Skiing in Poiana Brasov
Poiana Brasov has in recent years seen some serious investment in its skiing infrastructure, and things have changed hugely for the better. New pistes have been created and existing ones extended, while two new chair-lifts have helped shorten some of the peak-time queues and ease congestion on the busy slopes. The resort’s administrators have also invested in snow making equipment and piste-maintenance machines in order to keep the pistes in better shape: in 2015 it was still possible to ski here as late as the last weekend of April.
There are 23km of pistes in Poiana, enough to keep a good skier happy for a day or two at a time. Though none of the runs are particularly difficult (the one black run, Lupului, will pose no major problems to a decent skier) some are quite steep, and given that the snow at Poiana can be icy, skiing here can sometimes offer a challenge. It is beginners who have the best of things at Poiana however, with a large, wide nursery slope at the foot of the mountain, and a long, easy blue run that descends from the very top of the resort to the very bottom.
Our advice for getting the best out of Poiana is to avoid the weekends: Monday-Thursday here can be bliss, especially after new snow, as there are few other skiers. Weekends are hell. You have been warned.
To hire skis, the best place is the Sport Hotel, opposite the main cable car. Expect to pay 50 lei for a day's hire of good, up-to-date kit. There is another good hire store underneath the gondola lift entrance, alongside tens of rental shacks offering equipment of varying degrees of piste-worthiness. In all cases you will need to leave ID when hiring equipment.
Lift passes remain relatively inexpensive (140 lei per day for adults, 80 lei for children). You can buy them at the gondola station or at the cable car.
You can view a Poiana Brasov piste map here.
The easiest route up the mountain is that which follows Drumul Rosu - in winter an easy ski slope. In around two hours you will reach Cabana Postavarul, one of the most amazing mountain cabins in all of Romania: the views from its terrace are fantastic, and it serves great food; you can also spend the night here. From the cabin you can carry on up to the top of the Postavarul mountain, from where the cable car will bring you down. There are also (long) routes down to Rasnov and to Timisul de Sus.