Red course – 23,3 km; +1400 m elevation
Start: Vârtop – Skipass Guesthouse
Finish: Vârtop – Skipass Guesthouse
Landmarks: Ruginoasa Hole, Giulești, Chișcău (Bear’sCave)
Distance: 23,3 km
Cumulative elevation gain: + 1400 m
Estimated time: 3h – 4h30min
Marks: runner coloured in red
Difficulty: intermediate, advanced level
Recommendations: running shoes, adequate clothes for weather conditions, water
GPS track: http://tiny.cc/zivxsz
The course sets off in front of the Skipass Guesthouse in the direction of the Groapa Ruginoasă (Ruginoasa Hole). It leaves the road on the right, starts to abruptly ascend and reaches the Hole – a marvellous natural formation – after 800 m. The course bypasses it on the left and continues on the tourist route marked with a yellow-line. After another steep slope, coming out of the forest area, both the road and the tourist route make a sharp turn to the left and at the edge of the forest they start to descend, reaching a wide valley. Here we continue our way in the direction of our arrival still on the tourist route marked with a yellow-line.
The course goes on through the forest on a slightly rocky and gravel soil and at 5,6 km it makes a sharp turn to the right and starts to descend on an unmarked path. After a sharp left turn we continue our way on a technical terrain, which resembles a stream bed. This technical slope with rocks and gravels makes our descent difficult for 2 km, after which the valley opens up a bit and transforms into a road for carts. We continue our descent to Giulești village, then, after a short asphalted part to Chișcău, where we will follow for a short time the tourist route marked with a blue-cross.
The course makes a sharp turn to the left, crosses the stream on the bridge and following the red-dot tourist mark it starts a new steep ascent. (If we feel like, before we exit, we can run to the Peștera Urșilor (Bears’ Cave). We only have to make an extra 400 m back and forth). Following the red-dot tourist mark, after the steep ascent, at 13,5 km we join the tourist route marked with a yellow-line and we follow it turning to the left. The course presents easy ascents and descents and when we reach the edge of the forest it starts to climb up again and passing by the exit at 5,6 km it follows the yellow-line tourist mark. Practically, in this section, we run on the part of the course we already carried out in the opposite direction. We reach a meadow where we keep to the right and on the tourist route marked with a red-cross we get back to the Groapa Ruginoasă (Ruginoasa Hole). From here we get back to the asphalt road, following the yellow-line mark. From the asphalt road we only have 1 km to reach the starting point.