Via Ferrata “Soim Calator” – Varghis Gorge, Harghita (English) (C/D)

C/D      ↔ 240m      ↑ 120m      ⏱ 50min vf / 2h total

View details in Romanian.

This via ferrata route was opened to the public in May 2021 and it is located in Varghis Gorges, Harghita county. The name “Soim Calator” means peregrine falcon.

Summary:

  • 8 lei gorges entry fee, 15 lei parking; no extra charge for the via ferrata
  • Length 240m
  • Vertical climb 120m
  • Difficulty C/D
  • GPS access / Parking 46°12’33.1″N 25°32’50.1″E or 46.209199,25.547236 (geo)
  • GPS Start Via Ferrata 46°13’17.5″N 25°32’33.3″E or 46.221540,25.542590 (geo)
  • Access hiking duration: 30 min
  • Via ferrata duration: 50 min
  • Return hiking duration: 40 min
  • Total time: 2h
  • Children under 14 can go on this route only supervised and accompanied by an experienced adult
  • Best time: April – October, except for when it’s rainy and the rocks become slippery

Access: The via ferrata can be accessed from both ends of the gorges. We tested the access from Varghis village only, which we will cover here.

Arrive by car up to the tourist info point at 46°12’33.1″N 25°32’50.1″E (46.209199,25.547236), right outside the entry of the gorges. From here you follow the hiking path marked with a yellow stripe, which at first overlaps with the trail marked with a blue cross. From where the two markings split, you keep following the yellow stripe trail upwards, through the woods above the river bed, for about 10 more minutes. The starting cable is visible from the trail, to your right.

Length of via ferrata route: 240m. Vertical climb: 120m.

Difficulty: C/D (medium/difficult). Grades are from A (very easy) to E (extreme). From our past experience on other routes, this route felt more like B/C, with a few exposed sections.

Duration for the via ferrata route: approximately 50 minutes.

Prices: Parking was 15 lei and 8 lei / person for entering the gorges. No extra costs for the via ferrata route.

Mandatory gear: alpine helmet, alpine harness, via ferrata set. Optionally, gloves.

Return trail: Downwards through the woods for about 10 minutes back to the trail marked with a yellow stripe, which you can follow to the starting point.

Wheater: Meteoblue Meresti, HarghitaViewweather Varghis, Covasna.

Emergency calls: 0-SALVAMONT, which is actually +40.725.826.668, or 112, the European all around emergency number. GPS coordinates for localization: 46°13’17.5″N 25°32’33.3″E.

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