The following report is courtesy of Cristina Cucu, UIAA Youth Commission member from the Romanian Alpine Club (CAR):

Between 19-23 August, the CAR Bucharest branch organised a summer camp in the heart of Buila Vânturarița National Park at Cheia Lodge. The camp was supported by members of the UIAA Youth Commission. All 23 participants, including five mentors, were Romanian and members of the club.

This location was chosen as it abounds with a variety of splendid panoramas, caves, hiking and climbing routes. All of the routes are accessible within a day and facilitate the organisation of different activities.

During the five days on the camp the participants had the opportunity to increase their knowledge of:

  • essential rock-climbing equipment
  • navigation on classic routes
  • hiking on unmarked trails and how to plan route
  • rope management in teams of three in multi-pitch sport climbing
  • abseiling (tying ropes together)
  • caving

The camp offered participants the possibility to try new experiences, since some of them were new to climbing outdoors or inexperienced when it came to unmarked trails. However, all of these activities provided everyone the possibility to improve their skills and techniques.

Every night was celebrated by a warm and cosy fire that created a relaxed atmosphere to talk about best practices, obstacles, as well as tips and tricks for technical and personal improvement. The organisers were happy to give their best advice and enable participants to engage in all proposed activities.

Participant: “I managed to do something I have never done before, rock climbing, and it was an awesome experience. The more experienced colleagues from the Club were very patient in their explanations, and while I was struggling with my first attempts”.

Participant: “I dare say the third day was my favourite one because I went hiking on the Buila Vanturarita ridge. We walked 17km and the entire round trip took us about ten hours, with splendid views at every step.”

Participation was based on donations, as this was the ‘pilot edition’ of such a camp. We trust this will be the beginning of a beautiful tradition for every summer and we will add a participation fee from next year (different price member vs. non-member).

The UIAA Youth Commission is hoping such events can be organised more closely under its umbrella once there are fewer Covid restrictions in terms of travel travel or in the organisation of continental or international events.

To discover more about the work of the UIAA Youth Commission please click here.