Main route: C/D ↔ 700m ↑ 285m ⏱ 1h30 vf / 2h total
View details in Romanian.
The “Astragalus” via ferrata routes were open in Spring 2017 in Munticelu massif, Hasmas mountains, Sugau-Munticelu Gorge, in Neamt county, near Bicaz Gorge. The routes were built by Ticu Lacatusu and Radu Apetroaia, with help from Claudiu Lungu and are a project of the Romanian Mountain Club (Clubul Montan Roman). The end result was the longest via ferrata route in Romania and a total of 5 possible routes of different difficulty levels. Starting point: Ecolog hut, 715m. End point: Turnul Mare peak, 1000m.
- Paid access
- Length main route 700m; 5 routes in total
- Vertical climb main route 285m
- Difficulty main route C/D
- GPS acces/Parking: 46°49’27.3″N 25°51’04.2″E or 46.824250,25.851167 (geo)
- GPS Start Via Ferrata: 46°49’32.5″N 25°50’58.7″E or 46.825694,25.849639 (geo)
- Access hiking duration: 15 min
- Via ferrata duration main route: 1h30min – 2h30min
- Return hiking duration: 15 min
- Total time: 2 hours+
- Minimum 7-8 years old, on easy routes only
- Closed during Winter
All via ferrata routes near Bicaz Gorge
- Via Ferrata “Astragalus” – Sugau-Munticelu Gorge, Neamt, near Bicaz Gorge (5 routes: A/B; C; C/D) (English) -
A/B, C, C/D | 5 routes | Paid. Main route: C/D | ↔ 700m | ↑ 285m | ⏱ 1h30 vf (2h total)
- Via Ferrata “Wild Ferenc” – Red Lake, Bicaz Gorge, Harghita (C/D) (English) -
C/D | ↔ 200m | ↑ 173m | ⏱ 50min+ vf (2h+ total)
Access: The access trail starts at the entrance of “Cheile Sugaului-Munticelu” natural park at GPS 46°49’27.3″N 25°51’04.2″E. Head towards Ecolog hut, GPS 46°49’32.5″N 25°50’58.7″E. The entrance to all routes are in front of Ecolog hut, along with info panels.
Total time so far: 10-15 minutes.
At the park entrance or at the Ecolog hut, you’ll pay a small fee for park entrance and another small fee for using the via ferrata routes.
It is forbidden to enter the via ferrata routes without registering yourself first with the Ecolog hut staff.
Total length of the 5 routes is 2400m. The main route has 700m in length (450m up and 250m down) and 285m vertical.
Grades are from A (very easy) to E (extreme).
- Route 1, main, C/D (medium/difficult), with short D sections and plenty of artificial holds.
- Routes 4 and 5: A/B (easy).
- Route 2 (first wall): C.
- Route 3 (second wall): C/D, with short D sections.
Beginners should start with route 4, named “beginners route”, then route 2 (first wall), route 3 (second wall) and only then should they attempt the entire main route. (source)
- Route 1, main: 1h30min – 2h30min
- Route 2: 45min – 1h15min
- Route 3: 1h – 1h45min
- Route 4: 30min – 1h
- Route 5: 45min – 1h15min
All routes are well maintained.
Prices, updated in 2019:
- Free park entrance, 20 lei via ferrata access
The easy routes can be done by children of minimum 7-8 years old, in good physical shape, accompanied by an experienced adult. The recommended ratio is 1 adult for each child.
Mandatory gear: alpine helmet, alpine harness, via ferrata set. Optionally, gloves.
You can rent via ferrata sets directly from Ecolog hut, right at the start of the routes, or from Clubul Montan Roman (Romanian Mountain Club) in Piatra Neamt, located at str. Stefan cel Mare 31, across the street from the entrance in the city’s Zoo. Contact them in advance by email at email@example.com or by phone/sms at +40.744.913.941.
Renting prices (source):
- set via ferrata Edelrid Cable Comfort 2.3 – 20 lei (around 4.20 euros)
- harness Edelrid Joker universal – 5 lei (around 1.10 euro)
- adjustable helmet – 5 lei (around 1.10 euro)
Also in Piatra Neamt, you can rent via ferrata gear from Maia Outdoor, useful if you plan on doing “Wild Ferenc” as well, the via ferrata route at Red Lake, which is close.
Return trail: From Ecolog hut you take the same trail you followed from the main road. You’ll return to your car in about 5-10 minutes.
Weather: Meteoblue Cheile Bicazului / Viewweather Cheile Bicazului.
Emergency calls: +40.SALVAMONT, which is actually +40.725.826.668, or 112, the European all around emergency number. GPS coordinates for localization: 46°49’32.5″N 25°50’58.7″E.
- Ecolog hut: Phones +40.747.478.988, +40.737.759.998; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ViaFerrataCheileSugaului/