It's all about the mountains and alpine playground. It's about safety, so having a mountainguide involved in your adventure it's a must. Welcome to MountainPro Guiding, the Romanian Guiding Agency!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Ice Climbing World Cup - Busteni, Romania

Well, we're getting ready for this year's third Ice Climbing World Cup major event, the one that will be hosted in Busteni, Romania, between the 4th and 7th of February, 2010. It's the 5th time that IWC is held in Busteni, and to celebrate that a brand new 180 sqm structure equipped with Tagg Heuer timing system was developed for this winter edition.

Registered athletes at the event will compete for two disciplines, lead and speed climbing, for both women and men. You'll be able to watch the event over an internet connection on IWC Busteni official website.

The program of the event is the following:

Time - Activity - Location

14.00 – 17.00 - Registration of athletes - Event Secretariat
Drawing of competition numbers
Distribution of information packages,
Check-in / Accommodation at hotels

17.30 – 19.00 Meeting of athletes, officials and spectators at Kalinderu ski lift.
Opening ceremony and presentation of ice stadium and of the new structure Kalideru Ski Lift station
19.30 – 20.30 Dinner - Hotel “CPP” restaurant
20.30 Presentation of Starting Lists Event Secretariat

Women – Lead Qualifications
08.00 Isolation opens - Isolation room
08.30 Isolation closes - Isolation room
09.00 - 9.15 Briefing - Ice Park Secretariat
09.15 - 9.30 Route Preview - New Lead Ice Structure
09.30 - 11.30 Competition - New Lead Ice Structure
11.45 Results list / Starting List Finals - Ice Park Secretariat

Men – Lead Qualifications
11.00 Isolation opens - Isolation room
11.30 Isolation closes - Isolation room
12.00 – 12.15 Briefing - Ice Park Secretariat
12.15 – 12.30 Route Preview - New Lead Ice Structure
12.30 – 17.00 Competition- New Lead Ice Structure
17.15 Results list / Starting List Semifinals -Ice Park Secretariat

Women - Speed
14 – 14.30 Training / Warm up- Ice Speed Structure
14.30 – 15.00 Qualification - Ice Speed Structure
15.10 Qualification Results - Ice Park Secretariat

15.10 – 16.00 - "Best of 16"
- Quarter-Final - Ice Structure
- Half-Final
- Small-Final
- Final

Men - Speed
17.45 – 18.15 Training / Warm up - Ice Speed Structure
18.15 – 19.15 Qualification - Ice Speed Structure
19.30 Qualification Results - Ice Park Secretariat

19:45 – 20:30 - "Best of 16"
- Quarter-Final - Ice Speed Structure
- Half-Final
- Small-Final
- Final

Men – Semi-finals
08:00 Isolation opens - Isolation room
08:30 Isolation closes - Isolation room
09:00 – 09:15 Route preview - New Ice Structure
09:15 – 11:00 Semi-finals - New Ice Structure
11:15 Results list / Starting List Finals - Ice Park Secretariat

Women – Finals
10:50 Isolation opens - Isolation room
11:05 Isolation closes - Isolation room
11:35 – 11.50 Route preview - New Ice Structure
12.00 – 13.30 Competition - New Ice Structure
13.15 Results List Finals Ice Park Secretariat

Men – Finals
14.00 Isolation opens - Isolation room
14.45 Isolation closes - Isolation room
15.45 – 16.00 Route preview - New Ice Structure
16.15 – 18.00 Finals - New Ice Structure
18.15 Results list - Ice Park Secretariat
19.00 – 20.00 Awards Ceremony and Closing - Ice Park

21.00 - OPEN OUR TRADITIONAL “PARTY TILL YOU DROP” WITH DINNER AND THEN DISCO @ Hut of Romanian Alpine Club, the host of the competition.

IWC Busteni Romania official website can be accesed HERE.

Well, I hope to see many of you there, by the climbing structure, ready for an incredible adrenaline rush. 'Later!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mountain Ethics Declaration

As probably a lot of you already know, it'a a fact that - especially when we talk about high altitude ascents - climbers have to make a hard choice: to sacrifice their goal to reach the summit (and all the money spend in order to achieve that) due to saving people in need; in most stories about climbing in Himalayas there's at least one case of climbers in distress, or people left to die, and other parties passing by like nothin' happened; many times we've heard about endless discussions about ethics on the mountains, but nothing really changed. Famous climbers - like Joe Simpson for instance, the author of world famous trilogy"Dark Shaddows Falling", "Touching the Void" and "This Game of Ghosts" - tryed to show what's beyond people imagine that a high altitude climb is like, to create a real image of the true facts on the mountains.

That's about to change, cos UIAA - International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, on it's General Assembly, approved a code to serve as a beacon of mountaineering values, spelling out ethics of sportsmanship, respect for cultures and care for the environment.

"The assembly named the document the UIAA Mountain Ethics Declaration. The governing body met for its annual gathering from October 8 to 11 2009 in Porto, Portugal.

Doug Scott, the famed British mountaineer who has achieved the seven summits, worked diligently on the document. He hopes it will guide alpinists well.

“The Mountain Ethics Declaration, the updated statement on best practices in mountaineering, is very timely,” Scott said, “especially to help those climbers in areas where there is no strong consensus of opinion as to the best way forward.”

The declaration addresses mountaineering issues such as the responsibility to assist others in need, the factual reporting of ascents and the use of supplementary oxygen in high altitude climbs.

The intent, say mountaineers involved in the process, is to create a document that reflects the sport’s high ideals and evolves with changing times.

“We are living in times of rapid change, not least the advance of commercialism into many areas of human activity and pressures on the mountain environment from developments of many kinds,” UIAA Management Committee member John Nankervis said. “It is important therefore to impart to new generations of mountaineers the inspiration and values of past mountaineers … Indeed principles and standards might change over time but an awareness of the traditional values of the sport is needed, now more than ever.”

Nankervis is a New Zealand mountaineer has been a key player in working on the declaration. He shall continue involvement with the polishing of the document.

The declaration has a rich history.

It builds upon work of American climbers and the UIAA Mountaineering Commission called the Mountain Code. That code was updated and approved at an international meeting of leading climbers in Innsbruck, Austria in 2002. The resulting document from that gathering was called the Tyrol Declaration.

The UIAA Mountain Ethics Declaration, mountaineers at the General Assembly meeting said, is intended as a living document. The organisation expects to make continuous improvements.

The Mountain Ethics Declaration will now go back for editing and inclusion of amendments agreed upon by the General Assembly. The final version will be released and published on the United Nations’ International Mountain Day, on December 11, 2009." (UIAA website)

I think it's time for all of us involved into mountainnering environment to stand up and make a difference, to turn our passion for the hills into a nobile mission, beyond financial interest, putting a human life on top of other priorities.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Team MountainPro in training exercise

As is not a daily routine to catch up with members of MountainPro International Team we've got to spend all the time available in the best way, taking advantage of all the opportunities we can. But sometimes things you're planing in advance are not quite the same with the real situation, and that's why Paul Andrews (US) and Ciprian Moruzan (RO) found themselves in one of those funny situations when all the planning is washed away by weird weather conditions, so they had to wait for a good window several days.
But the patient one will have his reward, so weather turned good on Friday, the 15th of January, when they left for an ascent in Piatra Craiului mountains, in the heart of Transylvania.
Walking on virgin snow on the way to the ridge, through a gorge named Valea Crapaturii was pretty demanding, loose rocks covered with ice and a layer of 5 or 6 inches of snow made the ascent harder, but the incredible view was enough to compensate that.

At the saddle - Saua Crapaturii - they sort out the gear, starting the climb to get the first peak on the ridge, named (Varful) Turnu (1923 m), preparing for the technical steep passages on the way. Lucky enough, we spotted black goats - protected by the Romanian government - on the way to (Varful) Turnu peak.

Ciprian Moruzan at the beginning of the steep section.

Paul Andrews climbing to the ridge.

Ciprian Moruzan approaching to (Varful) Turnu peak.

Paul Andrews on the ridge between (Varful) Turnu peak (1923 m) and (Varful) Padina Popii peak (2062 m).

Weather closing in pretty bad by (Varful) Padina Popii peak.

The original plan was to climb along the ridge to the (Varful) Ascutit peak (2150 m), and to descend on Padinile Frumoase to Curmatura mountain hut (1460 m), but due to the bad weather conditions they've had decided to take the shortcut, on a steeper descent through Karol Lehmann route; it was quite tricky, considering the imminent avalanche danger, but it was a smart decision to take instead continuing the climb to the (Varful) Ascutit peak and risking a descent in the darkness, using headlights.
Paul before the descent.

Cipri descending on Karol Lehmann route; weather closing in.

At the Curmatura mountain hut, before a well deserved hot meal.

To see a good map of Piatra Craiului mountains click here.
It's all about friendship and outdoor adventure. To get some help with your own dream check out MountainPro website. Ride on!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Decisions For Heroes

Yeah, you got that right. Decisions For Heroes is the solution for any team involved in search and rescue in any kind of environment. So what this is all about? It is a website that you can log in(a subscription and a monthly fee is required), and you'll get all the support you can get in order to sort out your operations on the field, manage staff and equipment, organize incident reports, planning training and so on, you can even get the location maps of the rescue operations or training sessions.
I have to say it is maybe the best tool on the market right now, and that happened for a simple reason: was made by people involved in this kind of work, professionals and volunteers alike, and the result is a blast. Forget about charts, endless printed reports, organising staff and all that hustle that the field and office work it is all about, now it's all easy to sort out in a matter of minutes. You just need a computer connected to internet and that's pretty much it.
Robin Blandford, the Founder of Decisions For Heroes says: "Nobody likes reading manuals - if we have to write one, we've got too complicated." All the philosophy behind this application is based on 3 strong principles: Team Management, Thrilling Analytics and Fast Communication.

For shore now you'll be wondering how much it will cost a service like that, and here's some price quotes: Volunteer Teams: €40/month, due to the support of Decisions For Heroes; Rescue Teams: €120/month, and Organisations from €280/month.
Further information can be find on Decisions For Heroes website,

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

iPod, iPhone, iTunes.....iSki

Believe it or not, this is not about a new Apple product, as some blocks may think, but a new cool take-it-with-you application that works for iPod, iPhone or smartphones, so you don't have to worry again about spending money on another ski class trying to remember all the info you've got. This is a new feature that will help you to review, learn and master ski techniques, and everything comes on a package that you won't even know you are carrying it, 'cos is stored on your mobile device.

Pernille Slot, Creative Founder & Owner of iSki® is talking about iSki instructor, an App. for your iPod/iPhone or mobile:

"Have you heard that it is now for the first time ever possible to carry around, in your pocket your own personal ski instructor?
iSki is a ski instruction application, that you download and then upload to your phone/iPhone/iPod and bring it when you go skiing.
When you are on the piste – play the iSki video – and by looking and listening carefully, you will be guided through exercises that makes you good, safe and dynamic while skiing.
Having iSki on your iPhone or iPod Touch you can listen to how you get into the most optimal skiing position and you can also watch live on the screen how your are doing the exercises.
This way you can start preparing your self at home, - on your way to the destination and listen to iSki’s guiding when you are on the slopes.
If you find special interest in certain chapters you can choose to practice them as many times as you like.
Use iSki when going skiing and you have the opportunity to do your ski lessons when you like to and as many times as you like. At the price less than one ski lesson you get your, own personal ski instructor that you may use again, again and again."
More info can be find here, at (english) or (danish)
Now get your gear and hit the slopes, find the thrill of fast descents and the feeling of thin air, surrounded with your friends, ready for another alpine adventure.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

As the title says, there's nothing more I wish for all people in the climbing community than great adventures, adrenaline rush, impressive outdoors and the company of good friends. 'Cos most of it, it's all about sharing some of the best moments with people that - like you - are looking for the thrill, excitement and challenge. A friend of mine told me a while ago that I am privileged, as a mountain guide, to work with happy people. Didn't rang a major bell at that time, but now I understand the wisdom in his thoughts, and I appreciate even more all the time spent in an alpine environment; It really doesn't matter if I am teaching snowboarding or I am leading climbers in the mountains, this joy, of being outside, surrounded with people that are transforming from guest or clients in friends for a lifetime in a matter of days is a feeling that is hard to compare with something else, is a reason for me to keep exploring, climbing, looking for the next thrill. Feels like I'm alive!