Peaks in Parâng

In the vast space of the mountains between Jiu and Olt rivers, Parang Mountains which occupies an area of ​​1100 square kilometers are the highest, the most rugged and rocky. A general aspect of the most developed group of the Carpathians, that of the mountains between Jiu and Olt rivers is like a huge palm with spread fingers, where the hollow of the hand, located in the South – West is the massive stone fortress of Parâng and the fingers are Şurianu Mountains, Lotru, Latoritei, and Capatanii, which spread to the North, North – East and East. This huge “hollow of the hand” has a polygonal shape, with its axis to the North – South of about 33 km long and East – West axis with a length of about 33 km and East – West axis with a length of about 32 km. The great geographical node where the five mountain massifs joints is “Coasta lui Rus” (2,301 m) triconfiniu between Jiu, Lotru and Gilort rivers. To the North–West, Parang Mountains, like a huge rampart, dominates Petrosani Depression. To the North, Jiet valley separates it from Surianu Mountains and Lotru Valley Mountains and the mountains with the same nume. To the North – East it borders to Latoritei Mountains and to the East, Olteţ Valley separates it from Capatanii Mountains. To the South, Parang Mountains are bounded by the Subcarpathian Depression of Oltenia being represented through a transition zone extended to the alignment Bumbeşti – Krasna – Novaci – Polovraci. From geological point of view, in Parang we meet the main structural units of the Southern Carpathians: Getic and Danubian domains. Getic domain, not widespread in Parang is found in the North-West and North-East, being represented by strongly foliated metamorphic rocks – gneiss, quartz – feldspar, paragneiss, amphibolite, mica, metadiorite schists. Danubian unit, extended in the largest area of ​​Parang Mountains, comprises epizone crystalline schists, then, mica, schist, shale, very closely associated with granitic rocks. Geological research proved that the Parang Mountains, with the vertical movements of Earth’s crust, had risen up up over 1,300 m in the Quaternary when the high mountains and the northern continents were reigned by the great glaciations, the glaciers up on Parang Mountains’ peaks were also dominating. Traces of these glaciers may be seen even today, after thousands of years – huge glacial cirques and valleys of glacial origin, clearly outlined, with nearly vertical sides and the smoothed bottom, paved with erratic blocks. Parâng Mountains pots shelters nearly 40 lakes of glacial origin like “Oglinda Mandrei”, Mija, Rosiile or Câlcescu, all of amazing beauty. This massif takes the third place in the hierarchy of Romanian Carpathians, in this regard. Parang mountains’ orographic major axis forms a main ridge, marked by the peaks Parângul Mic (2,074 m), Carja (2,405 m), Stoieniţa (2,421 m), Gemanarea (2,426 m), Parângul Mare (2,519 m) Setea Mica (2,278 m) Setea Mare (2,365 m), Mohorul (2,337 m), Urdele (2,228 m), Papusa (2,136 m), Cioara (2,123 m), Micaia (2,170 m), oriented mostly from West to East but in the West, is describing two concave arches northward, the ridge maintaining on over 40 km at an altitude of 2,000 m. With the maximum altitude of the Parângul Mare peak (2,519 m) ​​- Parang ranks the second in the hierarchy of Romanian Carpathians after Fagaras Mountains. In addition to the main ridge, there also are a number of Southern ramifications, long ridges. A rigorous branch begins just in Parângul Mare peak, through Mandra peak (2360 m) to Moliduşul (1,758 m) peak, unfolds here like a trident in other heights  between Gilort and Jiu. From near Mandra peak, another ridge extends to South – West, through Tapul (2010 m) and Recii peaks (1,468 m). Flora and fauna of Parâng are specific to the high mountains. In the ice buckets you can meet large juniper carpets, large areas covered with mountain peony (Rhododendron Kotschy) and cranberry (Vacciinium uliginosum). In Latorita Valley grows vigorous larch trees (Larix decidua) and on the limestones of Mount Gauri appears edelweiss (Leonthopodium alpinum). The chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra) is commonly found in Parang, and the wolf (Canis lupus) and the bear (Ursus you) do not hesitate to appear especially in summer around the sheepfolds. In the lakes Rosiile  (1,980 m. 33.76 ha.), Câlcescu (1,935 m. alt. 3.02 ha.), Mija (1,980 m. alt. 0.8 ha.), Mandra (2,184 m.alt, 1.12 ha.) and in the upper valleys of the gorges Lotru, Olteţ and Gilort, lives the  trout (Salmo fario truta). Câlcescu lake and its surroundings are a complex natural reserve called “The glacial complex Câlcescu” whose mission is to protect the geological elements, flora and the landscape specific to this area of a ​​rare beauty and wildness. The Parang Mountains are near the railway Simeria – Petroşani – Tirgu – Jiu and the national road DN 66 (Simeria – Petroşani – Tg. Jiu), DN 67 Drobeta Turnu Severin – Tg Jiu – Ramnicu Valcea), DN 67C (Bumbeşti – Novaci – Rânca – Obârşia Lotrului – Oaşa – Sebes). This road known as TRANSALPINA is a national road that reaches the highest altitude crossing the Romanian Carpathians (2,141 m Saua Urdele). Inside the massif there are secondary roads or forest roads that enter, some of them also accessible for cars (on the Jieţ valleys from Cotul Jieţului) Sadu (from Livezeni) Polatişte (from Gura Polatiştei), Alunul (from Arseni) Crasna (from Crasna ) Bahniţa (from Săcelu), Gilort (from Novaci) . The network of marked trails in Parang includes 18 routes distributed homogeneously all over the mountain, with various degrees of difficulty. It is advisable to take walks only in the company of highly trained mountain guides


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