Cabanita lui Gliga - Kanzel, Poiana Brasov  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in , ,

Having recently come back from a trip to Calgary, a friend of mine was showing me beautiful photos of a snowy mountain, with real pine forests covered by snow, which all conjured up in my mind the image of the ski camp where I used to spend all of my winter holiday, and more, all throughout my school years in Romania.

Cabanita_drawingThe place was known as Căbăniţa, a diminutive of “Cabana”, which translates roughly as “little chalet” or “little mountain hut”. For me, it was another communist miracle. That’s where December 1989 caught me. And, like most such miracles, it disappeared shortly after Romania changed. It burned down in the early ‘90s and its leader, Mr Gliga, who survived the fire, died shortly thereafter of heart complications.

For a while, only the charred remains of the foundation could be seen, somewhere between the terminus point of the two cable cars – the “new” one, on the left, closer to the “Cristianu Mare” peak, and the “old” one, to the right, on top of the Kanzel ski slope in Romania’s best known and most popular ski resort, Poiana Brasov. It seems like the foundation remains have been removed, at least I cannot see them in the ski videos I was able to find. There’s a heart on the photo, for that’s where the fire was.

It officially belonged to a school sports club (“clubul sportiv scolar nr x”), an entity next to a school in Bucharest, a school I never attended. I did go there a couple of times in the summer, for “training”, as that was somehow a precondition of going there in the winter. The training part was tough and not nearly as much fun as skiing.

At this point I feel the need to warn you that this is one of the episodes of my existence which I consider “formative”, meaning they were perhaps more important to my becoming than I could possibly transmit through words. I might be able to transmit this through words, but I’d have to write a novel and be inspired and fictionalize & dramatize the story. Meanwhile, I am writing a short article, trying to stay true to the facts, so that I can return to these memories later, if need be, and find them true, accurate and unevolved.

Căbăniţa-Harta-partii-schi-Poiana-BrasovI was even able to find a mountain map, as you can see above – linked to the source.

Since we are in the facts realm, I’ve (re)discovered a few, most disturbing being that Cristianul Mare also burned down in what insiders consider a “set” fire.
  • the “Kanzel” cable car (we call it “telecabina” or “teleferic”) runs Monday – Friday 9-16:30 and Sa-Su 9-17:00, on 2449 m, a rise of 693m to an altitude of 1727m – Cristianul Mare, has 43 ppl capacity in 7 min at 350 ppl /h; since 1971
  • the “Capra Neagra” cable car started out in 1982, on 2809m, a rise of 735m, with 60 ppl capacity at 8min, 504 ppl / h – Postavarul peak
  • Poiana Brasov is 12 km from Brasov (an important medieval city, located pretty much in the center of Romania), at an altitude of 1020m or 3379ft, surrounded by 4 mountains: Postavarul 1799m, Piatra Craiului (i.e., Prince’s Stone) 2238m, Bucegi 2505m, Piatra Mare (i.e., Big Stone) 1848m
  • PB was modernized recently, the ski area expanding from 50ha to 80ha and the slopes length from 13.8km to 23.9km; most slopes have now snow cannons; it hosed the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in 2013
  • The Kanzel ski slope has a ski lift and is mostly advanced, but there’s also a serpentined road that could be taken by intermediate skiers and is 450m long. The other advanced slopes are Lupului – 2860m, Ruia 540m, Sub (under) Teleferic (cable car) 495m
  • The Kanzel & Ruia skilifts (teleschi) started out in 1968, going for 314 and 501m. Bradul started in 1971 for 458m at 900 ppl/h. Sub T & Camelia – 1978-9 and Slalom in 1982, 600 ppl/h. All are administered by S.C. Ana Teleferic S.A. with magnetic card
  • “Cristianul Mare” cabin (at the base of Kanzel) disappeared in a “suspect” (cf. Mircea Opris, Bv salvamont chief) fire back in 2003. The firemen had no water to put the fire out and focused on preventing the fire from extending. The chalet had a top floor, main floor and large patio, with 60 capacity, and at that time had its gas and electricity turned off – there weren’t even heating elements left inside. It had been built in 1925 by SKV, an association of Transylvanian Saxons. It then belonged to SC Poiana Brasov SA, having been gifted in a backhanded deal by the ex-director Cristian Madussi, in December 2000, together with Postavarul, to the SRL belonging to Gheorghe Blendea, who in turn sublet it to another business. When it burned down, its ownership was being challenged by its former owners. It was then the 3rd major fire in Poiana Brasov, after Favorit mall in January 2000 and the Aviators Chalet in the fall of 2002. After the fire, the telegondola (telescaun) going there has been modernized and moved.

Obviously, these are major changes. I don’t know if I could recognize that slope any more and, most importantly, if I’d get the immense pleasure and feeling of paradise I used to get in my youth, skiing there.

We used to sleep (and mostly pretend) in the attic. There was a wooden ladder, the only way to get to it. The sleeping bags were placed along the perimeter, with the older boys on the opposite side of girls, and in between younger kids, in decreasing order of age, so that only the youngest boys and girls, on their opposite sides, had their sleeping bags next to each other. I think we were usually 30-40 every winter, arriving as soon as the holiday would start a leaving at its end, sometimes a bit later (and we’d also arrive earlier if we could).

On the first floor there were the monitor/instructors bunk beds, a rudimentary kitchen, a fridge, the fireplace, a door to the washroom with its ever-stinking toilets. On the way outside, the skis and ski boots deposit and then the wood deposit.

We used to eat at Cristianul Mare, getting there breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’d ski until the very last minute, then we’d walk late at night for dinner. We would even go seldom for night skiing but only the older ones.

Going to sleep was never easy. We’d laugh and joke around and then Mr Gliga or another monitor would climb up the ladder and his flashlight would scorch our laughter and force us to lie down. Whoever was caught making noise or not in his own sleeping back was given standups (genoflexiuni) as punishment – 500-1000 were common. You had to get a friend to count you and most people would count you ever 2-3, but sometimes that wasn’t possible, and you had to climb back up the ladder with your knees heavy and shaking. You’d sleep like a log after that.

I Googled a few of the names I could recall and here’s what I could find...


Sources / More info: wiki-poiana, jr-webcam, Kanzel-info, wiki-resorts, cm-book, monexp-mozaic, pin-bv70, cabpostv, adv-cmsuspect

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Sunday, December 04, 2016 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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