We spent the fourth night at Podragu, a guardianed hut nestled into the mountains at 2137m. Although basic,
it provided a welcome break from the tents. Its location was superb too.
On arrival at the hut, there were no other guests but within half an hour over 30 Romanian soldiers had
arrived! They turned out to provide good company for the night and some interesting home brews.
We commenced day five by returning to the main ridge via an alternative path. This crossed three ridges
passing through a succession of remote corries, home to several herds of chamois.
This shows the view back down to Podragu - quite an ascent to wake us up at 8am that morning!
Here we descend into the second corrie of the morning and experience some more cloud inversion. Sharp eyes
may spot a few chamois.
Dave left us that lunchtime at Balea to descend to the lowlands for some cultural exploration. Colin and I
continued along the ridge which got slightly more technical that afternoon. Here we ascended around 200m of
chains in a feature known as Strunga Dracului or the Devil's Chimney.
This led, after a short following walk, to the summit of Negoiu, Romania's second highest peak at 2535m.
Unfortunately the weather prevented us from seeing the views which are meant to be some of the best in the
Although we were aware that there were several difficulties in this area, the following two hours weren't
quite what we expected. The route criss-crossed the rocky ridge many times weaving around insurmountable
outcrops. The going was considerably harder than anticipated and several moves had a high degree of
exposure. Here we look back through breaking cloud to Negoiu.
By this time it was getting late and a warm sky was left behind us with an amazing collection of ridges in
The cloud cleared slightly more to reveal the ridge we had just traversed. It doesn't really show the full
extent of the difficulties encountered which led between Negoiu and the peak in the middle distance on the
That night we reached the Scara Refuge after ten and half hours which included around 20km of walking and
about 3000m ascent! We were welcomed by a solo German walker called Peter. The refuge was relatively
pleasant and adequately spacious for the three of us.
The following day - day six - we realised that it would probably be possible to complete the trek in a
single day rather than the two originally planned. We had a lie in so didn't start walking until about 11
o'clock. We initially continued along the main ridge for a few hours again.
We finally left our red and white striped route and started descending to the north-west down this valley
via the former Suru hut.
Again the scenery was quite amazing and we started to return to the tree line.