25 Octombrie is one of the most popular climbing routes in Retezat Mountains. It’s located in the NE face of Bucura II Peak and follows a beautiful ridge line visible from high distance.
It has 7 pitches, the last 3 being common with Creasta Vulturilor. The climbing is fairly easy, the most difficult being pitch number 4, with the crux at UIAA VI. The route is entirely protected with pitons, but old pitons. Some of them dubious.
It’s a highly recommended route because of its beauty, with deep views over the valley below and the routes nearby.
First ascent was done by M. Schenn and L. Karacziony in 1959.
1) From Bucura Lake campsite take the touristic trail to Genţiana hut. After reaching Curmătura Bucurei saddle start to descent, keeping the trail until the steeper descent is almost over. At this point leave the trail and start to traverse west on big chunks of rock towards the base of NE wall.
Approach time: 1 h.
2) From Genţiana hut take the trail to Pietrele Lake. Then choose the optimum way towards the NE wall.
Approach time: 2 h.
The NE wall of Bucura II Peak
The route can be identified after the metallic plate with the name attached to the first piton (2 m from the ground).
Pitch 1 (45 m, UIAA IV)
From the metallic plate the route goes directly upwards. A few meters below the ridge line, traverse right, cross the ridge then continue on the other side. From this point, the route goes slightly rightwards, moving away from the ridge. The pitons are visible and offer an easy indication on the direction to go. The first belay (2 pitons) is reached at the base of a grassy chimney continued with a narrow rocky one.
Pitch 2 (35 m, UIAA V-)
Climb the grass section and enter the rock chimney. There are a few moves at the entrance then it transforms in some kind of tunnel. Exit on the other side of the ridge on a small platform. Climb a couple of meters from here and you’ll reach the 2nd belay on a comfortable ledge. However, the changing of direction after leaving the chimney will create significant rope drag. A solution would be to stop and belay immediately after exiting the chimney. With 60 m rope(s) it’s still possible to reach the 3rd belay from this point.
Climber in nearby route.
Pitch 3 (45 m, UIAA III)
This is one of the easiest pitches of the route. Climb directly on the ridge line on solid rock until a small slab blocks the way. The belay is just before the slab and has 3 pitons. This belay must be carefully equalized as the pitons are not exactly bomber.
Pitch 4 (50 m, UIAA VI)
This is the hardest pitch of the route. Start to climb the small slab followed by a dihedral. The route then passes on the compact face at the right of the ridge line. Some of the existing pitons are questionable and the climbing is quite sustained. A small dihedral is reached protected by 2 pitons placed close to each other. Overpassing this obstacle is the crux of the route - UIAA VI. Continue to climb on the face until the pitch ends just before the ridge line. The belay has 2 pitons which, again, are not very solid.
Pitch 5, 6 and 7
The difficulties are finished from this point. The climber will encounter from now on loose rock and grassy sections. The route continues to follow the ridge line and, during 5th pitch, will meet the ridge of Creasta Vulturilor route. Pitch 6 and 7 can be simul climbed, however the terrain still remains exposed in some sections.
The route finishes not far from Bucura II Peak. A big couloir nearby can serve as a quick descent path back to the base of NE wall.
Follow the nearby touristic trail to Curmătura Bucurei saddle.
The route is protected with pitons. Not all of them are trustful. Additional protection could be useful.
Take the following:
- 11 quickdraws (long ones are better)
- long slings
- a small assortment of mobile protections
- 2 pegs and a hammer just in case
- double ropes are useful
"Thank goodness. This reinforces my simplistic world view."