Rodna (Rodnei) Mountains

Page Type
Area/Range
Location:
Maramures/Bistrita-Nasaud, Romania, Europe
Activities:
Hiking, Skiing
Season:
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Elevation:
7556 ft / 2303 m
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Rodna (Rodnei) Mountains
Created On: Apr 19, 2005
Last Edited On: Oct 14, 2018
This page was completely rewritten in September 2018.

When To Climb & Weather

Good day
 

meteoblue.com : Forecast for an elevation of 1518m (Scroll down for weather for towns/villages around the Rodnei Mountains.)

Current data from the weather station by Iezer tarn at 1786 m (just north of the highest peak) is available online here (towards the top of the page, under "IEZER"). 

Access to the Saua Gargalau...
 
 
On the main Rodnei mountains...
 
The best time for hiking is late summer. June is the rainiest month. In winter, especially on the main ridge, conditions can be harsh - anyway, full winter gear and good orientation is needed. High winds are frequent. Avalanche risk occurs. The first snow can be expected in September or the beginning of October although it is not likely to last long. Skiing is best from December to March and in some places can be possible as late as June, but snow normally disappears from the southern slopes as early as April. These mountains are quite remote, so rescue may not be possible in a short time. Another problem is that cellphone network does not cover the area well. 

For mountain rescue, in Romania known as Salvamont, call 0 725 826 668  

When storm is coming
 

Red Tape, Camping, Shelters & Huts

 
view - below ineu to Gargalau
 
Lychnis nivalisEndemic species
Designated campsite
 

Most of the Rodna Mountains is a national park, where you are supposed to camp only at designated places and walk along waymarked trails. Several areas within the park (the largest and most precious of them in the vicinity of Pietrosu) are more strictly protected as nature reserves. Please follow the Leave No Trace ethics, especially regarding waste disposal.

Special permits are needed for visiting most of the caves, even those outside the park.

There are no mountain huts on or near the main ridge. Around 400 m SW of the summit of Ineu, at 2150 m on the main ridge trail marked with red stripes sits a tiny shelter which can sleep four to six people. In 2017 a bigger, more decent shelter named 'La Carti' was built at Şaua Între Izvoare (a pass east of Repede peak) at 1828 m. It is a few kilometers SE of Pietrosu. On the very summit of Pietrosu stands a ruin of a weather station, which is also used as a shelter. It is rather unwelcoming though.

The map below - created by peterbud - shows (apart from major peaks and waymarked trails) designated campgrounds, mountain huts and some guesthouses in and around the Rodna Mountains.

Key
- white dots and black dot: designated campsites
- red dots: mountain huts and unmanned refuges
- blue squares: guesthouses (Please note that there are many more around, e.g in Borşa town or in Borşa resort called Complex Turistic Borşa)
- bold black lines: asphalted roads (dotted: unpaved portion of road 17D)
- green pentagons: settlements
- red line: main ridge trail
- yellow lines: other waymarked trails
- blue triangles: mountain peaks

Some of the featured points are clickable - these contain links to webpages (both SP and external).

Vf. Pietrosu Mare (2303 m) Vf. Buhăescu Mare (2268 m) Vf. Gărgalău (2159 m) Vf. Ineu (2279 m) Vf. Galaţului (2048 m) Vf. Bătrâna (1710 m) Rebra (2119 m) Vf. Obârsia-Rebrii (2052 m) Vf. Cormaia (2033 m) Vf. Repede (2074 m) Vf. Negoiasa Mare (2041 m) Vf. Puzdrelor (2189 m) Vf. Laptelui Mare (2172 m) Vf. Mihăiasa (1805 m) Muntele Cailor (1922 m) Vf. Omului (2134 m) Vf. Cişa (2036 m) Vf. Coasta Netedă (2060 m) Vf. Ineuţ (2222 m) Vf. Roşu (2113 m) Vf. Coronghiş (1987 m) Vf. Saca (1705 m) Ursu (Bear) pension Suzy pension Cabana Diana (1250 m) Cabana Pasul Rotunda (1275 m) Curăţel refuge (1510 m) Cabana Alpin (1416 m) Cabana Valea Secii (630 m) Valea Secii forester hut (750 m) Farmecul Pădurii tourist hut (610 m) Valea Vinului tourist hut (700 m) Pasul Şetref (818 m) La Jgheaburi (1450 m) Pasul Pietrii (1196 m) Zăvoaiele Borcutului (930 m) Lake Iezer (1760 m) Lake Rebra (1950 m) north side of Vf. Repede (1850 m) former Puzdrele hut (1540 m) south slope of Muntele Cailor (1882 m) Lake Lala Mică (1920 m) Romuli Dealu Ştefăniţei Săcel Moisei Borşa Complex Turistic Borşa Valea Mare Şanţ Rodna Anieş Maieru Cormaia Sângeorz-băi Parva

Getting There

Polish hikers in Rodnei Mts
 


Nearest airports

 
Cloudy day in Borsa - Maramures county
Borșa
 
Borsa Ski Resort, Rodna Mountains
Complex Turistic Borşa
 
Rotunda pass (1271m)
Rotunda pass
 
Town of Sant . 22.7.2004 ( by...
Şant

Nearest train stations
Romuli and Dealul Ștefăniței (both villages on road DN 17c)
Vișeu de Jos 30 km WNW of Borșa (both towns on road DN18)
German Railways - all Europe covered




Main access points & nearest major summits

  • From the North (road DN18):
    Borșa town Pietrosu
    Complex Turistic Borşa - Gărgălău, Galaţului, Laptelul Mare, Puzdrelor
    Gura Lalei - Ineu

  • From the East (road DN17d):
    Rotunda pass - Ineuț 

  • From the South (road DN17d):
    Şant - Roşu, Ineut, Ineu
    Rodna village - Corongiş, Ineu
    Anieş - Corongiş

  • From the West (road DN17c):
    Setref pass - Rebra

Maps

Online map by the national park authority


Online map by Munții Noștri




Paper maps

Names and Glossary

Munţii Rodnei (Romanian)

Radnai-havasok (Hungarian)

Rodnaer Gebirge (German)


The mountains were named after the village of Rodna sitting at their southern foot. The name derives from an old Slavic word 'ruda' meaning 'ore'. In the Middle Ages the village was one of the most important mining centers of the Hungarian Kingdom. The miners were mostly 'Saxon', i.e. German settlers. 

 
Sunrise on a bivy under Rebra
Good old Rebra recently renamed  Buhăescu
Here is a relevant Romanian-Hungarian dictionary. For more Romanian/Hungarian words translated into English see this Carpathian picture dictionary.

Glossary
munţii = mountains
vârful = peak
şaua/pasul/tarniţa = saddle/pass
lacul = lake
tău = tarn
izvor = spring/headwaters
peștera = cave
cabana = hut
refugiu = shelter  
jos = down
sus = up

Overview

The Rodna or Rodnei range is the second highest or the highest - depending which part of the Carpathian Arc, Eastern or Southern you believe the Bucegi lies in - range in the Eastern Carpathians. It lies in the north of Romania, close to its border with Ukraine. The area covered by the Rodna has the shape of a rough triangle whose northern edge is demarcated by the Vișeu River, Prislop pass at 1416 m (beyond which the Marmarosh Mountains stretch) and the Bistrița Aurie river. The southeastern edge of the triangle is demarcated by the valley of the Someșul Mare and Rotunda pass at 1271 m. To the south of the Someșul Mare lie the Bârgău Mountains whereas to the east of Rotunda pass sit the Suhard Mountains, which are lower than the Rodna but have a similar character and are regarded by some as its eastern reaches. The Sălăuța River, a tributary of the Someșul Mare, and Șetref pass at 818 m form the western boundary of the Rodnei, dividing it from the Țibleș Mountains.

Ineu summit (2279m)
Eastern Rodna seen from Marmarosh Mts (from N)
Central & Western Rodna seen from Marmarosh Mountains (from NE) 


The Rodna is considerably higher than nearby mountain ranges. Its highest summit, Pietrosu reaches an elevation of 2303 m, its isolation is 220 km and prominence 1578 m. Pietrosu stands in the western part of the range, whereas the second highest summit, Ineu at 2279 m, commands its eastern chunk. 
From Saua Intre Izvoare
The south side
The main ridge of the Rodna extends from west to east, in disaccord with the trend of the Carpathian arc, over a distance of some fifty kilometers. The northern slopes and valleys of the Rodnei are relatively short and steep, whereas the southern, especially southwestern ones are extremely long and gentle. That is why the main ridge, whose traverse has a distinct SP page, is usually approached from the north. It rises well above 1800 m, that is to say above timberline and well into the dwarf pine zone, much of which has been converted into mountain pastures grazed by herds of horses, flocks of sheep, some goats and cattle. The tops of the highest peaks, especially in the Pietrosu massif, belong in the alpine zone.

The mountains are composed of some of the oldest rocks in all of the Carpathians, mostly schists and some marble, quartzite and other rocks from the Paleozoic and Proterozic eras. Younger rocks, among them limestone and volcanic stuff, are also to be found, especially in the south. Generally, the Rodna comprises the largest crystalline block in all of the Eastern Carpathians, pushed up along faults by tectonic forces in the Tertiary and chiseled by glaciers in the Pleistocene. 



The highest and some other interesting summits in the Rodna, generally from West to East.

Summit
Elevation in Meters
Prominence in Meters*
Photo
Location
Pietrosu (Pietrosul Rodnei)
2303
1578
Highpoint of the Pietrosu ridge, which branches off the main ridge at Rebra peak to run north. About 7 km (as the crow flies) south of the center of Borșa town.
Grohotu
approx. 2200
approx. 70
On the eastern shoulder of Pietrosu, around 1km away from Pietrosu summit. 
Buhăescu Mare
2268 or 2257
158 or 147
2nd highest point on the Pietrosu ridge, between Rebra and Pietrosu. Until the end of the 20th century it was called Rebra. I have commented on this here.
Rebra (at the left edge of the photo)
2119
35
Where the Pietrosu Ridge connects to the main ridge. In the 20th century, at least in its second half, this peak was called Buhăescu Mare. I have commented on this here.
Repede
2074
72
On the main ridge, around 3 km SE of Rebra. 
Negoiasa Mare (right) 
2049
184
On the main ridge, over 2 km east of Repede. (Puzdrelor far left.)
Puzdrelor 
2189
310
Puzdrelor summit sits a few hundred meters north of the main ridge, about 3.5 km ENE of Negoiasa (and over 7 air km ESE of Pietrosu).
Mihaiasa
1805
128
On a side ridge 2.5 km SE of Negoiasa Mare.
Laptelul Mare 
2172
132
On the main ridge about 1 km SE of Puzdrelor summit.
Galaţului
2048
105
On the main ridge less than 2 km east of Laptelul Mare, about 11 km beeline from both Pietrosu and Ineu.
Gărgălău
2159
200
South of Borşa tourist resort. Sitting on the main ridge about 8 km NW of Ineu, over 4 km E of Galaţului, the peak towers over the sources of the Bistrița Aurie.
Omului
2135
33
On the main ridge 2 km south of Gărgălău. 
Coronghiş
1987
222
On a lateral ridge that runs southerly from Omului, around 3 km away from the main ridge.
Ineu (Inău) 
2279
459
On the main ridge about 6 km SE of Omului.
Pleşcuţa (Piciorul Pleşcuţei)
2151
56
The apex of the side ridge running NE from Ineu and dividing the drainages of Bila and Lala creeks, located over 1 km away from Ineu.
Ineut (left) and Roşu (right)
2222
2113
162
97
Ineut sits on the main ridge 1 km ESE of Ineu, Roşu on a side ridge 2 km SE of Ineut.

*Mostly according to the map by Munții Noștri 

Cascada Cailor - Rodnei mtns.
Cascada Cailor

Foreign hikers usually come for a thru hike. Romanian hikers, apart from visiting the two highest summits, often go on a hike from Borșa resort to an 80 m tall Cascada Cailor (Horses' Falls), then a little further south to Tăul Știol aka Iezerul Bistriţei aka Lacul Izvoru Bistriţei Aurii - the largest tarn in the Rodna, sitting at the northern foot of Gărgălău peak. (This hike can be made much shorter if you make use of the chair lift: A walk from the top terminal of the lift to the main ridge takes just about two hours.) There are a few dozen tarns in these mountains, but they are rather small and shallow. Only Știol has an area of more than a hectare, but that is due to its outlet being dammed by man recently. The largest natural tarn, Lala Mare, is half as big and none is deeper than six meters. Still, some of those little lakes - the largest two, Iezer and the tiny Buhăescu tarns - really are scenic. In May a large narcissus field is to be admired on the slopes of Saca peak at 1600m, south of the attractive and famed, limestone peak of Corongiş. 

 
Walls of the Evil
 
 
On the Curăţel ridge
 
As there are sizable patches of Paleozoic marble as well as much younger limestone in the Rodna, caves can also be found in these mountains. The largest of them is Peştera Izvorul Tăuşoarelor, located in the southwest of the Rodna. Its total length exceeds sixteen kilometers. This cave and most of the others cannot be explored without a permit, not to mention specialist gear and experience.

The wildlife of the Rodnei Mountains is typical of the Carpathians. In the vast forests live brown bears, wolves, lynxes, red deer and wild boar. Chamois and marmots, once extinct, have been reintroduced into the nature reserves at the two highest peaks. Eagles, hawks and ravens rule the sky. The rivers and streams are home to trout. In the grass the common viper is common indeed. In the rarely visited areas away from the main ridge and tourist honeypots, sheepdogs can pose some threat to the hiker. Try not to approach flocks of sheep, make detours and carry a sturdy stick to deter the dogs. If you do not have a proper stick you can try threatening the dogs with trekking poles or stones thrown in their direction, or just pretending to throw stones at them. Do not try to run away, move slowly or do not move and wait for the shepherd to come. He will probably be glad to meet you, especially if you treat him with cigarettes.  

Traveling Back In Time

Call It Backpacking
1981

Vintage photo of Coronghiş / Korongyos
1942

Video