GR20 in December?


Posted: Tue, Dec 13, 2011, 3:50

Hello all

Wondering if anybody can advise on feasibility of hiking GR20 in december?
Are Refuges available (food? sleep?)? I am actually considering to 'run'; so the idea is to gear up as light as possible (no tent, no food, etc...)

All ideas very welcome
thanks, Wouter


Posted: Tue, Dec 13, 2011, 9:34

Hi Wouter,

Hiking the GR20 in December is tough. The refuges are open BUT unstaffed and no food is available anywhere on the trail. You also have to take into account bad weather, deep snow and ice in the highest areas: so crampons and ice axe are a must. Trailmarks and cairns can also be covered in snow, so it might be difficult in some sections to find your way. I wouldn't recommend to do it in wintertime unless you are very experienced, well trained, superfit and strongly motivated ... and prepared for the worst conditions.


You might also want to take a look at the official site of the park and its related blog: for updated info.
Due to the mild temperatures of these days it seems there is little snow (or at least less than expected). Still some caution is in order.


Posted: Wed, Dec 14, 2011, 23:45

Thanks for swift reply Michele. It's a different story in wintertime indeed (nothing better than snow hikes ;)!), but with no 'operational' refuges the plan to run seems impossible as I'd need to take the food/drinks along myself...

Maybe another question. Don't know if you can help, but if I would have to chose a 'base' from where I could do several day-hikes, what would be a nice place to stay (preferrably at the foot of some mountains)?

Motivation and fitness is definitely top :)

Bye, W.

ps: thanks for site, very useful


Posted: Thu, Dec 15, 2011, 9:58


I don't think there is a privileged location, except maybe Corte. From Corte you can have access to the Restonica Valley and from there you may set out for various one-day hikes. One is Lac d'Oriente and Monte Rotondo (the second highest mountain in Corsica), another is the circuit that includes Lac de Melo, Lac de Capitellu, Breche de Goria, Lac de Goria, Refuge Manganu and back through the Breche de Capitellu.
But, of course, if you want to climb up to Monte Cinto you'll have to drive to Haut Asco. There is a hotel there but I'm not sure if it's open. You'll have to check.
My advice is to rent a car and move around the island (don't count on public transportation because it's unreliable and taxis are a ripoff).
With a car you can go as far as Col de Bavella and hike the Aiguilles de Bavella. Then back to Vizzavona and climb up to Monte Oro.
But you may also want to consider doing instead the lower level treks that Corsica offers and that are feasible all year round. I'm talking about the "Mare a Mare north", "Mare a Mare Center", "Mare a Mare Sud", "Tra Mare e Monti Nord" etc. Please check out the main page of this very site



Posted: Sat, Apr 28, 2012, 12:28

Hi Michele,

Could you tell me more about the circuit that includes Lac de Melo, Lac de Capitellu, Breche de Goria, Lac de Goria, Refuge Manganu and back through the Breche de Capitellu, especially the time it takes? I am thinking about accessing the GR20 from bergeries de Grotelle - Lac de Melo - Lac de Capitellu - Breche the de Capitellu - Refuge Manganu.




Posted: Mon, Apr 30, 2012, 7:18

Hi Mardy,

This is an interesting tour and - odd enough - not documented by P.Dillon in his book. However I need to point out that - although it is in my things-to-do, so far I haven't done it myself.

Now that said, I uploaded a map that shows you the itinerary.

In the top left corner you'll be able to read the length of each section. From Grottelle to Manganu via the breche de Goria and lac de Goria it is between 8-9 km. Given the nature of the terrain and that there is a breche to pass I would consider a regular day's walk (unless you are one of those sky runners).

From Manganu to Grottelle via the breche de Capitellu it is 7 km (there is also some easy climbing if you pass near the lac de Capitellu). Again consider a day's walk.