TRANSYLVANIA TRAIL TRAVERSE – DRACULA 

Distance: 106 km

Altitude: 
• Elevation gain (D+) 8500 m
• Minimum 758 m
• Average 1675 m
• Maximum 2507 m

About the course
Dracula trail begins just below the Bran Castle, home of the famous Count Dracula. We run 4.2 km through the scenic Romanian village with the same name, we pass the ski slope where the finish line will be, then continue on a forestry road. Soon we leave the road and begin a steep climb following the single trail path through the wild forest.

A grassy meadow, located at km 9.30 is the sign that the first sustained climb is over. Next is a quick descent that leads us shortly to the entrance of the Hole Valley. Devil's Mill Waterfall located at km 11, marks the beginning of a long and supported climb, with technical passages, chains and spectacular walls of cliffs. We cross the Catunasul River at km 11.8, last source of water for the next 5 km.

We leave behind the forest at an altitude of 1800m, entering the alpine meadow. At km 12.8, we enter an imposing glacial cirque, located at an altitude of 2200m. Only 300m level difference separates us from touching the first time the highest point of the trail, the Omu Peak. Km. 16 marks this point, where we can also benefit of the Omu Hut shelter point (2507m).

It follows a speeding downhill, 6 km long, called the Stag Valley. After the check -point at the end of the valley follows a contour line with little ups and downs that leads us to the next glacial valley of the trail. It's Miller Valley this time, a path with unique views and passages, unmarked for tourists. We quickly win altitude again in the places frequented more often by black mountain goats than by people. Here and there climb gets technical and we use our hands to advance. With a length of 3.5km, Miller Valley it`s ending in the alpine plateau.

From here we expect more than 12km of running in height, at altitude of over 2000m. We reach for the second time the cottage Omu Peak and continue on to Bucegi plateau through the iconic Cross of the Heroes, 40m tall, located at 2291m. Steep valleys and wonderful landscapes lay to our feet here. 3 km after letting behind the Cross we can admire Old Women and The Sphinx rock formations when running near it. Leaving the cool air from over 2000m we descend beneath the cable car and reach The Cave area.

Here we meet a monastery built in a cave. There is also a check-point with a code written at the end of the 300m long cave, and we have to snuggle and mind our head to accomplish reaching it.

Once out of the cave, 500m further we turn west on the amazing Valley of Horoabei.  Cascade, jumping, tunnels, stairs, chains will delight and provoke us equally. After clearing all obstacles we get out in the alpine and follow the path that leads to the place called Strunga (1915m). Passing it we are in the western part of the massif.

We go nearby a couple of sheepfolds and we are getting closer to finish. From Polite clearing we turn east and follow the river Great Urlatoarea, which will guide us to the end of the first stage.

After a well deserved rest we continue our demanding adventure. After 3 km of forestry road warm-up, a long, steep, almost exhausting uphill is next. It`s the final ascent to Omu Peak. A more welcoming path awaits us from here, Ialomita Valley, 6 km long in easy descent. We reach The Cave area again but follow another path, trough the bushes of blackberries and cranberries. We reach Burned Stone Hut at the altitude of 1950 m. High bushes of juniper lead us to a zigzag descent that owns there name: Big Junipers. This descending path leads us close to Busteni town. We circle the town on the nearby paths and gain strengths for the next ascent. A mix of flat trail and sustained uphill leads us to one of the most spectacular passages of the course, the Path of the Black Goats, a suspended route hanging above the Malaiesti Glacial Cirque. Then we descend rock to rock in the cirque and in no-time we meet the Malaiesti Hut.

From here we climb a narrow winding path up to the peak of Padina Cross .It follows a slightly ascent nearly 2 km long, to Tiganesti Lake. We continue the easy climbing for 1 more km and we get to Tiganesti Refuge. Following the single-trail path on the Edge with the same name, we are open to breathtaking view on the west (Bran, Moeciu, Piatra Craiului Mountains) and to the east (Rasnov , Zarnesti ).

Tiganesti Edge leads us to the point called the Rocks, at an altitude of 1820m and distance of 101.2 km. We re-enter the woods and follow the shaded path, sometimes with a steep descent, other times softer. The virgin forest trail turns at km 104 into a forestry road. Only 2 km of agreeable running separates us from the finish. Last meters are run along the ski slope and at km 106 we cross the finish line surviving Dracula`s challenge.

Karta map Transylvania Trail Traverse - Dracula

Se större karta (flickr.com) >

The Dracula course profiles

The starttime for this dramatic course will be 06.00 on friday the 5th of sep and the runners can make a choice on nonstop or stagerace.

"Cut off time" for nonstoprunner will be 18.00 for the first loop. The runner have an option to quit or switch to stagerace and start 07.00 for the last loop on saturday. This is for sequrityreason,


Accept Site use cookies