș Mountains. It should be mentioned from the start that the option most approached by those who travel the V – E ridge starts above Avrig, from the Turnu Rosu Monastery. But in my opinion, this no longer means “full ridge”. You really don’t lose anything important if you start from Turnu Rosu, you even save time and climb a slightly smaller difference in level. But, we chose “full ridge”. The western extremity of the ridge of the Fagaras Mountains is in the Oltului Valley. The ridge route is marked with the “classic” red tape, the ridge marking of the Romanian Carpathians (with some exceptions). We presented ourselves in a bipedal position at the northern exit from the town of Lazaret (SB) on DN 7 around 3:30 in the afternoon. Lazaret is 35 km from SIbiu, which can be reached by road in 45 minutes. The nearest train station is the Valea Fratelui stop located 400 m downstream, on the Olt river. The goal for this first short day of the trail was to reach the alpine gap, in the ridge, as far as possible and spend the night close to a water source.

Route Map

(click on objectives for extended version)

Technical Box

Difficulty: medium

Duration / distance: 6.5 – 7 hours / 14 km

Marking: red band

Water sources: Chica Fedelesului, point 5 on the map

Minimum altitude: 350 meters above sea level, in Lazaret

Maximum altitude: 1780 meters above sea level, in Tătarului Saddle

Difference in level: +1,600 m / -200 m

1. Lazaret (350 m) – km 355+100 (350 m)

1.5 km / 30 min / easy / red lane

Start from the Lazaret. Follow the road for a few hundred meters to the north, towards Boita, with your right ear on the right bank of the Olt and with your left ear in the current made by the numerous tirs that cover many more kilometers than us. We meet the entrance sign to the route on which a time of 6-7 hours is spent until Chica Pietrelor. So much? In any case, we were prepared to climb partially to the front as well. We were crossing the bridge over the Olt river, a bridge that a tourist with a braver driver could cross, but we would not have gained more than 1 km. We are on the “fagarasan” bank of Olt. We had to climb a difference in level of about 1500 meters, while under our eyes some canoes carried downhill, of their own accord, a few passionate about this “means of transport”. 1.5 km we move “flat”, also towards the N, next to the railway line that we cross next to a small footbridge over the Randiboiu river, located at the CF 357 terminal (on several maps it appears 355+100, but the photo mine is eloquent).

the kilometer marker where we cross the railway

Detail of the bridge over Olt

The alternative to car traffic on Olt

the route entry indicator

The bridge over Olt that must be crossed

Lazaret

2. Km 355+100 (350 m) – Claia Bulzului (1.384 m) – Strâmbanu (1.506 m)

9 km / 4 h / medium / red band

We enter the mountain. And we enter steeply into a thick beech forest on Cetatii Hill. After a first effort, the slope calms down, but remains obviously ascending. We pose for mushrooms while under the soles of our shoes the gravel we are stepping on cracks. Imagine what animals live in these places! We arrive at a first clearing. But not for long. The path returns to the forest. Speaking of animals, can you tell me who carved this tree trunk? But who installed these pipes in its stem? We bypass Claia Bulzului (1,384 m) to the north, which is rockier on its opposite side.

through the thick beech forest, the route is well marked

the first clearing, view towards the ridge

fungus

And the wild animals went on the mark

who installed the pipes?

3. Strâmbanu (1,506 m) – under Chica Pietrelor (1,606 m) – Raven’s Saddle (1,568 m)

2 km / 45 min / easy / red stripe

After making an S, also to the north we avoid Piscul Strambanu (1,510 m) and exit into the alpine gap. The sunset show begins. And it will be a grand one as we deserved because we reached the ridge much faster than the first indicator mentioned. From now on, the path was not going to cause us any more problems, it was going to be relatively flat, so we could go forward as much as we could, even if it was inserted. We pass north of Chica Pietrelor (1,606 m). We were enjoying the sunset on the go.

Piscul Strambanu

evening show

the evening is left in Fagaras

Chica Pietrelor

we enjoy the sunset

sunset

4. Saua Corbului (1,568 m) – below Chica Fedeleșului (1,750 m)

2 km / 30 min / easy / red stripe

We arrive at Raven’s Saddle (Saua Corbului, 1,568 m) at the intersection with the red cross trail that comes from Turnu Rosu. We did 4:40 hours from the indicator that threatens us with up to 7 hours! Another indicator mentions in this place 3 hours to Suru Saddle, where we will pass the next day. The sun has gone down, but you can still see it clearly in the twilight. The time is coming to turn on the front lights as the villagers turned on the lights of their houses in the valley.

Raven's Saddle (Șaua Corbului)

View of the Olt Valley through the twilight of the evening

the villages of the Olt Valley

the lights in the villages

5. under Chica Fedeleșului (1,750 m) – Tătarului Saddle (1,780 m)

1 km / 30 min / easy / red stripe

We are north of Chica Fedelesului (1,820 m), where we meet a good spring right on the path. Water springs from the earth. We fill up and decide to move a little further until we find an ideal place to camp. We stop in Tătarului Saddle. We pitch the tents on a flat, grassy ground, perfect for camping. A round of millions is announced. The big test follows the next day: Custura Sărății! Now, good night!

The spring from Chica Fedelesului is right on the path

Night falls

Conclusion day 1/5

Făgărașului Ridge 1/5 was an entrance lap to the ridge, which does not present any difficult obstacle to pass, but which is demanding due to the large difference in climbing level of about 1,500 meters. Especially the first climb is steep. You need to stock up on water because the first spring is only towards the end of this route, near Chica Fedeleșului.

Next day 2/5 Curmătura Tătarului – Lake Calțun.

All the best!

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