You can hardly guess that there’s anything up there in that forest. Far from the squeaky noise of tires on the serpentine road, behind the hotels and guesthouses of the small holiday resort, there’s a street nobody notices. It goes up to Belvedere, an old isolated chalet, currently abandoned. Around it, trees make way for an impressive scenery. Mountains are closing in on us. This must be how the chalet got its name.
Brașov is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania. Set in the middle of the country, the mountains surrounding it have had plenty to offer for nature lovers. Gorges and crags have become home to numerous climbing routes. Belvedere lies hidden in the forest covered mountains around Predeal resort and is considered one of the best climbing areas near Brașov.
Time after time, the quiet path takes us right under the routes, where we are suddenly facing perfectly vertical walls that seem to have been cut by a gigantic knife. This is a challenge worth taking on.
Access: It is relatively easy to reach Belvedere Crag because you can get very close by car. It is approximately 30 km away from Brașov. Whether you’re coming from Brașov or from Bucharest, you will be driving on DN1. Once you pass through Predeal you will see a crossroad at the end of a bridge. Take the road toward Pârâul Rece resort (DN 73A). Once you reach the highest part of the road and before entering the resort, there is a small street going left through the forest. It will take you to Belvedere Chalet where you’ll leave your car. From here you must go up on the path until you reach a tractor road. Walk on it until you see another path on the left. Go up, then down. You will find yourself walking along some cliffs and in a short while you will see the crags. It takes approximately 15 minutes to get from the car to the climbing routes.
Height: There are two sectors at Belvedere. The Main Sector is higherand routes may vary from 12 to 37 m. However, most of them are around 20 mand the highest ones are extensions. The Forest Sector is shorter and bouldery. Here, routes go from 7 to 15 m.
Difficulty: Belvedere Crag has routes for every lever, from 5c to 8b.
Time of year: Belvedere is a south oriented crag which means that on a good weather it will be sunny for most of the day. Still, the Forest Sector is mainly in the shade. This makes Belvedere an excellent spot to climb all throughout the year. In the summer when it’s cloudy and in winter when it’s sunny.
Your technique and resistance will be tested on the gray limestone walls, both physically and mentally. The adherent rock filled with small holes, cracks and crimpers will slowly but surely grate off your skin. Whether you like it or not, you will always leave a part of you behind, on the Belvedere crags.