SuperMTB in Romania/Carpathians

trip report

It took more than ten years for the “Superski in the Carpathians” delusion to run its natural course, from a “tourism development strategic master-plan” bullet point in official government papers and all the way to the dust bin. It is hard to imagine a sustainable big skiing area in relatively small mountains, with small quantities of snowfall and average temperatures too high for producing and maintaining artificial snow for more than two months.

Giving credit where credit is due, there is a decent skiing area now in Poiana Brașov, big enough for a small city like Brașov and some tourists, but minuscule for a country that doesn’t really have any other option for skiing in a 15-plus-km-of-slopes area using the same skipass. And even there, with a brand new artificial snow making equipment in place, more than half of the skiing area wasn’t available during the warm and dry winter of 2013-2014.

“Superski in the Carpathians” is gone with the wind, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. People went skiing in Romania in the past, and they will keep doing that in the future. Not like in the Alps, whit its huge skiing areas and countless cable cars, on mountains higher than 2000 m with plenty of snow from early December to late April. We will do more of a small scale skiing, more back country skiing, using the few cable cars available but also the skins and the backpacks and only from early January till March. Does it seem too little? Maybe, but it also means a longer mountain biking season on the very same mountains.

If skiing isn’t working in Romania, why not try mountain biking? Global warming wouldn’t be much of a concern, no need for artificial lakes, no leveling up the mountains with bulldozers. A huge area of mountain trails and tracks, cart and forestry roads is already in place, a big variety of terrain is accessible in a small area of land. There still is authentic rural live, and authentic wild life. All the ingredients to attract open-minded, responsible tourists and Tourism.

Let’s unsettle the dust from “Superski in the Carpathians” with the wheels of our mountain bikes. Let’s SuperMTB in Romania/Carpathians!

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