What to do after GR20?

idzerve

Posted: Sat, Aug 25, 2012, 12:15

Hi fellow trekkers!

Now GR20 both sections are done. Whats next? Is there life after GR20? What are your suggestions for similarly technical and spectacular trails in Europe?

Of course GR20 can be ( and most probably will be) done several times, experiencing different impressions each time, but I would be glad to hear what others have trekked.

Ivars



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, Aug 26, 2012, 9:27

If you are pensioners like we are there are many GR type routes to follow on Corsica. We returned to the island and did again the first three stages of the gr20 and from Haut Ascu visited the top of Monte Cintu. Hitching a ride down to Ponte Lecchia and using train and bus to reach Moriani followed the Mare a Mare Nord through rural Corse to Corte, through the beautiful Tavignano valley to Sega refuge down to Albertacce then over the Verghju col to travel down to the west coast at Cargese. A later visit took us along the Mare e Monti again commencing at Calinzana and finishing at Cargese. A bus took us to Ajaccio and then from Porticcio we travelled along the Mare e Monti Sud to Burgo and then picked up the Mare a Mare Sud to travel across the island to Porto Vecchio. Last September we came back to travel over the Mare a Mare Centre beginning at Pont de l'Abatescu and crossing the GR20 at Bocca di Laparo, down to Cozzano and staying in a few fine villages on our way to Col St-Georges and finally down to Porticcio again.
To finish our stay on Corse we hired a wee motor from Ajaccio airport to get to Zonza and after a camp near the village returned to Bavella where we did the, so called, alpine section of the GR an atmospheric traverse around the towers of Bavella. On our way back to Bastia we reached Capanelle to ascend to Monte Renosa on a beautiful day with a huge number of the corsican peaks visible. We had a final day at Loreto-di-Casinca and a wee walk up to Monte Saint Angelo above the East coast, not far from the Bastia-Poretta airport, where we had arranged to return the hired car.
I get the feeling that we have only just scratched the surface of this Island but as I say the 'after the GR20' visits are maybe more suited to the older fraternity?

--

Gaffr



Joanna

Posted: Sun, Sep 30, 2012, 19:11

Just discovered this post, a bit late maybe, but...
well, my next "big one" is the Tour de Mont Blanc, +/- 11 days around the massive, crossing three countries on the way! Just can't decide between late June or early September yet.



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Mon, Oct 1, 2012, 17:04

Tour de Mont Blanc sounds excellent.

The Haute route from Chamonix to Zermatt too but some high Apline experience may be needed there.

I would recommend the High Atlas in spring (April/May). There aren't any established routes but it is great trekking. I was there in March this year but it was still a bit cold then.

There are Gite d'Etap in all the villages at about £10 a night. £15 if you want food as well.

I can give you an English speaking mountain guide contact at Imlil if you want.

Alan

--

Alan



daskew

Posted: Fri, Oct 12, 2012, 2:47

Haute route from Chamonix to Zermatt is wonderful and if you take the standard "hiking" route vs the winter route you do not need any technical experience. Nice mix of lodging between mountain huts and villages. Lots of elevation gain but trails are much easier than all the boulder hopping on the Jarvain.



idzerve

Posted: Thu, Feb 14, 2013, 9:22

Thank you for suggestions! Yes, TMB is on the list. Yes, I have done also some "cross" trips suggested by Gaffr and they were ok as well.
I would be glad to hear from someone who has done Pyrenean Haute Route - the combined alpine version from GR10 and GR11!
Thanks,
Ivars



lph

Posted: Thu, Apr 25, 2013, 11:03

Hi,

I did the HRP many years ago. It was very beautiful. I haven't done the GR20 yet, so I can't compare the two, but my recollection is that the HRP had long stretches of easy terrain, with very little true alpine hiking. I think I hiked over snow maybe two days, and wore running shoes 95 % of the time. Lovely, nonetheless.

-lph



Joanna

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 4:15

Is there an Italian equivalent of the Grandes Randonnees, and if so, what are they called? I'd like to do a long distance trek somewhere in Italy, but not in the Alps this time...



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 12:08

Joanna,

Back in 1995 an ambitious project was launched: connect the many middle-level trails available in Italy to form ... (drum roll) THE SENTIERO ITALIA a backbone of 6000+ km. You can read something in Italian if you google "sentiero italia". It was done ... they officially walked it a couple of times, but in the long run it didn't have much success and after a few years nobody seems to be talking about it anymore. Here are a few links:

http://www.enrosadira.it/sentieroitalia/
http://www.outdoorblog.it/post/1059/trekking-i-6000-chilometri-del-senti...
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentiero_Italia

If you're looking for some long-distance trek I suggest you should search for those shorter long standing regional trails mostly in the northern italian regions. For instance:

the Alta via dei Monti Liguri (44 stages and 442 km.)
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alta_Via_dei_Monti_Liguri

or the Grande Escursione Appenninica (GEA) (28 stages, 375 km).
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_Escursione_Appenninica

or if you change your mind about the Alps, the Grande Traversata delle Alpi
http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grande_Traversata_delle_Alpi

The further down south Italy you go, the less you will find.

And if you're REALLY in for an adventure you should check out the SELVAGGIO BLU trail (which I happen to have walked this past October).

My video and full info here: https://vimeo.com/57301698

--Michele



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 18:04

Thanks Michele.

Lots of options to explore there.

That should keep me busy for a while.

I'll try the video now.

--

Alan



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 19:31

Michele, You're a star!

That's a fabulous video but I only had enough patience to watch half of it because of my low broadband speed!

Is October the best time? I saw you had several after-dark finishes. Would June be better?

The overlays were great. Did you create those yourself?

The rock sections looked easy. We'd normally scramble up something like that unaided but the rappels would need a short rope. Would a short (30m) alpine rope be enough?

--

Alan



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 19:56

Hi Alan,

Thanks for the compliments :)

The best and recommended period for the Selvaggio Blu is October thru May. That's because of the scorching sun and incredible heat of the other months (our first week of October was unfortunately still full summer). Don't be mislead by the late arrivals: those were only due to the bad organization (too late start of the first day AND double stage, and way too many unexperienced people on the rappels for the second late arrival).

The overlays? You mean the lower thirds maybe? Yes. I made them myself ;)

The rappels need a couple of half-ropes (50 m each).

--Michele

PS
If you have problems of broadband speed, try watching it in NON-HD mode. Just click on the HD icon in the control bar, and it will switch to a non-hd and faster stream.



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 21:13

Lower thirds? Yes. They look great but I'm having difficulty creating some of my own. I Iove your GR20 overlays too.

Non-HD doesn't seem to work? But thanks for the advice and inspiration anyway.

--

Alan



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 22, 2013, 21:31

Alan,

if you need help creating lower thirds, just let me know ... ;)

--Michele



Joanna

Posted: Thu, May 23, 2013, 19:19

Wow, what a movie! (I watched the Italian version). And the trail looks so beautiful! But I have a feeling my husband, who is afraid of heights, wouldn't be able to do it due to the exposed parts...

We went to Sardinia in April 2011, and ended up with two weeks of rain and cold :-( So we were not able to do much hiking, except for two or three short hikes...



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, May 23, 2013, 22:16

Thanks Joanna.
It's an interesting trail although its major drawback is the never changing landscape that stays the same for its 50 km. Pretty annoying if you're used to the ever changing Corsica terrain.
Too bad your husband is afraid of heights. If the problem is just the rappels, in the guided groups, the mountain guide can lower those who are uncomfortable with the rope.

--Michele



Joanna

Posted: Fri, May 24, 2013, 4:08

No, the rapels are ok. It's the exposure that is the problem, like this log ladder, or walking close to the cliffs... We had to turn around on some ferraras in the Dolomites due to that.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, May 24, 2013, 6:40

Yeah, you're right. On the SB there are many exposed and unprotected traverses (one we even did in the dark).



Tarjei

Posted: Thu, May 30, 2013, 19:05

Oh, great. Now another video from Michele that I have to sit down and watch :).

I also have the Selvaggio Blu on my to-walk-list.
Was at the start of it previous year when I was in Sardiania.

Since it sort of is starting to become a ritual/habit to go on a large walk once a year (GR20 last year, Camino Frances the year before) one large walk is coming up (and fast now). I will make a go for the GR10 across the Pyrenees this fall. Really excited if I will manage a walk consisting of so many days, and alone (though I will meet people of course).

Of smaller walks, next week I'm heading off to Newcastle to do the Hadrian's Wall Path.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, May 30, 2013, 20:26

Tarjei,

you surely are a serious walker!!! The whole GR10 is quite a challenge indeed!!!



Tarjei

Posted: Fri, May 31, 2013, 6:33

That is why I'm so excited by it, but that also means I'm not without anxiety about it as well.
I'm fully aware that it is quite the challenge.
I just need to 'persuade' myself not to be disappointed if I should decide not to complete it underways.

Tarjei



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, May 31, 2013, 6:59

I hear that the weather on the GR10 can be persistently bad, but the trail itself should not be a problem at all. You surely have the numbers to complete it Tarjei. And then I'll be looking forward to your photo gallery.

--Michele



Joanna

Posted: Fri, May 31, 2013, 16:53

You're doing the whole Gr10 in one go? We did a week's worth of it three years ago, really nice, but not as wild and remote as GR20. You cross a village about once a day..



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Fri, May 31, 2013, 17:43

The whole GR10 - now that's a challenge! I've done the three highest peaks in the Pyrenees and had epic's on two of them -both entirely down to poor navigation and incomplete planning. Spending the night benighted on a glacier isn't something I'd want to repeat in a hurry but is better than what a Spanish climber described as 'the spit'. I wish I'd just stayed on the GR10.

I'm hoping to do the Chamonix to Zermatt haute route plus a few (properly planned) summits en-route.

--

Alan



Tarjei

Posted: Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 6:57

Joanna, yes, my (silly) plan is to do the whole GR10 in one go. ;)
Read your tale from your experience.

It is a challenge, and I'm hoping that I'm up for it.

Alan, I think you now have to explain what is meant by 'the spit'.

Tarjei



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 11:41

It's a notorious accident blackspot on the glacier we were benighted on.

Slip, gather speed & get spat out over the edge....

We were attempting to get to the Refuge Tuquerouye after summiting Monte Perdido. We were roped up but far too slow. (It's nowhere near the GR10 route).

Monte Perdido, Pica de Posets and Pica d'Anetto are all worth a detour. I can give you some tips if you want but maybe not via a Corsica forum.

--

Alan



Tarjei

Posted: Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 12:18

Michele, regarding the weather I just need to hope for the best :).
I don't expect to have fine weather continuously in 50 days.
Seems like these two got quite good weather while doing the whole route:

La traversée des PYRENEES par le GR10.

(They have also done the GR20: La traversée des montagnes CORSE par le GR20).

Alan, please do. You can email me them to my email account: tarjei.skrede.

Tarjei



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 12:33

Thanks Tajei for the links. The GR10 must be a terrific trek!



Joanna

Posted: Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 14:32

I wish I had all this free time to do one of the long treks in one go!
My greatest dream is the Snowman Trek in Bhutan, which is 25 days, and requires over 30 days with travel to and from included... But that's not gonna' happen, because we only have 5 weeks paid holiday, which have to be rationed throughout a year, as I need at least 4 travels a year to function normally...



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 17:04

Thanks Joanna.

Another research quest!

--

Alan



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Wed, Jun 5, 2013, 11:51

Tarjei

Sorry for the confusion. We were on the GR11 on the Spannish side.

--

Alan



Tarjei

Posted: Thu, Jun 6, 2013, 13:18

Alan, no problem.
Anyway, due to the length of the trail my main focus will be to complete it without taking any detours.
I don't have an unlimited time at my disposal either.

Tarjei



Tarjei

Posted: Tue, Jul 9, 2013, 20:58

Finished the Hadrian's Wall Path almost a month ago, been busy with work afterwards.

But for those interested, here is a selection of pictures from the walk:

http://home.bouvet.no/tarjei.skrede/photo/hadrianswallpath/.

I'm still writing on my account of that trail at: http://tarjeinskrede.blogspot.no/, but not finished yet.

A great walk, but if you're looking for a challenge aka GR20 this trail isn't for you.

Now, my mind is all set upon the GR10.

Tarjei



Joanna

Posted: Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 5:26

Man, what kind of work do you have to have all this free time to do all the travelling? Sounds like a dream job for me, can I have it too, please? Even though I'm working for the national revenue office, with all the government job's perks included, I would never manage more then 6 or 7 weeks of holidays a year!



Tarjei

Posted: Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 21:05

I'm working as an it consultant and, yes, I guess I'm fortunate to having a nice employer that lets me go on these walks, though I'm not getting paid for the additional vacations I take.

Tarjei



Di Batten

Posted: Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 10:59

Hi Ivars

I was interested to read the response you had earlier about the HPR. My husband and I did the route in 2010, using the Cicerone guide rather than the French route guide which is a bit different. We started in the middle of June after a severe winter and ended up descending to Cauteret part way through the route to buy proper boots, crampons and ice axes as our light-weight hikers weren't enough. As it turned out the ice axes weren't really essential although I was glad to know I could self arrest if necessary, not being sure how I could manage that with hiking poles only. We found the route fabulous and still talk about it heaps. We met others who started over a month later that year who had a much easier time of it and were fine in light footwear. If you want to feast your eyes on the beauty here is a link to our smugmug site. http://dougandi.smugmug.com/TraversingthePyrenees
Cheers

--

Di



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, Jul 19, 2013, 15:20

Hi Di,

Great photo gallery! It gives a very good idea of the environment. Thumbs up!!

--Michele



Di Batten

Posted: Tue, Jul 23, 2013, 9:39

Hopefully we will have a lovely gallery of Corsican photos by later this year. Thanks for your work on the forum. It is really useful for prospective hikers.

--

Di



Tarjei

Posted: Sat, Sep 21, 2013, 10:25

Arrived at Banyuls sur Mer on Monday 16.09 at 15:16 after walking in 49 days from Hendaye, and so finishing the GR10. A great experience and walk. Will post a link to my image gallery and report from the trek when I've finished those (bear in mind that I finished with just about 5000 pictures).

Tarjei



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, Sep 22, 2013, 14:01

Well done Targei on your trip across the Pyrenees.
I look forwards to reading your report and to seeing the images.

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sun, Sep 22, 2013, 19:52

Ditto. Thumbs up!!

--Michele



Dave 54

Posted: Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 21:39

You must do either the TMB or tour du Matterhorn, as I enjoyed them better than the GR20. Better scenery and beautiful villages to walk through. Also transport links better, better refuges, better food, and not a grumpy guardian in sight. The refuges are real luxury.

--

davvey



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 5:41

Hello,
You can't really compare anywhere else to the transport provided in Switzerland....it really does work like clockwork. I have used the buses to get from a finishing point back to own transport at the end of a trip ....superb!
Problem with the GR20 is most definitely the overcrowding which kind-of overwhelms all. Maybe the Natural Park folks could do much more here to try to interest walkers in travelling the many other routes on the island.....would need to have more camping facilities provided on many of them! Since there is a reported 40-50% drop out rate? with folks travelling the GR....maybe many of them taking on a multi day trip for the first time and this together with the hustle and bustle around the refuges I would suggest that the whole thing is overcooked. There is evidence on this forum of perhaps many folks going who are under-prepared for such a trip?
Time spent on one of the other routes would be a good introduction towards the rougher conditions on the GR?
I have heard some say that they have found the terrain under whelming on the other routes. We travelled all of the other routes after doing the GR but I think that we must have used our Scottish experiences to good effect. I actually enjoyed the differences experienced on all of the other Randonnee trips made on the island. On the GR20 so much depends on the weather conditions experienced during the days of effort....you are above 900 meters for two weeks.

--

Gaffr



Joanna

Posted: Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 5:43

I'm just back from the TMB myself, but my impressions are a bit different then yours, Dave! Yes, the scenery was beautiful, but imo not as beautiful as the corsican one! Corsica is much wilder and remote, while on TMB you're never far away from concrete, villages, and tousands of day trippers. Yes, the refuges are better, but only in France and Italy. In Switzerland the refuges are not very good, and the level of service is horrible, they just don't care about their guests! And I did meet the grumpiest guardian ever on this trip, I still cringe from the experience!!! Also, some parts of the walk are a bit boring...

So, if I was to range the three long distance paths I've taken - GR20, TMB and a week on GR 10 - for their overall experience, I'd still give GR 20 a 5+, GR10 a 4, and TMB a 4-.
But all of them are nice walks!



Tarjei

Posted: Thu, Oct 3, 2013, 8:15

It's almost just as long work writing about the walk than doing it.
I've started posting on my blog, you can follow my walk from this page if you're interested (I will update this page each time I post a new entry to my blog from the walk):

GR10.

Tarjei



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Oct 5, 2013, 14:41

Great job, Tajei. Thanks



Tarjei

Posted: Fri, Jan 10, 2014, 18:31

So, I finally got around to finish my picture page from my GR10-walk, after finishing writing about it on my blog some time ago.

Here is the link to my pictures (hope it isn't too slow):

http://home.bouvet.no/tarjei.skrede/photo/gr10/.

Here is the link to the tale of my journey through the Pyrenees:

http://tarjeinskrede.blogspot.no/p/gr10.html.

Tarjei



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Jan 11, 2014, 8:17

Great job there Tarjei. I watched your GR10 gallery but, somehow the landscape left me unimpressed. In terms of beauty, how do you compare this walk with our beloved GR20?

Thanks
--Michele



Tarjei

Posted: Sat, Jan 11, 2014, 10:21

I think most people will experience GR20 as more beautiful as a whole. But in my opinion there are stages on GR10 that doesn't stand back for any stage on GR20. As between Borce and Gabas where you get to see the impressive Pic du Midi d'Ossau at close hand, the contrast between almost white and green mountains with a blue sky from Gabas to Gourette, the area around Vignemale, and the splendour of the Reserve Naturelle de Néouvielle. GR10 is a lot longer walk than GR20 and so there are bound to be parts that aren't as impressive as on GR20.

I find GR10 to be a more varied walk than GR20, since you also spend time visiting small mountain villages. And there were stages that made me more tired than any on GR20 (not necessarily a good thing though ;)).

And there are of course parts not so interesting, you will do a lot more walking in woods on the GR10 than GR20. Seldom the feeling of being in a very remote area, though I didn't have that feeling on the GR20 either.

But in terms of an overall experience I do find the GR20 to be the most beautiful of the two. Though I had a great walk on the GR10.

Tarjei



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Jan 11, 2014, 11:03

Thanks Tarjei. It's what I thought. The shorter GR20 is a condensate of beauty hardly comparable. But, of course, each and any trail has its highlights (and so does the GR10).
What amazes me the most of the GR20 is its continuous change of landscape that makes impossible to grow tired of its views.

--Michele



acooper

Posted: Mon, Apr 7, 2014, 22:04

Hi everybody! Back to this forum after having done the GR20 at end of June and completely loved it. I swear I've thought about it every day since!

Not so much annual leave this year sadly so looking for something European that could be done over 7 or 8 days max in July. Not having much luck! Does anybody have any recommendations?

Cheers!

Harry