The via ferrata route in Turda Gorge is particularly spectacular. It covers vertically an elevation of 200 m via a fixed metal cable.
The more we ascend the valley, the more beautiful the view of the gorge’s mighty walls is.
In the top natural tourist attractions in Romania, Turda Gorge is in the lead due to its uniqueness. The marked tourist routes are open for tourists, covering both the 300-350 m high slopes and the valley.
For mountaineers, Turda Gorge offers plentiful tracks for climbing and escalation.
For the experienced tourists, or for those with a tourist guide, Turda Gorge now offers a via ferrata route.
Access: coming from Turda (12 km) > Mihai Viteazul Town > Cheia Town > Turda Gorge
Parking: you may leave your car in the parking lot at Turda Gorge guesthouse. The road connecting the hill top and the guesthouse has been paved, thus you can drive any car.
On entering the gorge, there is a small cabin where people used to pay a small fee of 5 RON. When the TGR team covered the route, there wasn’t anyone to collect it.
Location – On the Petresti limestone peak (subunit of Trascau Mountains), the Hasdate brook chiseled a wonderful natural monument in the karst. Turda Gorge has vertical walls about 200-350 m high.
Easy to spot from afar, Petresti Peak is significantly peculiar compared with the surrounding region.
Coming from A2 Highway, Turda Gorge seems like a deep wound in the middle of Petresti Peak.
Necessary individual equipment: mountaineering harness, via ferrata lanyards, helmet. It’s essential that your lanyards have carabiners with lock and that they are made of dynamic rope. There are special lanyards made for via ferratas. What’s peculiar about them is that they attenuate the shock in case of falling.
Beware: the use of band lanyards on via ferratas may result in casualties!
Useful information! The cable set up in Turda has a 3 cm diameter. Pay attention and check lest your carabiners should be too small.
Pay extra attention to your footwear. Footwear with soft soles can help you on your via ferrata track. A pair of boots will help you on your retreat/access route. We personally wore sneakers for trail-running with grip soles. It really depends on the season.
Have on you water and some sweets, don’t forget to hydrate yourselves throughout the course.
The via ferrata route in Turda Gorge was made in 2012, and it was vandalized countless times. We suggest learning beforehand from Cluj mountain rescue centre if the metal cable is intact.
We don’t advise you to cover this route if it’s your first via ferrata route. The route is demanding and can pose serious problems for a novice. We advise that you cover an easier route to gain experience (e.g. Via ferrata at Vartop Resort). The technique of covering via ferratas involves using at least one safety lanyard at all times. Take this safety rule seriously!
The recommended number of participants is 5.
The via ferrata overlaps with a former climbing route – Hili’s Cave with a 2A difficulty level.
Duration (without access or retreat) – depending on the number of participants and their experience, it can last between 1 and 3 hours. For access and retreat, you will have to take another 2 hours.
Follow the red circle tourist marker (along the Hasdatelor valley) to enter the via ferrata route in Turda Gorge. You enter from downstream after you pass by the tourist guesthouse and mountain rescue checkpoint.
Go past the first bridge > “Stake Wall” > second bridge > “Giant Wall” > third bridge > “Doves’ Wall” > fourth bridge.
As soon as you cross the fourth bridge (you are on the left versant), take the path leading right. You are going know parallel to Hasdate brook.
Then there’s a crossroad: left leads to a cavern, don’t take it. The right one leads to a small plateau from where you can take on several climbing routes. You are located under “Turnul Despartitor”. There’s a beautiful vista over the Hasdate brook that chiseled Turda Gorge.
Here we suggest that you wear your equipment fit for via ferratas.
Continue on the same path until you reach a first metal cable of about 15 m. You cover it as you are secured with the lanyards.
The path leads to a prominent curve line. Shortly you will reach another fixed metal cable. This time climbing is easier. Beware of falling rocks.
From here the vista gets broader over Turda Gorge. Above the second cable, the path leads slightly to the right, parallel with the valley.
You will have to climb over some rock debris. The rock debris is called “Zurusul Lung”. You are right under the “Turnul Ascutit”. Go under it and shortly you will encounter a metal cable on the right versant (as you face it).
You are right at the entrance of the via ferrate route. The route goes to the base of the versant. Covering the beginning passages isn’t difficult. Climb a rocky ascending path. Beware of falling rocks, lest your team members should get hurt.
Next, there’s a vertical ascent which has some metal bridles for your feet in order to climb easier.
Ascend to the cavern that has a chimney, called Hili’s Chimney.
It is better that every team member is alone on each cable sector (between two fixed points). If there were two team members on the same sector and one oh them falls it could be leading to serious accidents.
Near Hili’s Cavern, the route gets sporty. Your climbing abilities get tested since the wall has an 80 degrees slope. You are right under the cavern’s portal.
You will get to a small snag without indents for feet. The only ones are higher up. After this step, the next 5 m are easier to cover. This is probably the most difficult area of the route.
Once past this vertical area, you will reach a horizontal one from where you can see almost the entire via ferrata route. Covering this part is relatively easy because you are on rock. Those of you with fear of heights will feel uncomfortable here. It’s spectacular to look below and see your teammates climbing up.
Above, there’s the impressive Hili’s Chimney where the route directs you.
From the end of the route, the via ferrata goes up. You go through the chimney passing by Hili’s Cavern after 5 m.
You reach a plateau with grass and stone blocks. Here is the end of the cable mounted in Turda Gorge. You can wait for your teammates and regroup. You can take your equipment off.
In order to reach the tourist path, you will have to ascend the grassy versant on your right. Be careful, the climb is quite dangerous. If there are beginners amongst you, you’ll need semi-rope and specific equipment for safety in climbing.
You’ll reach an incredible vista: on the side there’s “Turnul Ascutit” in all its might.
You will have to follow the direction towards Crucea Sandulestilor. In order to get to it, you will have to descend in a V, although the direction is unclear. Steer to the right through a grove.
The path will get you to the red circle tourist marker. You will walk on a limestone pavement. To get to Turda Gorge guesthouse, you will have to descend Sandului Hill following the tourist marker, through an oak forest. You will reach the back of the guesthouse.
The retreat from via ferrata takes about 40 minutes.