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Ascent of Vârful Cucurbata Mare on 2014-09-26

Climber: Rob Woodall

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Friday, September 26, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Vârful Cucurbata Mare
    Location:Romania
    Elevation:6066 ft / 1848 m

Ascent Trip Report

After my Peleaga ascent I drive N via Brad then follow the E39. 100 miles of the E39 is being widened. Traffic management quite amusing. It's striking how much risk they are prepared to deal with here compared with our standards back home (but they are probably more alert drivers). Then there's the cows wandering along the roads at sunset, heading for the milk parlours, often unsupervised. Thankfully I get to destination before dark. I'm getting the hang of night driving here: i.e. Don't do it! At least avoid the minor roads after dark.

Trailhead at N46.51129 E22.67098, 1179m as described in Petter Bjorstad's report, except I don't see a windmill near the turning, which is at N46.51508 E22.67040.

I set off next morning at 0730 in drizzle. Route as Petter Bjorstad's report. The extra P153m summit Piatra Graitoare is at N46.49029 E22.67295, 1662m: obvious cairn easily accessed 10m from the track along the crest; no name, just a sign saying Cucurbate Mare 3h - if a time estimate this seems long! The L turn to Cucurbate / Bihor starts 80m before this cairn, marked with pink ribbon as of 2014. The red and white paint marks go straight on here ie along the crest track. I did so too - hence a rather roundabout approach to Bihor! Openstreetmap is pretty good here except it gets this key junction location completely wrong. I'm in cloud with approx 50m visibility.

Once the L turn has been made, it's just a matter of following the undulating road a couple of miles to the antenna compound entrance. The old road has some recent tractor tyre marks; however the main access is evidently from the opposite direction.

A trail leads round the L side of the compound: the highest point (N46.44084 E22.68892, 1848m) is 50m beyond: rocks at base of trig pillar next to iron cross. The trig is rather battered. The top has some kind of holding down arrangement for a survey instrument, with the letters DTM, possibly also some reference letters/numbers I can't decipher.

It's cold and windy at the summit and I soon head down, jogging the downhills. The cloud lifts to some extent but I get no views of any consequence, except Piatra Graitoare is now sufficiently clear to confirm the cairn I waypointed is the summit.

Timings: 2h20 up, 10mins at summit, 1h35 down. I'm on my way by midday and a 6hr drive gets me to the Pietrosul trailhead soon after 6.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2195 ft / 669 m
    Round-Trip Distance:13.7 mi / 22 km
    Trailhead:3871 ft / 1179 m
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Breezy, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 35 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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