Peştera Ghetarul Focul Viu

The Cave of the Living Fire Iceblock

Useful Information

Location: 2 h walk from Padis Chalet.
(46.575152, 22.679980)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Speleologyice cave.
Light: natural, bring torch
Dimension: A=1,120 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Peştera Ghetarul Focul Viu has two halls and is entered from the top down a rickety wooden staircase. This steep passage leads to the first chamber with a huge karstfenster or pothole at the ceiling. Its elevation (1,120 m asl) and the pothole makes this an ice cave of the cold trap type. During winter the cold air flows into the cave and is trapped inside. This physical effect is also called cold trap, its the reason why refrigerators in supermarkets do not need a lid.

The pothole is also responsible for a huge pile of logs, leaves and snow on the cave floor. The logs are partly covered by the ice, their free ends rotting and colouring the ice field. The opening also allows light to enter so there is no need for a torch in this chamber. Around noon the sun shines directly into the cave and the beams create a fairy scenery.

On one side the ice ends not at the wall but at an abyss. This passage leads to the smaller chamber of the cave, on the left side of the slope it is possible to descend about 4 m. This part of the cave has no natural light and despite the stalactites there are also icicles during winter and spring.

The cave has a temperature below freezing point in winter and spring and is only a little above in summer and autumn. Visitors returning from the cave are quite happy about the high temperatures outside. We strongly recommend a warm jacket (fleece) and good walking shoes. As the cave can only be reached on a two hour walk, your clothes should already be mostly appropriate.