2014. március 1.

Predeal mountains

A nice multi-activation area close to Brassó can be found in the Predeál mountains where 3 qualifying summits in close proximity waits for the adventurous SOTAer: YO/EC-247, YO/EC-252 and YO/EC-241. They also appear being doable in one day (well in summer day anyway), and although it is still late winter with pretty short days, I targeted these on this weekend.
Best approach is by the 73A road connecting Rozsnyó (Rosenau, Râșnov) with Predeal, where a small mountain resort Hidegpatak (Pârâul Rece) situated right at the col offers a good starting point to all 3 summits.
I was of course beginning with the closest summit, YO/EC-252, Piatra Arsă, which is right next to the resort and also has a quite good forest road up to near the summit. Actually half of the road is also paved and leads to the Forrest Administration's hut, so it might be doable up until there by car, but I think you might need a special permit to access this road by car, at least this is what the panel at the entry of the road suggests:
The starting point of the forrest road
This road is the easiest approach as it gently ascends along the ridge up to the hut, so it is an easy walk, but starting from well over the exit from Pârâul Rece towards Predeal, some can find it a bit too long away, for those there is a shortcut directly from the center of the resort, pretty much in the middle of the forrest up to the hut, from there the normal road can be taken. I also took the latter approach and stopped right at the col, which can also offer some nice panorama towards north with the Schuler (YO/EC-011) in the background:
Panorama from Pârâul Rece
Either way, not far from the Forrest Administration's place there is a logging road splitting out from the paved road mentioned earlier, which takes up to the close vicinity of the summit, with about 50m left cut through the forest up to the summit. Which is well pretty much the same full of tree (one large one right at the summit), except for the other side which is a big ravine. Not too much space for an antenna either, just enough to put up the vertical and guy it to the nearby trees. Here's a game of spot the antenna:
The summit of YO/EC-252
On the other hand, some rocks on the summit form actually a quite nice shack, albeit still a little cold this time of the year:
Shack on YO/EC-252
It was quite nice pileup in the morning, with several s2s, so time was flying by very rapidly, and I only noticed this, when to my great surprise (and of course annoyance), the radio went silent, as it turned out to my great embarrassment the battery went flat (both the LiION and the internal ones) so that was it for the activation, and also for the rest of the day, as without batteries it wasn't going to be a next summit.
So that was it for today, but at least I could check out the tracks to the summit, so I can give you two possible approaches as I mentioned before:
Track to the summit YO/EC-252 from the 73A road (blue the forrest road, yellow the shortcut)

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