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.
It is a difficult enough route that addresses to people who already finished via ferrata routes or to those who are accompanied by guides.
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).
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.
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.
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 train station. If you don’t have a car you may get here by train from Oradea or Cluj.
Starting from the Vadu Crișului sports hall 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.
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 path going towards the via ferrata route.
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.
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 the rock is more friable.
The route is not recommended to be done from top to bottom!
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.
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.
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.
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!”.
The trail continues with a vertical climbing. Slowly, slowly we rise above the forest level and we begin to see the river and railroad.
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.
The panorama is starting to be increasingly spectacular.
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.
It’s an easy beetle passage, where brute force has to be used so you can drag yourselves using hands.
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.
A horizontal handrail helps us to get to the safe zone.
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.
The way back from the via ferrata route from Vadu Crisului ca be done:
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.