Pietrosul Peak is located in Rodnei Mountains and is the highest peak in the Eastern Carpathians (Carpatii Orientali).
Has an altitude of 2303 m. The massiveness of the mountain seen from Maramuresului Depression can amaze even the most skilled and experienced mountaineers.
Thus, we recommend that you be one of the tourists who do not visit only the most advertised areas in Romania. You will be pleasantly impressed by the northern part of the country.
General information: Rodnei Mountains pertain to the northern group of the Eastern Carpathians.
They are bordered by Tiblesului Mountains (west), Bargaului Mountains and Nasaudului Hills (south), Suhardului Mountains (east) and Maramuresului Depression (north).
Rodnei Mountains National Park:
The first attempts to preserve this territory with rich biodiversity was in 1932. Then, surface of 183 hectares was declared Scientific Reservation, being the first attempt of such type in Romania.
To this was added the Scientific Reservation of Retezat Mountains in 1935.
At the moment, Rodnei Mountains National Park has a surface of 47177 hectares.
- From Baia Mare (141 km) > Sighetu Marmatiei (take DN19 National Road) > Viseu de Sus > Moisei > Borsa.
- From Bistrita (95 km) > Beclean (DN17C) > Cosbuc > Moisei (DN18) > Borsa.
Trekking to Pietrosul Rodnei Peak via Pietroasa Valley
Because Borsa is a locality strongly developed linearly, you will have to travel quite a distance from the city entrance until the secondary road that ascends towards Pietroasa Valley. The intersection with the secondary road is found near Borsa hospital. After you take this road drive on the asphalt road for another 4 km. You will probably see the tourist markers on the electric poles (blue stripe marker).
The marker continues towards the religious cloister. We recommend that at the intersection of GPS 47°37’38.97″N with 24°39’35.24″E (300 m before the cloister) you take the road leading left towards your destination.
If you are driving you will have to leave your car towards the aforementioned intersection or near the cloister. Keeping in mind that the cloister is a religious residence, your car will be safe.
If you decide to follow the tourist marker (starting from the cloister’s parking lot) and not the road we suggested, you might find yourself lost or having problems of orientation. We had, because the tourist marker is discontinued after a short distance.
Description of the route leading to Pietrosul Peak – trekking via Pietroasa Valley – blue stripe marker.
From the aforementioned intersection you will continue ascending a paved road climbing up to 1760 m, at the weather station in the Iezerul Ice Cauldron. You will have to ascend this road with an elevation difference of approximately 760 m and a distance of about 7.5 km.
If you arrive at night, you can spend it at one of the guesthouses found in Borsa or camp out on one of the meadows at the side of the road leading to the mountain. Usually the locals do not have any problems with tourists, as long as you do not light campfire or bonfire on their private property.
As you are going up the road, you will be amazed by the beautiful panorama of the Maramuresului Depression.
On arriving at Iezerul Glacier Cauldron, you can take a short break near the lake with the same name – Iezerul Lake. The water is drinkable. Even the weather station uses water from the lake.
If you continue your way towards the ridge, we recommend taking extra water with you. The next stop where you find water is after Repede Peak in the col between the springs. You will reach this place after approximately 5-6 hours towards your destination.
You will ascend a winding footpath leading towards the main ridge.
To your right there is an abrupt ridge named Piciorul Mosului. It can be covered only with mountaineering equipment having a difficulty level of 2B/2A. To your right there is also another abrupt ridge – Piciorul Piatra Alba. It can be cover in the same conditions as Piciorul Mosului.
On arriving on the ridge we suggest continuing your trip on the right pathway towards Pietrosul Rodnei Peak.
You will have to trek for another 20 minutes at 2303 m altitude. There, you will find a small construction that was once a shelter. Unfortunately, it is extremely dirty inside and the door does not open unless you force it.
Looking towards the Maramuresului Depression you can observe the prominent crevice that generated the formation of this depression. It separates Rodnei Mountains from Maramuresului Mountains – the Dragos Voda Crevice. You will observe how the villages are scattered in this area, and how the hamlets intertwine the overview.
Depending on the purpose of your trip – you can continue your trip towards Batrana Peak or Rebra Peak. On this route we will encounter the red stripe marker – the ridge marker.
The track we proposed will lead you to Pietrosului Col, a col where you can observe three glacier lakes – Buhaiescului Glacier Lakes.
You will encounter a more abrupt slope on Rebra Peak at 2268 m. If the trip that you planned implies the integral ascension of the ridge, it is good to know that it unfolds on the east-west direction, having the aerial distance of 45 km. Following the sinuous trail of the ridge with its slopes and climbs, you will have to cover the ground of 50 km and almost 20 peaks.
For the integral trekking of the ridge you need a minimum of three days.
Geology: Rodnei Mountains has the best preserve glacier relief in the Eastern Carpathians.
Here, glacier cauldrons witness the existence of the glacier lakes. The biggest lakes are: Lala Mare Lake (0.56 ha), Pietrosului Glacier Lake (0.34 ha), Buhaiescului middle Glacier Lake (0.17 ha), Lala Mica Lake (0.15 ha).
It seems that all glaciers that existed in that area had layers at about 1100 m. Some geologists state that the existence of plateau glaciers could be identified in the areas of Batrana, Rebra, Negoiasa, Gargalau.
We recommend visiting this massif in June-July when the rhododendron’s colouring (azalea) delights you. If you decide to visit at the end of summer, in August-September, you will find yourself among the few who venture in autumn.
Camping: in Rodnei Mountains National Park, camping is allowed at several stops: near the weather station at Iezer Lake, at Tamita la Cruce Col, under Repedea Peak, Puzdrele, between Gargalau Col and Galatului Col (at Izvoare), Lala Mica, Izbucul Izei and Vinului Valley.
In case of emergency, you are allowed to camp as bivouac, but campfire is forbidden.
Rules in the Rodnei Mountains National Park:
- Campfire is forbidden;
- Digging trenches around your tents is forbidden;
- Camping is forbidden except in the aforementioned places;
- Cutting trees from the forestry or picking plants is forbidden;
- Leaving the marked footpaths is forbidden, especially in the Scientific Reservations;
- Pets in protected areas are forbidden;
- Littering is forbidden – the litter generated by your visit can be thrown away in special containers found downwards in localities;
- Picking samples of plants, animals or rocks for research without the approval of the park’s administration is forbidden.
Park entrance fees – in Rodnei Mountains National Park there is no entrance fee. In the camping areas there is no fee (according to the Park’s management plan), only when better conditions than the natural environment are offered.
Recommended equipment during the summertime – although the average temperature can be quite high, the weather changes relatively fast. Do not venture without a map, waterproof jacket and pants, torch, water bottle, high calorie food, first-aid kit, and at least one pocket knife per group.
If your trip takes longer than a day, do take: warm sleeping bag, tent resistant to strong winds, camping stove and gas bottle. Because you are camping in an area with sheep folds protected by dogs, it might be best to take a spray against dogs. You might not need to use the spray, but it is better to have it on you in case you might need it.
Trekking in the wintertime – are a lot of quantities of snowfall, strong winds, and moody weather conditions. We recommend visiting the area only if you are an experienced mountaineer. The massif’s main ridge is furrowed by many peaks. For climbing those you need to come with proper equipment: ice picks, ice boots, or with skiing gear.
For ski touring, we highly recommend covering the whole ridge. In that situation you will have to spend at least three days on the mountain.
For alpine ski lovers: at Borsa Resort you will enjoy riding one of the medium difficulty level trails in the country, with a 2000 m length. Unfortunately, the ski conditions are not exactly top-notch.
In Maramures, another places where you can practice alpine ski is Suior or Cavnic Ski Resorts
Cultural tourism: in an area where human expansion and development was based on timber processing, it is only natural to find one the amplest cultures dedicated to wood. Wooden churches, traditional households, gates carved entirely in wood, together with traditional attire and clothing, and aboriginal customs, are a few of the tourist objectives that you find here.
Although the local tradition and peculiarity can still be identified in some areas, unfortunately in others it is irreversibly lost – people are building without considering the importance of preserving the traditional elements. The mix of tradition, modernism and imitation makes us wonder if people will ever understand that tourism is based on promoting and protecting the local tradition and peculiarity.