On Our Way to Moldoveanu. How a Mountain Adventure Became a Personal Challenge

People reaching Moldoveanu Peak 2D illustration

Some of us traveled a lot a few days ago. Diana, Marcel, Geo, Andrei, Mircea and Raduwho came along with two friends, decided a few weeks ago to go camping and hiking, to face the greatest giant in Romania – the Moldoveanu Peak (2544m).

A journey that proved to be a challenging quest – both physical and personal.

Day one:

A long road, coupled with an exhausting 6-hour drive for the designated drivers. But the destination was an amazing place to stay even for one night, with lots of tiny houses, nearby rivers and a vast courtyard.

Radu and Andrei weren’t kidding about the camping, so their tents were already assembled and ready for a chilly night near a pond by the time the others arrived there. What they found when they got there were those two adventurers parked outside with the music turned up and dancing on the grass – a familiar sight on our team adventures!

Marcel offered to cook some mega-delicious pasta, and, according their impressions after dinner, he didn’t lie. After that, the snacks and sweets were carefully prepared to each of their liking. You know, just like in middle school. Everyone had their share.

Day two:

Our ambitious travelers then offered to make sandwiches for the road the next day… somehow, they had a feeling that their stamina would drop during the big journey up to the Moldoveanu.

Mircea and Radu thought that it would be best to leave one of the cars at the end of the route, just in case they’d choose to come down from the mountain on the other long route. All the happy-go-lucky attitude and optimism were gradually turned into confusion and exhaustion at the first panel, wondering if they were there yet: seven hours to conquer the mountain. So clearly, no.

After the first hour, the main group split up, since some of them had a quicker stride. Several hours later, on a quite decent footpath, along an enchanting river through the forests, our travelers found themselves on the advanced level of this quest. Lots of boulders and really abrupt slopes made them split again. Marcel was way up on the hills, Andrei caught up with him surprisingly enough, Diana stopped to capture every moment with her camera, and Mircea felt that all of his energy gained from eating tons of pasta vanished into thin air.

But nothing is impossible for our guys! These mighty ones didn’t flee in front of this huge, black, dense cloud that covered the peak (never mind the upcoming rain). Never surrender! Okay maybe some of them wanted to, but the others kept them on track. Literally.

At some point, they weren’t able to see anything through that cloud. They WERE in the cloud. One with it. It started raining.

But the View…

The view was breathtaking.

There were a lot of people struggling to keep their feet still on the narrow crest of the mountain. One by one, although hurt and exhausted, reached the peak and celebrated this never-ending beauty with silence and awe.

They conquered it. Their fear, their goal, their struggle, their tiredness. And they fell asleep in the grass for a couple of minutes.

Then they came back on the other route. Sunny, no cloud, no wind, just a bit of rain. The adventure continued with the risk of a potential nervous breakdown for some of them while descending from the mountain. The night came and with it, the cold rain, lots of slippery roads, resulting in some bruises here and there.

Take Mircea for example, who was so tired and hurt that he stopped. Just one hour left until they’d have reached the car. But no, Mircea insisted on staying alone in the forest while raining, shouting frequently to scare the bears. He wasn’t scared, he had his trusty hunting knife with him. Similar to a particular movie starring DiCaprio. He gathered his last drops of strength, owing to a really late sugar rush and ran for 20 minutes nonstop.

All in all, the important thing here is that everyone completed this mission successfully. Never mind those twelve hours on the entire road… and the fever and the chills, the following night. The next day at work, the effects of this trial showed on their faces: exhaustion, the spark of happiness and a sign that something has changed.

The end.