Transfagarasan road (partially ) closed for approx. 1 month

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by neighbor's goat, May 18, 2012.

  1. neighbor's goat

    neighbor's goat Just call me "Goatie"

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    Hello fellow riders,

    As there are many threads on this forum area showing your riding interest in crossing the popular Romanian road Transfagarasan, I made this announcement here: Due to heavy rain falls, a portion of the road on the south mountain side (the one coming from Arges, close to the Vidraru lake area) was completely washed away by a terrain slide, so the road is currently closed for about one month from now.

    Nevertheless, you may still be able to ride part of it and reach the mountain top (Balea lake) coming from the northern side road (Sibiu -> Arpasu area); that one should be still fine, at least for the moment.

    I will keep you posted on the progress of this.

    goatie
    #1
  2. Ben Carufel

    Ben Carufel Boxer Addict

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    Wow, thanks for the timely update! I am flying to Bucharest on Monday for a few weeks of vacation. Not going to do any riding but I was planning to drive the Transfagarasan road in my rental car. Luckily I'm planning to drive it starting from the North side, so I will just go as far as I can towards the dam and then turn around and do the fun part again :).
    #2
  3. robxxx

    robxxx Adventurer

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    Yea thanks for that, looking to try to get up there in september if the weathers OK.
    #3
  4. rasomon

    rasomon n00b

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    Is it fully closed for all traffic? I was planning to drive that road (and Transalpina) in the midle of June. I have enduro bike (BMW 650 GS), would be posible to drive with it anyway? Does anybody knows in what condition is Transalpina? I know it was a lot of snow last winter.

    Thanks for any info.
    #4
  5. wildbilly

    wildbilly I am released...

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    oh shit! I was planning to pass transfagarassan at 7 of June, so I guess I will drive only the nothern part...Realy, what about transalpina? Does anybody knows if it will ne open that period?
    #5
  6. neighbor's goat

    neighbor's goat Just call me "Goatie"

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    I just found out the following update, good news for bikers: There is an available detour; the light traffic is redirected via the unpaved road DJ 704 I, running on the right bank of the Vidraru lake (close to Cumpana lodge).

    Anyway, last year's winter closing plan was that the Transfagarasan will be completely opened in 2012 only starting with the 30;th of June. They usually close the higher part of the road - therefore making a complete mountain passage impossible - in late fall and open it in the spring, depending on weather conditions, temperature and snow thickness.

    According to local online newspapers, Transalpina was closed on the 1-st of November 2011 and was scheduled to be reopened on the 15-th of April 2012. Personally I have no info related to any current restrictions or changes related to Transalpina.
    #6
  7. wildbilly

    wildbilly I am released...

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    Please repeat!
    The road will be closed at the higher point until 30/6?:cry
    So, up to which point is it accesible before that date;
    Can we reach Vidraru lake at all?

    Thanks...
    #7
  8. neighbor's goat

    neighbor's goat Just call me "Goatie"

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    You're welcome.
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  9. jetjackson

    jetjackson Been here awhile

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    Awesome stuff! Thanks for the 411. Hopefully all will be open by the10th of June-ish that we will arrive :)
    #9
  10. wildbilly

    wildbilly I am released...

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    So we can do this part? http://g.co/maps/na43p or not?
    We will be able to pass the tunell or not?
    Thanks again!!!
    #10
  11. neighbor's goat

    neighbor's goat Just call me "Goatie"

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    Not completely. Currently you will be able to go from Carta (point A on your map) up to the point called "Balea Cascada" (where the hotel sign on Google Map is). The tunnel is further up the mountain (point B on your map), so I guess you will not be able to cross the tunnel to the southern side of the mountain.

    I would like to add some words about the Transfagarasan and the standard winter closing period, from my very own personal knowledge: They close the road during the winter mainly of the heavy snowfalls and because nobody is cleaning those huge amounts of snow which are blocking the upper section of the road. Frankly, I do not know whether they somehow physically lock or block the tunnel entrances as well (the tunnel being right at the top of the mountain, near the Balea lake), but I think that they don't even need to do it, considering the snow. I know that there are two closing barriers: One at Balea Cascada on the northern side, and the second one close to the Capra lodge, on the southern side of the mountain.

    I cannot tell you (from a legal point of view) what happens if you try to bypass the barriers and still try to cross the mountain during the winter closing period; but I can tell you that I have traveled the Transfagarasan many times during July and August, and although the snow was plowed away from the asphalt, there were some parts where there still were "snow walls" (some even 2.5 meters high) on both sides of the road, making it clear for everyone that a winter passage by car or bike would be practically impossible. I'm sure that many of you have already seen pictures on ADV from the road in the summer time, and can confirm the above.

    If you really, really want to see the top of the Transfagarasan during the winter closing period, there still is a possibility, meaning by cable-way. The cable-way goes from Balea Cascada to Balea Lake, so this will work only if you arrive from the northern side.
    #11
  12. romek

    romek Adventurer

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    ~10th June two years ago. Tunnel was closed.

    [​IMG]
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  13. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

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    Great photo, romek.
    And the Transfagarasan was plowed open completely--including tunnel--for the
    first day that year, just 3 days after your photo, June 13, 2010.
    #13
  14. neighbor's goat

    neighbor's goat Just call me "Goatie"

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  15. Tigly

    Tigly Adventurer

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    Hi Rasomon,

    Transalpina is open now. I just read on a romanian bike forum a ride report from 12-13th of May 2012.
    Cheers

    Tigly

    #15
  16. rasomon

    rasomon n00b

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    Thank you for the info!
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  17. Ben Carufel

    Ben Carufel Boxer Addict

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    I drove the Transfagarasan from the Northern side yesterday. It is indeed closed at Balea Lake. There is 2 meter deep snow across the entire road starting about 150 meters from the tunnel.

    We were told there is no access past the lodge at Balea Lake (Cabana Paltinu) for either motorcycles or cars (at least the cars part was obvious).

    Today I drove up the Transfagarasan from the South side. I only went as far as the dam at the South end of Lake Vidaru and then turned back. The roads were clear and fine all the way up to the dam, so I can't say if/where the blockage is past there.

    My friends were convinced (despite my insistence otherwise) that the Transalpina was closed off, so they refused to let me drag them with me to drive it. Oh well, I'll save that for another trip.

    Here's a quick shot I snapped on the way back down yesterday, about 1.5km below Balea Lake:

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Le Loup Fou

    Le Loup Fou n00b

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    Transalpina is fully opened - we did it this week-end, at the Rally Camp. But take care at the working places along the route, especially in foggy conditions or during night rides.
    Transfagarasan is closed until 30-th june - this is on the site of the National Roads Company. If no other problems, starting on july 1-st you could use it. And yes, the tunnel is closed not only by snow. It would be stupid not to have gates at the entrances and allow snow get inside.... In this case the snow would be protected by heat and sun and last there much much more, making the tunnel useless.... So you can't go around these barriers :)
    If you cross the bariers Goatie said, in the winter, the legal problem is not so big - you could pay with the life, if avalanche strikes, or a big money penalty for the mountain rescue.... I don't think is worth it. An avalanche noise is not a thing to be sorry for not hearing it. I heard it tree times over me (in other conditions, and each time in Fagaras), so i'm really lucky - but i don't wish to repeat the experience.
    In this period, the southern side of Transfagarasan, from Curtea de Arges to Piscu Negru and to the tunnel, you could do it on motobikes (maybe with cars to), taking the detour from Vidraru dam to Cumpana - on the unpaved road, on the other bank of Vidraru lake. Attention: this detour of about 10-15 km means off-road riding, so you will find mud, bumps and other stuff like this, so higher ground clearance and not so on-road tyres helps.
    #18
  19. romek

    romek Adventurer

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    Transfargarasan is fully open. We did it yesterday from North to South. No ice in the tunel.
    #19
  20. therion

    therion Adventurer

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    :clap
    Great !
    We will ride to Sibiu next wednesday.
    Greetz
    Therion
    #20