Vânatorea lui Buteanu Peak, Făgăraș Mountains

The third stage of the peaks of Romania higher than 2500 masl
Bâlea Lake – Caldarea Văiugii – Saua Văiugii – Vânătorea lui Buteanu Peak (2,507 m) – Capra Peak – Revolver Needle – Capra Lake – Saua Capra – Bâlea Lake


In Romania’s 2500-er cycle, I set out to conquer all the high peaks over 2,500 meters in our country, on the fastest route. In the case of Vânatorea lui Buteanu, the fastest way is to reach the route marked with the blue triangle Bâlea Lac (2,037) – Saua Caprei – Saua Văiugii – Vârful Vânatorea lui Buteanu (2,507) in 1-1.5 hours. Due to the fact that the mentioned route is actually crowded, I suggest an ascent that lasts a maximum of 30 minutes longer and an original descent, partly on an unmarked route.

About the Făgăraş Mountains

The Făgăraș massif has 8 of the 13 peaks over 2,500 m altitude located in our country. One of them is Vârful (peak) Vânăt(o)area lui Buteanu – 2,507 masl. That “”o”” in the parenthesis has sparked several debates… vânătarea or vânătoarea? When I started going to the mountains, in the documentation of the years before the 90s, I only heard / read about “Vânătoarea lui Buteanu”, that means “Buteanu’s Hunt”. In recent years, however, both names have been circulating in parallel….

Route Map

(click on objectives for extended version)

Technical Box

Difficulty: medium / hard

Duration / distance: 4 hours (with cumulative breaks of over 1 hour) / 6 km

Marking: blue dot / blue triangle / unmarked / red stripe / blue triangle

Water sources: Lake Bâlea and Lake Capra

Minimum altitude: 2,037 meters above sea level at the base

Maximum altitude: 2,507 meters above sea level in Vânatorea lui Buteanu Peak

Difference in level: +550 m / -550 m

Remaks: forbidden in winter and to be avoided during periods with electrical discharges

1. Bâlea Lac Cottage – Caldarea Văiugii branch

20 minutes

Group photo and start from Balea Lac. In the Balea Lac area there is a large agglomeration due to the easy car access in the summer on Transfagarasan. You can park right next to the old cabin “on the lake” – Cabana Bâlea Lac.

Lake Bâlea is located at an altitude of 2,034 m above sea level, occupies 5 ha, length / width 360 m / 190 m, depth 11 m and is populated with fish. We start on the route marked with a blue dot (and blue strip), which initially runs parallel to the Balii Valley, under which the Transfagaran route goes.


Bâlea Lac

our hiking group

the blue dot mark


Netedu Peak

2. Caldarea Văiugii – Saua Văiugii

50 minutes

Branching routes. We turn sharply right on the blue dot and enter Caldarea Vaiugii. We head towards the Vanatoarea lui Buteanu peak, humpbacked and stony, from which the Netedu descent ridge is formed, where the marking we left will reach. We find a few tongues of snow and advance towards the scree in front. Although from afar the climb to the summit seemed difficult, in fact, with a little effort on the last section we reach the ridge, where we meet the “classic” route.

the blue dot mark

Caldara Văiugii

Vânatorea lui Buteanu peak

Vânatorea lui Buteanu peak

Caldara Văiugii

rock wall

3. Saua Văiugii – Vânatorea lui Buteanu Peak

25 minutes

We are in Saua Văiugii and it is crowded! The blue triangle marking will guide us from here to the top. A new perspective opens. In front we have the Caldarea Capra with the Capra and Căprița Lakes.

A little before this we cross an exposed sector while climbing, more recently equipped with safety chains. Spectacular! And I have to fight my fear of steepness… On the last hundred meters the path is aerial, but without presenting any dangers after crossing the climbing passage.

Văiugii saddle

Goat (Capra) Lake

Lespezi, Călţun and Negoiu peaks

the blue triangle mark

Caldara Văiugii

me on Vânătoarea lui Buteanu Mountain

4. Vânăt(o)area lui Buteanu Peak (2,507 masl) – Capra Peak

15 minutes

Vanat(o)area lui Buteanu peak (2,507 masl). I climbed for 1.5 hours on a much smoother and freer version than the “blue triangle boulevard”. During the 10-minute stop, I did a short tour of the horizon. Buteanu, don’t worry, we will do the wider horizon tour from the neighboring Capra Peak, to get out of the crowd a little.

We go down for a few minutes on the same path, that is, we reach the chains, and from the saddle after them, we turn left a lot, uphill and in 10 minutes we are on Vârful Capra (peak).

Capra Peak (2,494 meters above sea level). Something more free. Horizon tour.

Vanatorea lui Buteanu Peak is centrally located on the V-E Făgărășan chain, slightly north of the main ridge, offering, like the Capra Peak, a wide perspective both to the valleys from the south and from the north, as well as the highest mountainous segment, towards east and west. To the North is the Olt Depression, to the South the Valea Caprei (Goat Valley), which forms the Arges River after Lake Vidraru. On the ridge, towards the West, in a close-up view are the peaks Iezerul Caprei, Paltinul, Lăițel, and in plan 2, forming an M or a W, from left to right the peaks Lespezi, Cornul Călțunului, Dintre Strungi and Negoiu, where we will arrive the next day. To the East, close up is the very rugged Vârtopel – Arpășel ridge, which further enters the area of ​​the route marked by the ridge at La Trei Pași de Moarte, and continues with the peaks Arpașu Mic, Arpașu Mare flanked by Mircii and Mușetescu, Podragu flanked by Tărâța and the Giurgiului Bridge, and in the distance the unmistakable trapezoid Viștea Mare – Moldoveanu (right), and vaguely behind, La Fundu Bândei, Dara and Hârtopul Darei.

Vânatorea lui Buteanu peak

Goat (Capra) Peak

Goat (Capra) Peak

Capra and Căpriţa lakes

Vârtopel Arpaşel ridge

Vistea Mare and Moldoveanu peaks

Lespezi, Călţun and Negoiu peaks

5. Capra Peak – Revolver Needle – Capra Lake

15 minutes

After a 15-minute break on Capra Peak and after clearly identifying the unmarked descent path from it to Caldarea Capra up to the Alpinistilor Monument, facing Moldoveanu, we start to descend on the unmarked path for another 15 minutes to reach a rock very appropriately named, Acul Revolver (Revolver Needle).

We reach the caldera, take a picture of the Alpinistilor Monument and meet the path marked with a red tape. We stop near Capra Lake. 45 minute break

The Mountaineers Monument

unmarked path

Revolver needle

Vistea Mare and Moldoveanu peaks

Iezerul Caprei Peak

The Mountaineers Monument

6. Capra Lake – Capra Saddle (Șaua Capra)

15 minutes

Capra Lake is located at an altitude of 2,230 m, occupies 2 hectares and on its shore is one of the favorite camping spots of many hikers who walk along the ridge. Behind the lake is Vârful (peak) Iezerul Caprei and Saua Caprei, and to the right is the route we took earlier in the descent from the peaks Capra and Vanatoarea lui Buteanu.

From Capra Lake we climbed gently to Saua Capra (2,315 m above sea level) on the ridge route marked with a red band. Community Verified icon

Lake and Goat Saddle

red tape marking

Vânatoarea luu Buteanu and Capra peaks

Revolver needle

7. Saua Capra – Bâlea Hut (Cabana)

25 minutes

Șaua Capra (Goat saddle). Here there is a crossroads, we continue forward and immediately Caldarea Balii appears to us where we have to descend quickly on the blue triangle. We have the Saua Paltinul on the horizon in front, the Balea Hut and the Balii Valley below, as well as the Transfagarasan. Arrival at Bâlea Lac.

the blue triangle mark

Bâlea Lake

the blue triangle mark

me in the Făgăraș Mountains

Paltinul saddle

Bâlii Valley

Bâlea Lac (Lake)


For me, a wonderful route of grade 10 on the peak of Vânătorea lui Buteanu. The 4 intrepid hikers Petra, Bogdan, Costi and I were at the height. At 2,507!

All the best! “See you” at the 4th stage of the 2500s!