Ultra Trail Dracula
Distance: 106.2 km
- Elevation gain (D+) 7870 m
- Minimum 758 m
- Average 1720 m
- Maximum 2507 m
Dracula Ultra is the most difficult race in the Carpathians!
It consists in two loops of 52km – red on the map, and 54km – blue on the map. The finish line is at the ski slope in Bran. (First loop route coincides with Ultra Vlad Tepes). Start of the race is Friday 6:00.
Attention! Can participate in ultra marathon “Dracula 106k” only those who have completed at least 3 ultra trail competitions, with a minimum length of 60k and own mountain experience. These races will be written in the application form and the organizers will approve the enrollment.
Dracula trail begins at the Bran ski slope where also the finish line will be, then continues on a forestry road. Soon we leave the road and begin a steep climb following the single trail path through the wild forest.
A grassy meadow (Saua Polite) is the sign that the first sustained climb is over. Next is a quick descent that leads us shortly to the entrance of the Hole Valley (V. Gaura). Devil’s Mill Waterfall (Cascada Moara Dracului) marks the beginning of a long and supported climb with technical passages, chains and spectacular walls of cliffs. We cross the Catunasul River, the last source of water for the next 5 km.
We leave behind the forest at an altitude of 1800 m entering the alpine meadow. Then we reach an imposing glacial cirque, located at an altitude of 2200 m. Only 300 m level difference separates us from the highest point of the trail, the Omu Peak. At this point we can also benefit of the Omu Hut shelter point (Cabana Omu 2507 m).
It follows a 6 km long speeding downhill, called the Stag Valley (V. Cerbului). At the end of the valley the trail follows a contour line with little ups and downs that leads us to the next glacial valley of the trail. It’s Miller Valley (V. Morarului) this time, a path with unique views and passages, unmarked for tourists. We quickly win altitude again in the places frequented more often by black mountain goats than by people. Here and there climb gets technical and we use our hands to advance. With a length of 3.5 km, Miller Valley (V. Morarului) it`s ending in the alpine plateau.
We reach for the second time the cottage Omu (Cabana Omu) and continue on to a more welcoming path from here, Ialomita Valley (V. Ialomita), 6 km long in easy descent. Leaving the cool air from over 2000 m we descend beneath the cable car and reach The Cave (Pestera) area.
Optionally, 50m off the trail we can see a monastery built in a cave (Schitul Pestera).
Once out of the cave, 500 m further we turn west on the amazing Valley of Horoabei (V. Horoabei). Waterfalls, tunnels, stairs, chains will delight and provoke us equally. After clearing all obstacles we get out in the alpine and follow the path that leads to the place called Strunga (Saua Strunga 1909 m). Passing it we are in the western part of the massif.
We pass a couple of sheepfolds and we are getting closer to finish. From Polite clearing (Saua Polite) we go straight ahead on red cross marking, which will guide us to the end of the first loop.
After a well deserved rest we continue our demanding adventure. After 3 km of forestry road warm-up, a long, steep, almost exhausting uphill is next. It`s the final ascent to Omu Peak (Vf. Omu 2507 m).
From here we expect more than 7 km of running in height, at altitude of over 2000 m. We continue on to the Bucegi plateau. Steep valleys and wonderful landscapes lay to our feet here. We reach The Sphinx (Sfinxul) rock formation and running near it to touch CP 10 Babele Hut. Leaving the cool air from over 2000 m, we descend beneath the cable car and reach The Cave (Pestera) area again.
Towards we follow another path, trough the bushes of blackberries and cranberries. We reach Burned Stone Hut (Cabana Piatra Arsa) at the altitude of 1950 m. High bushes of juniper lead us to a zig-zag descent that owns there name: Big Junipers (Jepii Mari). This descending path leads us close to Busteni town. We cross the town on a flat segment and gain strengths for the next ascent. A mix of flat trail and sustained uphill leads us to the path that was named after a very important Romanian mountain pioneer, Take Ionescu path (Traseul Take Ionescu). The pretty technical trail takes us rock to rock in the glacial cirque where we reach the Malaiesti Hut (Cabana Malaiesti).
From here we climb a narrow winding path up to the peak of Padina Cross (Saua Crucii). It follows a slightly ascent nearly 2 km long, until Tiganesti Lake (Lacul Tiganesti). We continue the easy climbing for 1 km and we get to Tiganesti Refuge (Refugiul Tiganesti). Following the single-trail path on the edge with the same name (Tiganesti), we are open to breathtaking view on the west (the villages of Bran and Moeciu, and the Piatra Craiului Mountains) and to the east (the cities of Rasnov and Zarnesti).
Tiganesti Edge leads us to the point called the Rocks (La Stanci) at an altitude of 1820 m. We re-enter the woods and follow the shaded path, sometimes with a steep descent, other times softer. The virgin forest trail turns into forestry road. Only 2 km separates us from the finish line. Last meters are run along the ski slope and we cross the finish line completing Dracula`s huge challenge.