Ski Mountaineering School – Part I

Back in March I took part in a Ski Mountaineering School organized by Ciprian Lolu and the guys from AMC. It was my second winter activity with them, after last year’s alpine valley skiing (part I and part II). It was an initiation event, although getting initiated in something hard core is still pretty.. medium core (or something like that).

Friday morning greeted us with sunny weather. Unfortunately, the snow didn’t look very good. After a warm and dry winter, the layer of snow at 2200 meters was barely continuous. We started ski touring from Babele Chalet, climbing towards Omu Peak.

We turned left off the tourist trail right before Cerdacul Vaii Cerbului and started the climb up Coltii Obarsiei. Ciprian had us work in teams of 3, roped up together and approaching the peak by various routes.

Things got even better on the other side. We had to rappel on skis. It wasn’t a very difficult slope, maybe the first couple of meters were around 60 degrees, then getting progressively gentler.

We continued with a couple more small ascents before starting the final descent to Padina. We encountered all types of snow, from the crazy crusty snow which punishes your smallest mistake to soft soft powder where you feel you’re shooting for GoPro videos.

A party of over 15 skiers needs frequent regroups, so night fall caught us still somewhere up Ialomitei Valley. With no snow below 1800 m, we had a lot of (slow) walking to do. We were lucky to have a full moon, since a lot of us (myself included) didn’t consider packing a headlamp.

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