How I almost missed out on my best Winter Hike Ever

On the morning of the 13th of March I woke up in a nice B&B, packed and ready for an exciting day of outdoors, mountains and hiking with the 3 best comrades I can think of. I was extremely eager to get up and start going, as I hadn’t been on a real hike for nearly half a year! As we got outside, we quickly noticed the weather wasn’t exactly perfect and small little raindrops were sprinkling us from above. Luckily, because of my waterproof gear I shrug it off, but still wondered if my clothes and boots would stand the test of time if the weather worsened.

Fast-forward to 2 hours later, we passed the muddy area, got into the snowy parts of the mountain, and we were still hiking among the forest. All the while I felt uneasy, and my hiking boots really started to bother me. I also felt anxious and unsafe, something I only feel on the mountain when we are attacked by shepherd dogs. My mood was somewhat like the weather:

Winter Hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

Photo by Barna Ban

As my hiking boots started hurting my feet more and more, my partners and I reached a state when we stopped talking to each other and went up the hill in dead silence. RP and I were in front, and from one of the bushes we heard a very deep “roar” suddenly. That’s when panic came over me. As our two other hiking partners gained up on us, I was decisive on saying that I didn’t actually want to go any further and we should take a different route, because whatever it was that made the roar sound, I didn’t want to meet it.

I felt exposed, small, helpless.. and wouldn’t even consider going any further. 

We ended up taking a different route, but that didn’t cheer me up either. I was closely listening, scanning through every bush and tree and trying to be precarious. When in reality, I was just hysterical. After our alternative route ended (it was an unmarked one, which lead nowhere), we decided to call it a day, go to the mountain cabin where we were supposed to sleep that night and hike again the next day.

When we reached the mountain cabin, my legs were unbelievably aching. I couldn’t wait to take my shoes of and just relax. After a quick lunch, we climbed a bit higher to enjoy the view. The mountain cabin actually commercialized itself by saying it has “the best view in Romania“. They weren’t exactly lying..

winter hike in the Rodnei mountains of Romania

Photo by Barna Ban

Winter Hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

“The Best View in Romania”

Although I tried to relax, I couldn’t. The wind was blowing, my feet were hurting and I was still nervous for all that we’ve been through that day and anxious about next day’s hike. The only silver lining was Nero, the mountain cabin dog, who actually came with us on our mini-hike and managed to brighten the day.

Winter Hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

Nero, the Mountain Dog

After we enjoyed the best view in the country, we turned ourselves in for the night after enjoying a few hours of board games. We had to have an early start if we wanted to make it up the mountain, after all. Before we went to sleep, I checked the weather forecast. Rain, cold and a 60 km/hr wind was the prognosis… Which definitely took my hiking mojo that instant…

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

The next morning, we woke up to clear blue skies and not a cloud in sight. Although the others were all cheered up, I was petrified. I had two enormous blisters on both my legs because of my new-ish boots, and I just wasn’t in the mood at all. I’ve heard the strong wind howling all night long and was extremely grateful that we didn’t have to sleep in a tent outside. We ate, packed our bags and went out. It was a beautiful day, and I was in no mood for hiking. 

Hiking in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

I started heading up the mountain first, as I didn’t want to be the last left behind and I figured out a way to climb which didn’t hurt my heels. Soon we were atop of the first steep hill and as the clouds were lifting, the view which was offered to us simply took my breath away. My mood started to change right then and there.

Hiking in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

When I saw the forested area we needed to cross, I was petrified of encountering another wild animal. However, I soon realized that the path we needed to cross among the trees was a short one, and we’d probably didn’t meet up with any bears there anytime soon. The trail was extremely icy and we held on to dear life in any shrubs we could find. In the end, I was happy that we were out of the woods.

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

My happiness increased as I saw the beautiful beast which joined us, Nero, was extremely enjoying the hike! It was only after we passed the forested section that I started to loosen up, enjoy the day and the mountains.

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

We had the clearest day ever! We had three peaks in mind for that day, and I am happy to say that we reached two! The third one was definitely out of reach, since we would’ve needed to pass an avalanche-prone zone to reach it. And that, we didn’t want! In the end, I enjoyed myself enormously and was in constant awe of the amazing colors we witnessed that day. The weather was actually hot, the wind was definitely tolerable and we even got sunburned! Enjoy the Photos 🙂

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

Cobasel Peak, 1835 m – photo by Barna Ban

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

hiking-in-the-rodnei-mountains-of-romania (19)

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

RP and Nero fooling around

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

Rosu Peak, 2113 m

 

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

Rosu Peak, 2113 m with Nero – photo by Barna Ban

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

winter hike in the Rodnei Mountains of Romania

Our exact route drawn on the hiking map by Iului Buta, found on carpati.org:

Hiking up to Rosu Peak in the Rodnei Mountains - map

Hiking up to Rosu Peak in the Rodnei Mountains – map

So what’s the lesson here?

Never let your temporary fears dictate your mood and stop you from seeing the big picture and the end result!

What’s the best way you defeat your fears?

Trackbacks & Pings

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