Hello Winter Walk & Snowshoe Travellers

Hello,

We're very excited about our upcoming trip - theTransylvania Winter Walk & Snowshoe, departing 24 Feb 2018. It would be great to hear from any fellow travelers joining this trip, or anyone who's been before and has any tips.
My husband and I are travelling in from Northern England and have never been snowshoeing before so are excited about trying out a new winter activity.
We're also really looking forward to exploring Bran Castle and visiting Romania for the first time.

Hope to hear from you,
Leanne & Michiel (Mike).

My wife Ann & I are also joining the same trip. Like you, our 1st time in Romania /Transylvania and very much looking forward to it (and Dracula's home!). Travelling from South coast of England, but origins in Ireland & S.America. It's our 4th trip that includes snowshoeing (Finland, French Pyrenees, & Iceland) and it's great fun. Easy to learn the techniques in about 1hr and then off you go into the snowy wilderness :-). Happy to help with any particular questions if we can.

Look forward to meeting you, Thomas (Tom) & Ann

Hi Tom & Ann, 

Thanks for getting in touch.
We do have one question, we're planning to take skiing trousers and gaitors but are unsure whether that is appropriate for snow shoeing - do you have any advice based on your previous experience?

Also looking forward to meeting you,
Leanne & Mike

Difficult to say as there are so many types of ski trouser now available.  If they provide the same flexibility of movement and insulation as good pair of walking/mountain trousers then I think they should be fine. Personally we usually wear the same layer system we use for walking  in cold weather. That is, a thin thermal base layer next to our skin (top & long pants).  I like Merino wool, but Ann is happy with any of the modern polyester mixes. Walking shirt with long sleeves, mid weight fleece, a wind/waterproof jacket & waterproof trousers. The last 2 items are usually carried in our daysack in case we get a cold/wet snap . The layers help to make it more easily to control body temperature as you heat up or chill down during the day. We also carry ski goggles which can be a godsend if hit  by a snow blizzard. We almost always wear gaiters as these help to prevent the snow getting down inside our boots. We usually carry/wear 2 pairs of gloves, with a thin pair (e.g. Thinsulate under a heavier pair of wind/waterproof ones (my wife Ann often wears her ski gloves). Some people prefer mittens and while they do tend to keep your hands warmer they can make it awkward to use a camera or make quick  adjustments to snowshoes.On our head we usually wear a baseball type cap if its warm enough, but we also carry a hunter type lined hat with ear covers. I think a good "rule of thumb" with kit is, it's better to bring it and not use it, rather than need it and not have it with you :-). You can then decide on the day what to wear, carry in your day bag, or leave in your room. Hope this is helpful. Tom & Ann.

Hi , I am just back from this trip. 

Hopefully by time you go there will be more snow.  Would agree with layer system, plus gaiters . wetahre can be sunny / cold / rainy / snowy .

There are times when you dont snow shoe but may need to walk in deeper snow as its safer than an icy path. Alternatively it could be muddy and gaiters do help keep you clean.

Definitely take some shoe grippers that can fit onto your boots  i.e. Yaktrax or those rubber /spiky things sold in many shops.

Some paths are sheet packed ice and the grips  give you that extra safety feature , but you will be putting on and taking off multiple times during a walk so make sure you are familiar with them. The paths vary depending on if they are in open / forest / gorge etc.

If you can , carry an old hiking trousers belt / webbing/ bit of string . Its useful to help tie down the snow shoes onto your rucksack ( if you dont have side straps on the rucksack ) .

The guesthouse is cosy and warm , plenty of hot water. No TV  in rooms . You make your lunch sandwich at the breakfast table in mornings and carry it with you. Might be worth carrying your own trail bars / jelly babies etc if you like to snack en route.

A flask to carry your own tea ( the guest house will fill with  hot water or fruit tea ) may also be useful in cold weather.

You really only need a bit of spending money as one night in a restaurant  in Brasov ( I had 2 beers plus main plus starter and it was 60 Lei or 12 pounds total . Roughly 5 Lei to the pound ) . The guest house runs a tab  that you settle on final night. You just help yourself to beers ( one beer is 5 or 6 lei depending on brand , teas in afternoon 4 lei  ) from fridge , mark it on your list and settle at end .

The guest house is in middle of nowhere , really isolated . So no town or shops to walk to etc. If you need to get cash from an ATM it would be at airport / Brasov or Bran towns only .

The scenery is great and air fresh with plenty if exercise ! Enjoy .

 

Thanks MB for your helpful advice - we wouldn't have thought to pack a flask for hot drinks and as my husband is fuelled on coffee we certainly will now!
We had some difficulty buying YakTrak's but they finally arrived and we tried them out for the first time yesterday as we've had some snow and ice at ours for about a week now. They made a huge difference on the ice so hopefully will help in Romania.

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