The First Peak

The past weekend, I reach the highest point in Romania, the Moldoveanu Peak (2544m). Being on the way there, I also reached Vistea Mare Peak (2527m – third highest peak in Romania).

Now, let me start by telling you that although I consider myself interested in hiking and mountaineering, I haven’t practiced it too often. Lately, I started to take action and try to be on the mountain, as often as possible, and with every occassion I try to push my limits further.

Since I know myself I have this fear of heights that acts by not letting my feet work anymore, and sometimes getting small panic attacks.

I had in mind to climb Moldoveanu Peak for over a year now. I wanted to do it last year, but June was not the right time to do it. Yesterday, however, I went for it. I wanted to assess a few things with this objective: my effort capacity ( will I be able to sustain a 7h+ hike with quite important level difference)? how well will I cope with the hights and seeing large openings on both sides of the trail, and how will I be able to keep my mind focused and not let it wander around.

Regarding this last point, this is what I like the most about hiking – it works like meditation for me. I am there, in the moment, focusing on the climb/ descent and just admire the views. There is little to nothing else that my brain works on, in those hours.

Long-story short, yesterday – Saturday the 30th of July 2022, at 5.00 AM I met with the group and guides organized by Oxygen Tours, and we had a bus that drove us to Stana lui Brunei, the Moldoveanu Peak trail start. We got there little over 10.00 AM ( I know – seems a lot, but last 40 km is made out of country road, limiting the speed to max 20km/h).

We started the hike at 10.30 and took us about 4 hours to reach the peak. I kept myself really focused on the way, being careful at dosing my effort and preparing myself mentally for the part that I was scared the most.

Eventually, everything went well (maybe the fog helped – not letting me see the large openings while on top. Whenever the fog will go away, I would force myself to look in the horziont and then trying to look arround without feeling my knees colapsing. And it worked – I am extremely more comfortable now with looking at large openings form a high point. Which brings me back to my objectives.

Assessing my effort capacity

The entire tour took 7h 30’ and we covered 10 km with 1100m level difference. It felt moderate towards hard from a physical perspective. I need to add that I had only 3h of sleep, and did not ate too much either. Despite not being 100% from a physical pov, I am happy with how my body reacted.

Fear of heights

Here I learnt the biggest lesson – imagination makes things way worst than they are. The hike was not as steep as I would have expected, the trail was well defined, and the risky portions were some to pay attention to, but not extreme. Not even the portion where you need to keep hold of the chains in order to move forward. I practiced looking down into great openings and was happy with how I kept myself together. I am not there yet, but this was a great step forward.

After reaching the peak and marking the moment with a picture, I left a message in the Visitor’s Book for my fellow #stakeborgar @MAC , who is preparing to conquer 7 out of 13 over 2500m peaks, next week.

I also made sure to place a few StakeborgDAO stickers, feeling great that I managed to bring the news to the highest point in Romania. Make sure to use #wheremydaogoes if you ever get there.

Hiking and peak summits are something that brings me a lot of joy, satisfaction and peacefullness. This was only the first, and I plan to continue to develop my skills, be more on the mountain and reach higher peaks – both mentally and in terms of meters. I am dreaming for the day when I will start my hike towards, Uhuru peak – Mount Kilimanjaro. I know I have to prepare and learn a lot, but as with this smaller accomplishment, it’s something that I feel the need to do.

Closing up, I would like to thank @MAC for being an continuosly inspiration source for what pushing your limits means and for indirectly fueling my drive to overcome my fears and limitations.

Technical Details

Lenght: 11 KM
Time: 7h 30′
Level Difference: 1100 m
Highest Point: Moldoveanu Peak – 2544 m
Difficulty: Medium to Hard


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