Vama Sarii (the Salt Customs) via ferrata from Vadu Crisului was built in 2017 by the Regional Service Salvamont Salvaspeo Bihor.
The name was given after the 13th century old construction (the Customs) that one can still see at the entrance of the trail in the via ferrata.
(Michelle Dalla Palma).
- Location: at the entrance area in the Fast River Gorge (from Vadu Crisului)
- Length: 215m;
- Elevation difference: 150 m
- Degree of difficulty: C;
- Degree of commitment: A
- Trail access time: 20 minutes
- Journey time: 1,15h-1,30h
- Total time (access, journey, return): 2,5h-3h
- Optimal period: April-November
It is a difficult trail that is for those that are familiarized with via ferrata trails or for guided groups.
It is probably the most difficult via ferrata trail from the Apuseni Mountains. This is due to the overlooked passages, as well as to the existence of many vertical wall areas.
The attraction point of the trail is the perspective that it offers on the Crisul Repede (Fast River) Gorge. Another element that makes it so special is the suspended bridge situated on the upper side of the trail.
by car>from the centre of Vadu Crisului village we follow the car route towards the Sports Hall, where we can leave our car.
by train: up to the Vadu Crisului Stop. We head towards the Sports Hall.
Approaching walk: from the parking, we follow the trail that enters the gorge. We continue along the railway lines for approximately 10 minutes. We arrive at the via ferrata sign, on the left side, as we walk.
The beginning of the trail is about 30 meters away from the sign. We can see from here a part of the via ferrata trail as well as the suspended bridge.
Description of the area: the area of the via ferrata trail from the Salt Customs is part of the Nature 2000 Site Fast River Gorge. It is a touristic area with tradition, known in the past due to the show cave from Vadu Crisului.
Nowadays the touristic adventurous activities are diverse. Rafting on the Fast River, caving in wild caves, climbing, abseiling, zip-line, team-building and hiking are the activities that this area offers.
Degree of difficulty via ferrata trail: C
According to UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) in the international scale of the via ferrata difficulty, the degree C means:
Steep slope, exposed passages and vertical areas. The grips are small. Many tiring and challenging passages.
Metallic cable, steps, flanges and anchors. This trail may take more courage and strength to cross.
As a conclusion, a C level via ferrata may be exhausting. These trails are for people that have a psychical and physical condition.
Degree of commitment of the via ferrata trails (from A to C). It is about the proximity of the trail to a village or town, the altitude of the trail, the danger for falling rocks, the effects of bad meteorological conditions.
Degree of commitment of the via ferrata from the Vama Sarii: A. The trail is near a village that is at a small altitude. The rock falling is not a major risk. In case of whether changing, the return (continuing to ascent) is possible. But the trail becomes more difficult because of the damp rock.
Technical equipment: helmet, mountaineering harness, via ferrata lanyards. It is totally forbidden to use the climbing slings as lanyards-fatal danger! We advise you to have a static lanyard only for the moments when you want to rest.
Personal equipment: sport clothes, adherent shoes for rocks. For your personal comfort we advise you to use gloves.
Minimal age: 14-16 years. Children under 14 years old will be supplementary assured through a rope by an experienced participant. Another problem that children may encounter is the distance between the steps. If the child is short, he will need extra effort to go from one step to another.
Description of the via ferrata: the trail is equipped with a permanent metallic cable, metallic steps, as well as a suspended bridge on the upper side of the trail. It is a commitment trail, once you enter it, you will have to go all along.
Look out! Two persons should never cross the same section on the vertical cable. In case of falling both persons can be seriously injured.
Approximately 20 m from its entrance the trail is vertical and slightly overlooked. The steps are quite frequent, but occasionally you have to use the wall grips.
During the trail, there may be some difficult areas. This is due to the fact that the line of the metallic steps does not comfortably follow the line of the metallic cable. On some sections the distance between the anchors is quite large. This is making the trail more challenging as well as interesting one.
After this dominating vertical area we arrive at a horizontal cross. We can see from here the suspended bridge.
We still have to ascent up to the bridge another vertical section of about 20 meters. In this area there are not so many foot steps, that is why we will use natural grips.
Arrived on the bridge, we are asked through an info sign to respect the rules of crossing the suspended bridge. Every person will cross it separately. We will assemble the lanyards on each hand cable. We will go on carefully without creating much balance.
After crossing the bridge, we arrive at a vertical section. After approximately 10 m finishes with an inclined area. It is here that the via ferrata trail ends.
The alternation of vertical passages, climbing, technique, psychological commitment as well as of exquisite landscaping makes this trail a must do in the Apuseni Mountains.
Return: while returning from the via ferrata we will encounter the blue point touristic marking. We follow the marking and after approximately 15-20 minutes we arrive back to the Sports Hall.
To fill up the journey we suggest:
- both via ferrata trails. We suggest you to start with The Fairy Wall via ferrata, it’s more easy
- a via ferrata trail+Vadu Crisului Cave.