Multi Pitch Rock Climbing in Bucegi Mountains - Sperantei route - Costila

It has been about two or three years since I last climbed on a multi pitch wall. I did’t miss it that much as I climbed a lot of nice sport routes in various venues in Romania and abroad as well. Yet there was always a hint of nostalgia when the thought of long climbs came into view.

Rus (my friend) has brought the issue on the table once again, as he did in all these years of sport climbing, and decided it’s time to go out there and climb "Sperantei" route. We had some unfinished business on that route and we just could’t postpone it any longer. We teamed up with two of our climber friends - Catrinel Enache and Sabin Sasu - and went for the heights.

We were early risers on the day (20 June 2009) but we wasted way too much time by the time we got to the wall - we realised that later when it felt we were running out of time.

For me the climb seemed okay in the first third of the wall; I redpointed quite a few pitches and I enjoyed it. I was comfortable as me and Sabin were following Rus and Catri, who were leading up the route; more than that, Catri`s parents came especially for guiding us and they were giving us indications as to where the route goes, what line we must follow, etc. They were at the side of the wall, on a prominent ledge, taking photos and speaking to us. If it hadn’t been for them and Mihai Sima, another fellow climber who was on the wall on o different route that day, we would have spent the night somewhere up the wall.

Therefore, after a marathon of 14 pitches and approximately 400 meters of conglomerate we reached the ridge just when night was setting in (time 21.40). At that point we just felt relieved and, after we ate some biscuits, packed our ropes and gear and headed down for the descent which proved to be another saga in itself. Only two of us, out of four people, had headlamps and in addition to that we lost the descending trail a few times – this happens to us every once in a while even though we are familiar with the place.

At 2.00 AM we got to the climbers` hut/shelter where we refueled our bodies with sandwiches and water.

The timing looks basically like this:

- 6.00 AM Saturday – waking up

- 7.30 AM Saturday – we left Brasov

- 8.15 AM Saturday – we reached Busteni

- 10.20 AM Saturday – we reached the climbers` shelter (This would normally be the right time to enter the route!!!)

- 11.40 AM Saturday – we reached the cirque at the foot of the wall

- 12.00 PM Saturday – we started climbing on the wall

- 21.40 PM Saturday – we reached the top ridge (almost 10 hours on the wall)

- 02.00 AM Sunday – we reached the climbers` shelter (slow moving due to lack of light for two team members + lost the trail a few times)

- 04.00 AM Sunday – we reached Busteni – started driving back to Brasov

- 05.00 AM Sunday – we reached Brasov

- 05.30 AM Sunday – we went to bed for a well deserved sleep

Conclusions – we had a very bad time management – always take your headlamp with you – helmet is a must – two half ropes never proved wrong – we were fortunate to be guided up the route by Sima and Catri`s parents – if you hadn’t climbed for many years in Bucegi, choose an easier, shorter route.

Photos taken by Felicia Enache and Gheorghe Enache. A big “Thank you!” for them!!!

"La panda" - here we met Catri`s parentsPreparing for the ascentRus Bogdan leadingScattered on the wallAzuga seen from Valea Alba Wall

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