The risk of avalanches in Lake Balea area, at more than 1,800 m altitude on the northern side of Fagarasi Mountains (northwest of Bucharest) advanced to level four on a scale of one to five, meteorologists warn.
In the Lake Balea tourist area, the snow layer has reached 1.5 meters, and the risk of avalanches is considered 'high' by meteorologists.
Half a meter of snow has fallen during the last three days in the Lake Balea tourist area, where an ice hotel and three mountain chalets are located. This fresh layer of snow 'with low resistance lays above the older layer, made up mostly of facet crystals, separated by thin layers of ice. (...) Due to the large amounts of light, non-cohesive snow on top, there is a risk of dislocation on sufficiently steep slopes, starting spontaneous avalanches,' according to the official website of the National Meteorological Administration.
Access to the ice hotel at Lake Balea is possible only by cable-car.
Located at 60 kilometers from Sibiu city (central Romania), the Balea tourist area is quite difficultly accessible, with no bus shuttle available. Most tourists get there by their own cars or in organized coach tours, on National Road DN1. Because National Road ?Transfagarasan' DN7 is closed during winter, all tourists must reach the ice buildings and the chalets by cable car.AGERPRES