Touristik Label - 303MN01: Pasul Rotunda - Şaua Gărgălău - Pasul Şetref

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Trail Details

Difficulty
hard
Distance
58,20km
Duration
~26:00h
Ascent
3102m
Descent
3557m

Tabs

Directions

The red stripe trail marking runs along the main ridge of the Rodna Mountains from east to west, on almost 58 kilometers. The starting point is in Rotunda Pass (1,277 m) in the east and the endpoint is in Setref Pass (817 m) in the west. Rotunda Pass separates the Rodna Mountains from the Suhard Mountains and it can be reached from the road connecting Sighetul Marmatiei to Vatra Dornei (DN 18), from Bistrita Aurie Valley, running on an unpaved part of the road to the south (4.4 km, on DN17D). If coming from the south, from the village of Valea Mare (DN17D) located on Somesul Mare Valley, follow the unpaved section for 15.6 km. Rotunda Hut (the property of Rizea family) is in the center of Rotunda Meadow. On the right side of the road, coming from the north, there is a signpost marking the starting point for the red stripe trail. From Rotunda Pass start on the pastoral road to the west, which continues close to Gaja Saddle. At first, the road takes you through a forest clump, almost horizontally, then it slightly climbs towards the northwest. Shortly after getting out of the forest, you walk past two neighboring sheepfolds. The road zogzags on this section, but you climb directly through the pasture. Soon, you leave the sheepfolds behind and go around the southern side of Nichitas Peak on the same road, now located on the west side of Prelucile Ridge. Once you walk past Gaja Peak (1,847 m) located to the north, you can see the secondary ridge of Dealul Negru to the west. There is a short bifurcation in this point. All along you can admire the trio of Rosu, Ineut and Ineu peaks, oriented east-west. Next, leave the road to climb to the north for a short while until you reach the ridge into Gaja Saddle (1,789 m). The road remains below and it ends in a few hundred meters. From Rotunda Pass to Gaja Saddle you have walked 9 km (about 3 ½ hours). The red dot trail (Trail 9) splits from this saddle, which is a short connecting trail going to Lala Mare Lake (about ½ hour). From the saddle, follow the path marked with red stripe that first climbs along the contour line to avoid the dwarf pines. After this section, go back onto the edge and begin a steeper climb to then reach a saddle. Walk past the saddle and continue the constant climb that only subsides on the last section, before Ineut Peak (2,222 m). From the peak, the blue cross trail splits to the east over Rosu Peak, descends to Valea Blaznei Complex and then to Sant village. You descend to the west on the ridge trail and get to Ineut Saddle (2,060 m). From here, the blue dot trail splits to the north. It is good to know that if you follow it for five minutes you reach a spring, and there is a campsite on the shore of Lala Mica Lake (20 minutes). From Ineut Saddle continue uphill, to the west, with a short detour to the left, and after 10 minutes reach Saua Cu Lac Saddle (2,120 m). A signpost indicates the blue dot trail that splits to the south to Rodna village (via Mount Harosu and Curatel Saddle). From Saua Cu Lac Saddle turn towards the north-west and in a short while, there is a bifurcation. A red stripe trail climbs to Ineu Peak (2,279 m), another continues along the contour line, past the southern side of the peak, to Ineu Saddle. Ineu Peak dominates the eastern half of the Rodna Mountains, with a panoramic view of the surrounding massifs on a clear day: Maramures Mountains, Suhard Mountains, Rarau Mountains, Calimani Mountains, Bargau Mountains, etc. Continue on the contour line and walk past the mountain hut below Ineu. The path that now descends to Ineu Saddle (2,110 m) will soon be heading to an unnamed peak and descend to Bila Saddle. From here, climb Tomnatec Peak (2,051 m) and then descend to the west. Then walk past a short yet difficult rocky area on the southern part of the ridge, resembling a knife-like ridge. Further, a gentle climb takes you on Coasta Neteda Peak (2,060 m) and then you descend westward to Tarnita lui Putredu (1,959 m). From here, to the left, south, the blue triangle trail unfurls on Mount Cisa ridge. If you follow it, you will reach the village of Valea Vinului. From Tarnita lui Putredu, the trail runs along the ridge, sometimes on the southern slope, at the bottom of a steep slope, then reaches Cisa Peak (2,039 m). The rocky peak remains to the north and after about 30 minutes of walking you descend into Cisa Saddle (1,959 m). Omului Peak (2,135 m) is in front of you, only a few meters above (on the left). From the peak, the main ridge changes its direction northwards. Continue in this direction to Gargalau Peak (2,135 m). The path on the eastern slope, crossing an area with slabs, takes you over La Cepi Peak (2,102 m) to the west side of Claii Peak (2,117 m). A gentle ascent gets you closer to Gargalau Peak. Piciorul Oancului secondary ridge spilts to the north from the peak. Gradually turn to the west, then north and west again to reach Gargalau Saddle (1,907 m), which is marked by a wooden pole. This is the intersection with the blue stripe trail climbing from Borsa resort to Stiol Meadow. A little to the west, reach the former mining road (grassy). From here, the blue cross trail will join you. It descends to Anies on the valley bearing the same name. Camping is allowed close to Gargalau Saddle, to the south, in the area called La Izvoare. From the saddle, follow the grassy road to the west, on the contour line, and after a short climb on the south side of Mount Cailor (1,931 m) reach Galatului Saddle (Curmatura Galatului Saddle). The above-mentioned road continues to the saddle, then moving onto the northern slope. This is where you come across the blue triangle trail climbing from Borsa along Negoiescului Valley. The ridge trail further climbs onto Galatului Peak (2,048 m) to then slightly descend to the west, on the slightly wavy ridge, reaching Laptelui Saddle (1,943 m). From here, the red stripe trail moves on the northern slope to avoid the imposing Laptele Mare Peak (2,167 m). It goes around it and reaches the wide Puzdrele Saddle (2,035 m). Further continue to the west and then slightly descend to the west-southwest to the intersection with a grassy road coming from the east-southeast. It is the yellow stripe trail that climbs from Aniesul Mare Valley. Cross an area with dwarf pines and get to Tarnita Barsanului, a long and wide saddle. Have a break here to admire the high ridge of Buhaescu Mare - Pietrosu Mare (northwest) and Negoiasa Peak nearby. Walk around the latter, on its northern side, on an easy path, without steep sections. The narrow ridge with Negoiasa Mica and Negoiasa Mare rocky peaks remains to the left. The path gently climbs between dwarf pines over Piciorul Negoieselor edge and then slightly descends to Tarnita Negoieselor. At its end, move to the south, on a grassy path that takes you to Intre Izvoare Saddle (1,820 m). It is where the yellow cross trail and the red dot trail come from the south. After a few minutes, reach the place called La Carti, where the layered rocks resemble some books. There is a powerful spring here and camping is allowed. Walk ahead and get to a bifurcation. Here, the main trail has two possible routes. One that goes around Cormaia and Repede peaks (to the north), and another that climbs them, the two routes coming together in Obarsia Rebrii Saddle. The first route crosses the glacial cirque called Zanoaga Catanilor, camping spot with springs, then turns left and constantly climbs to the above mentioned saddle. The second consists of a moderate climb through the grassland, on a poorly visible path. Reach Repede Peak (2,074 m) at its end. Then, descend to a saddle and climb Cormaia Peak (2,033 m). Descend to the north, to the rocky ridge, walk past the rocky La Catani Peak (on its left side). Soon reach Obarsia Rebrii Saddle and the intersection with the route that crossed Zanoaga Catanilor. There is a junction here: blue stripe  and red triangle trails. From Obarsia Rebrii Saddle, walk around Obarsia Rebrii Peak (to the west), in a gentle climb and then descend to Tarnita La Cruce (1,981 m). From here, the blue triangle trail continues to the south and the blue stripe trail to the north. There are two options if you want to reach Batrana Peak from Tarnita La Cruce: one of them is along the ridge, on the southern slope of Rebra and Gropilor peaks, and the other one is along the southern slope, on the road following the contour line. Start climbing slightly to the right, towards the northwest. The path is accompanied by the main ridge trail and by the blue stripe trail. Climb a rocky crest and then continue on a grassy crest to reach Rebra Peak (2,119 m). From the peak, change direction to the west and descend into the saddle between Rebra and Gropilor peaks. There are several short narrower sections along the climb to Gropilor Peak, resembling a knife-like ridge. From Gropilor Peak (2,063 m), continue the descent through the pasture, where the path is barely visible and the trail marker is almost completely missing. Descend to the road that avoids this section. Walk on the road, past an area with dwarf pines, and reach Tarnita Batranei (1,759 m). The grassy road, which is almost flat, takes you to the west, and then to the south. Here and there, you will see signposts. Shortly before Batrana Saddle, you come across the red dot trail. You continue to the west and in a few hundred meters reach Batrana Saddle (1,679 m) and the intersection with the red triangle trail. Walk around Batrana Peak (north), and leave the alpine area, approaching the spruce forest on Obcina Pietrii. Follow the rough wagon road through the forest leading to Pietrii Pass (1,196 m), where you come across the unmodernized road that connects Romuli to Moisei. From this intersection, after about 1.5 km, the trail enters an elongated meadow, known as Preluca de sub Piatra, with a sheepfold in the middle. Cross the meadow on the contour line, diagonally, following a grassy path, and continue to the west on the road below Muncelul Raios Peak (on its southern side). After the peak, get out of the forest and walk below a sheepfold, get back into the forest and then come out into a larger meadow. There are several watering troughs for animals. This place is called La Valaie. It is also the intersection with the blue triangle trail. From La Valaie (northwest), the trail follows the ridge covered with hayfields to Capul Muntelui Peak (1,194 m), gradually descending through meadows with sheepfolds and hamlets towards Setref Pass. There are several cairns alongside this part of the trail. In the pass you get to the national road (17C) and Hanul lui Patru Inn.

Stages

Pasul Rotunda - Şaua Ineuţului - Şaua Gărgălău - Tarniţa La Cruce - Pasul Şetref

Observations

In winter, folow the mathematical ridge.

Weather

People who contributed

 

Pasul Rotunda - Şaua Gărgălău - Pasul Şetref in Maramureş, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Rodnei is a hard hiking trail.
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