Presentation of Cheile Turzii

Located in the eastern extremity of the Apuseni Mountains The Trascaului Mountains are delimited by the Ampoiului Valley to the south, which separates them from the Metaliferi Mountains, the Cluj Hills to the north, to the Transylvanian Plateau and the Gilau-Muntele Mare Massif to the west. through the Aries Valley, the Turzii Gorges develop in the extension of the limestone ridge of Jurassic origin Rameti-Bedeleu-Ciumerna, which extends in the northeast direction towards the Transylvanian Plateau forming the Petresti Peak.

This last rocky promoter, with a length of approximately 15 km, was pierced by the course of the Hajdatelor valley and the Racilor stream, which formed two parallel key sectors, Cheile Turzii and Cheile Turenilor.

They are just two of the 22 gorges of the Trascaul Mountains, one of the best represented mountain ranges in Romania in these forms of exocarstic relief.

Although the neighboring Turenilor gorges have a greater horizontal development (1850 m), the Turzii Gorges, with a length of only 1270 m, are imposed from a morphological and tourist point of view by the vertical development and the amplitude of the walls being the keys with the higher vertical walls within the Apuseni Mountains. Their geological structure can be traced to a depth of approximately 250 m. Between the two massifs that delimit them, Culmea Manastirii (793 m) and Dealul Sandului (759 m).

Prin defileul din Cheile Turzii

Climbing the valley from Cabana Cheile Turzii located downstream the two slopes are unevenly revealed. The left slope gradually displays its verticals above the cottage and Povarnis Emil Pop through the Warm Wall (name given by climbers, due to the south-eastern orientation that makes climbing possible during the cold periods of the year) and the Marac Wall suspended above the slopes covered with vegetation. this sector of the gorges runs through patches of forest, and on our way a few hundred meters from the cottage we meet the building of an old water mill, near its walls are frozen grinding stones. In the immediate vicinity of the mill we cross the stream on the first bridge of the keys and follow the path shaded by the leaves of the trees.

The appearance of the walls is suddenly interrupted by the Tower of Mihai Bors whose ridge descends to near the valley and makes the passage to a labyrinth of walls, with various orientations, interrupted by grassy branches, mostly unknown to climbers, except for Alghinele wall tiles.

We cross the second bridge of the keys, and the path leads us to the base of the Yellow Tower (named after the characteristic color of its upper part), which makes the transition to the great walls of the left slope, being the first wall measuring over 100 m. Hidden from the top of the Tower. Yellow and separated by the verticals of the walls that border the path of a wide grassy ridge is the Wall of Nails, and in its left extremity delimited by a short ridge and the edge of the Giant Wall, we find the amphitheater that forms the Goat Wall and Erasmus Nyaradi Wall.

This chain of walls is just the preamble to the Giant Wall a huge rocky plateau, with a height of about 200 m, which starts from the waters of the Hasdata and is marked at the top by a succession of towers (Martyrs' Tower, Virgo's Tower). Following the upper half of the Giant Wall, the Pigeon Wall is separated from the valley by grassy slopes and small walls. On the left side rises the most imposing rock formations of the keys that are a true symbol of this monument of nature: the portal of the Grotto Hili's and the narrow edge of the Sharp Tower, impressive for the verticality and severity of the walls.

The route of the path through the gorges becomes narrower, this slipping parallel to the valley, on some parts being arranged directly in the rock. On the right side, over the water of the stream, we notice the wall of the "Polygon" and the edge of the Partition Tower flanked by the rubble cone of the Long Zurus.

Also at this point, on the right slope, we find the only spring with permanent flow inside the gorges, Sipotul Cheilor, fed by rainwater that accumulates under the rubble of Zurus Cetatii.

From this point the left slope loses in the dimensions of the verticals being characterized by small walls followed by long ridges that form a series of excellent areas for climbing such as: Aerial Wall, Cetateaua Mica Area, Scorus and Gabor Feri areas. At the same time, this key point is an interesting tourist objective due to the entrances of the two caves located face to face on the two slopes, Cetateaua Mica and Cetateaua Mare, whose entrances were fortified with defensive walls built in the Middle Ages by the population. , as shelters in times of hardship.

Unlike the left slope which has a chain of walls sometimes separated by branches covered with vegetation, the right slope is characterized by the presence of distinct limestone slabs. Downstream, the Eagle Wall, at the base of which is the longest cavity in the Turzii Gorges, the Hungarian Cave, dominates the upper part of the slope, the lower slopes being covered with forest, tanks and rubble cones. The development of rocky verticals is then interrupted by covered areas. of vegetation so that in the next moment it bursts again through the walls of the Rounded Corner and the Cracked Corner that flank the mysterious wall of the Suurimelor. The ridges of the two walls almost touch being separated only by the rocky spur of Puscariu Peak.

The drainage of rainwater from the closed amphitheater between these walls and the Suurime Wall led to the formation of a trough called "Mill" that separates the Puscariu Peak from the Cracked Corner, at the base being a rubble cone driven from the upper part of the slope.

The succession of the walls of the right slope continues through the Sansil Corner located above the Sipotul Cheilor, characterized by a narrow and very long ridge, followed at some distance by the Corner of the Citadel with the Great Fortress cave that ends the walls of this slope, the slopes being covered with forest.

The karst relief of the Turzii Gorges presents, along with the exocarst forms, lapies such as those from the Monastery Peak from the point called "La Bliduri" or the great sinkhole near the Sandulesti Cross, the ridges of the walls, etc., and a number of 32 caves and many others. grote. Due to the small amounts of infiltration waters, the caves have few specific formations such as stalactites and stalagmites, being mostly dry, this feature favoring human habitation in them since prehistory. Archaeological excavations carried out at various points have revealed traces of habitation dating from the early Neolithic, Late Eneolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages, Roman and feudal times.

Material taken from the book "Mountaineering and sport climbing in Turzii Gorges",
written by Dan Anghel and Nicolae Budeanca