Category: Skyrunning, highly difficult
Start: 9:00, Cheile Butii
Cut-off time 1 - Plesa: 6km/700m: 1h 45min
Cut-off time 2 - Salvamont Buta Refuge: 13km/1350m: 4h
Final limit time: 8h
Terrain: 1 km asphalt, 7 km dirt road, 11 km mountain trails, 9 km alpine ridge
Support stations: 12 stations (hydration, food, orientation)
Mountaineering skills: mandatory!
Interactive map, allowing you to understand and remember the race course:
- You can export the track in whichever format desired, only by choosing the format and then clicking on “OK”.
- You can observe the course profile on the left side of the map, and hovering the cursor on it you are able to get the altitude and distance on the race track.
- To export the track in Google Maps – click “More”, and then “Google Maps”.
- For distance markings – check “kilometre”.
- You have the possibility to zoom in, and also change the layers of the map. To do so, click the “Layer” icon.
- For complete information regarding the map and race profile, click “Details”.
- In the upper right corner, observe the QR Code, which downloads the map on your smartphone.
The Custura Course crosses the marvelous area of the Piule-Plesa ridge from “Retezatul Mic” (Little Retezat), goes down to the Buta Salvamont Refuge, and then up again close to 2500m, reaching the Custura Peak. The final downhill takes part on Marii Valley, towards the finish at the Cheile Butii Touristic Complex.
Practically, it covers a 28km loop with a total elevation of 2300m, a course having a wonderful visibility entering the heart of the Retezat Mountains. Here, you will discover wild and spectacular landscapes, a difficult and technical course recommended only to the more experienced mountaineers and/or to the mentally and physically stronger athletes willing to surpass their limits.
Participants will have to accomplish two outstanding climbs (one on Piule Peak, 1300m elevation, the second one on Custura Peak, 900m elevation), separated by the two downhill segments (a steeper and shorter one from Scorota Saddle to Buta Salvamont -500m, and the second, long and tiring, from Custura Peak to the final dirt road, -1200m)
The start line is in front of the Cheile Butii motel, followed by a 1km dirt road. Turning right on the asphalt road for 1km, we cross the little bridge over the West Jiu river, and the track continues with a moderate climb up to the monastery, where we find the first hydration point.
We then climb through the forest on a marked trail until we reach the ridge(hydration point 2, 6km/700m and cutoff time of 1h 45min), we cross Plesa Peak, touch Piule Peak (orientation point), after carefully having passed a rocky segment, with the permanent presence of a Mountain Rescue member.
From Piule Peak we reach Scorota Saddle (orientation/control point 4), followed by a short and steep downhill -500m, at the end of which we will cherish a very beautiful segment through the forest, until we arrive at Buta Salvamont (hydration/control point 5). We have now covered 13km and 1350m of elevation, almost half of the course.
Here, participants under the time limit of 4h can continue the original Custura course. The ones over the cutoff will be stopped and guided towards the short downhill dirt road (approx. 9km), until the finish line.
The second and last big climb follows, reaching Custura Peak, after crossing Plaiul Mic Saddle (orientation point 6), where we turn left on a smooth trail, which gets harsher as we approach the Peak. On the peak we find control/hydration point 7 and have covered 18km. A difficult segment follows, asking for a lot of care in approach, as the trail descends through rocks, bypasses Marii Peak (orientation point 8), and ends with a long and hard downhill. Reaching the dirt road, we find hydration/control point 9.
6 more km until the finish line, flat/downhill and a small smooth uphill on the dirt road until a crossroad (orientation point 10), followed by the Fanate plains (orientation point 11) and onto the marked trail that descends to the Cheile Butii Motel (finish line, hydration point 12), where spectators and friends await you in rounds of applauds.