Monday 26th June 2017
Another early start was planned, so as we were parked right on the TET trail this time, we were up at 6.30 and on the trail by 7.15am. From the start, the trail was hard packed and steady going, wide open piste wound it’s way in a gentle ascent up the valley, passing a couple of groups of forestry workers who all waved and said hi. As we climbed the valley walls closed in and the rock on either side got steeper, the trail got a bit rougher too until we passed a narrower wooden bridge with a hand painted 3.0t sign. After this the ascent changed gradient a bit, but was still fairly gentle until eventually we exited the tree line onto open piste that wound around the hillsides.
We stopped for pictures and water, the sky was now that beautiful blue of the mountains without a cloud in sight. A little side excursion from a col saw me take to a ridge top to look back at the previous days route, then once I’d worked it out, I looked at where we were going for the day and marked out a few summits we could ascend as an aside.
We set off following the TET trail as it wound it’s way along the hillsides to an old abandoned cabane on the side of a hill. (This would make an ideal high campsite with fresh water nearby too). From here we climbed a ridge heading off the TET to bag 3 summits all around the 2400m, lovely rolling tops, with one really steep ascent up bouncy grass tufts. These tops will eventually take you to the main ridge line and the highest summit here, Moldonoveanu at 2800m. But they are too difficult for us on the bikes and more ridge scrambles than rides!
We retraced our steps, (finding two beautiful crosses marking the passing of someone at a great viewpoint), then followed on along the various tops and broad ridge that ran alongside the TET piste until it started to drop back into the forest.
A little bit of misread map led us off the trail trying to pick up a piste back to the van, but instead took us on a little jolly through the woods on various forestry equipment trails that got steadily worse, so we turned around and returned to the trail before dropping to a tarmac road.
The TET turns right here and rolls over a ridge down to the Lac Vidraru and the main Transfargarasan Pass road. We turned left and headed back to Slatina where we found a shop with beer and bread, so we stocked up and returned to the van to have a lazy rest of the day and release the dog from the van.
Another fab day on the TET, stunning views and lots of options to explore around this area.