The via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului – Crișul Repede defile is a spectacular climbing route which provides an extraordinary view above the valley and the defile walls.

Via ferrata climbing route in Romania
Climbing the via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului

It is a difficult enough route that addresses to people who already finished via ferrata routes or to those who are accompanied by guides.

Trips in Apuseni mountains - Via ferrata at Vadu Crisului

Via ferrata in Romania - adventure travel trips in Bihor county

The Crișul Repede River is the only river which succeded to traverse the Apuseni Mountains from one side to the other. Its springs are found in the Someșean plateau in place so called Izvorul Crișului (River’s source). 

Crisul Repede River - Apuseni Mountains - Romania
Crisul Repede River

Between the localities Șuncuiuș and Vadu Crișului, on a 3 km distance, the most impressive part of the defile has developed. The walls predominantly straight, rocky and have heights up to 100m. This area of the defile is found in the Pădurea Craiului Mountains, a subunit of the Apuseni Mountains.

Padurea Craiului Mountains - subunit of Apuseni Mountains
Crișul Repede defile

The via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului (a name commonly used) was inaugurated in 2015 and its purpose was the increase of the touristic potential of the area.

The via ferrata routes have the advantage of being less difficult than the climbing ones and can be traveled by amateur tourists who are not required to have advanced technical knowledge.

Via ferrata trip at Vadu Crisului area - Travel guide Romania
Via ferrata techniques

Access: by car from Oradea (54km) >Tileagd > Aleșd > Topa de Criș > Vadul Crișului.

To get easier to the via ferrata route we suggest to leave the car near the sports hall from the Vadu Crișului village, nearby Vadu Crișului Halt (do not confuse it to the Vadu Crișului train station). If you don’t have care you may get here by train form Oradea or Cluj.

Starting from the sports hall from the Vadu Crișului village towards the via ferrata route the shortest access trail is along the railway line that traverse the defile. We pass by the Casa Zmăului (Zmăului House) Cave where the old Salt Custom is also found.

Guided trips in Romania - outdoor activities in Apuseni mountains

Outdoor experience in Romania - Apuseni Mountains

The old Salt Custom house was documented since 1256.

Five-ten more walking minutes on the trail and we will have on the left side a detritus in the forest. The access towards the Șoroș climbing route is on the same detritus that it is climbed towards the via ferrata route.

Acces to via ferrata route in Vadu Crisului

Acces to via ferrata route in Vadu Crisului - Crisul Repede Defile

The via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului is found in a steep rock of about 100m which is called the Fairies Wall (Peretele Zânelor). The route is equipped with metal cables for insurace and with metal clamps for easier climbing.

Via ferrata in Romania - Bihor county
Entrance to Via ferrata route

The fitting is quiet comfortable. There are also more difficult passages where each lap participant will have to use his own forces to overcome the beetle passages. Pay great attention while climbing not to give stones into the teammates that are lower than you, especially in spring time when the rock is more friable.

The route is not traveled through from top to bottom!

Entrance of via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului

Mandatory equipment: helmet, climbing/mountaineering harness, via ferrata lanyard. If you don’t have special carabiners for the via ferrata you can still use carabiners with pear shape safety. Attention! the carabiner has to be large enough such that the metal cable mounted on the rock fits in.

The via ferrata lanyards are specially made such that in case of falling they can alleviate better the shock. It is totally forbidden to use the strap loops as lanyard-potentially fatal accident.

Self Guided Tours‎ in Romania - Via ferrata route

Private guided tours in Romania - via ferrata

Pay attention also to the type of footwear you enter the trail. We recommend using three seasons boots with adherent to the rock sole. For hands protection you can take gloves on you.

Via ferrata Romania - Vadu Crisului

Via Ferrata Walking Holidays in Romania - Vadu Crisului

Hydration and nutrition: take with you the water and sweets. On the way it is appropriate to stop for rehydration.

The difficulty of the via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului is pretty high. We recommend you that first make an easier route (for instance, the via ferrata route from Vârtop resort).

Via ferrata in Romania - Guided trips in Romania

Recommended period: may-October.

During the winter months if snow covers the trail and rock walls climbing is more difficult. There is a risk of slipping. We do not recommend to enter the track if it rains. The rock and the cables will be wet and slippery.

Guided trips in Romania - Via ferrata adventure route

Duration: depending on the number of lap participants and on their level of experience, crossing the route can take between 1.30 – 2.30 hours.

Best tours in Romania - Via ferrata in Vadu Crisului

Self Guided Tours‎ in Romania - Via ferrata route

The crossing of the via ferrata route from Vadul Crisului is appropriate to be done by people who are over 16 years old. For children the route is quite difficult. Do not take children with you unless there is an experienced adult in this activity who can provide him extra insurance.

Via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului - Travel to Romania

The entrance in the via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului is through a very narrow and steep valley. It begins with the ascent on an inclined plane which quickly turns into a vertical passage.

Escorted tours in Romania - Via ferrata at Vadu Crisului

The climbing movement on clamps and cable is like the movement of climbing a ladder.

Very important when climbing to do not to find yourselves more teammates on the same section of cable. In that situation, in case of falling the both people can be seriously injured. When switching from a difficult passage you can call out to the team-mate who is behind you: “clear!”.

Team buiding in Apuseni - Via ferrata Vadu Crisului

The trail continues with a vertical climbing. Slowly, slowly we rise above the forest level and we begin to see the river and railroad.

Mountain guide in Apuseni mountains - Travel to Romania

We cross a little sideways and enter the valley. Here the land is quite friable, so you have to have pay attention to rockfalls. There are few younger trees of which you can help in this area.

Guided Via Ferrata Trips in Romania - Vadu Crisului - Apuseni mountains

We reach a small regrouping platform, where you can rest or drink water. From here the route gets out of the steep valley and enters in the wall, vertically.

Via ferrata din Vadul Crisului - judetul Bihor

The panorama is starting to be increasingly spectacular.

Adventure holidays in Romania - Via ferrata in Vadu Crisului

Travel Guide Romania - Via ferrata in Vadu Crisului

Still about 10 m vertical climb after which we get on a threshold where a second regrouping/pause can be made. Another vertical section challenges our abilities to climb on clamps. Perhaps the most difficult passage of the entire route follows this area.

Romania Adventure Holidays - Via ferrata route in Vadu Crisului

It’s an easy beetle passage, where brute force has to be used so you can drag yourselves using hands.

Via ferrata in Romania - adventure travel trips

We climb vertically about 10 m and reach the top of the via ferrata route, the end zone. The view is extraordinary. Feel free to rest and admire the view.

Via ferrata trips in Romania - Vadu Crisului

A horizontal handrail helps us to get to the safe zone.

Via ferrata route in Vadu Crisului - adventure in Apuseni mountains

The most important safety rule when climbing a via ferrata route is the rule to ensure at any time in at least one lanyard. If you climb via ferrata with special lanyard for via ferrata it is good to know that their disadvantage is that you can not rest leaving you weight on them (they elongate very much). For this reason it is good to have with you a third lanyard which will be used only when resting.

Guided tours in Romania - Via ferrata route in Vadu Crisului

The way back from the via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului ca be done:

>on touristic blue circle mark to the village of Vadul Crişului. It descends to the gym exactly where you started the route.

>on touristic blue circle mark to the Vadul Crişului Cave area. To fill the day you can visit the cave (is fitted for visiting) after which you can return to the car.

Hiking Vacations in Romania - Apuseni Mountains

Week-end ideas: in the Vadu Crișului area the diversity of activities is very large. One can visit a cave which is not arranged (there are many in the Pădurea Craiului Mountains), rappel, rock climbing, rafting on Fast River (Crișul Repede), make the via ferrata in the Fairies Wall, or visit the show cave of Vadu Crişului. If you want two days of via ferrata, the one from Vadu Crișului can be joined to the one from Vartop or via ferrata from the Turzii gorges.

Romania Adventure Tours - Travel Guide Romania

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