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



dinny

Posted: Mon, Apr 7, 2014, 22:36

Michele,
Your video of the Selvaggio Blu attracts and terrifies me in equal measure - I'm going to Sardinia to try it for myself in just over two weeks time...
Happy hiking to you,
Dinny



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Apr 8, 2014, 7:08

Hi Dinny,

Nice to hear from you :)
There is nothing to be scared about the Selvaggio Blu. You are certainly a hard boiled hiker, you can handle it ;)
But, like I pointed out in some previous message, coming from the gorgeous GR20, you might probably get a little bored by the hardly changing landscape. However, the bays are beautiful and the sea is fantastic.
Also I hope you are joining a guided group because getting lost on that trail is a rule.
Best luck with your trek and take a lot of pics.

--Michele



Tarjei

Posted: Tue, Apr 8, 2014, 12:00

For what I've heard, the biggest problem doing the Selvaggio Blu solo is water. That there are almost no places along the trail where you can get water. So, when guided groups do it, they have hidden caches of water along the way (placed there before the group is starting). How was it on your guide group, Michele?

And Dinny, the Selvaggio Blu is also on my check list, hope you have a great trek and hope to see some pictures from you as well.

Tarjei



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Apr 8, 2014, 12:41

Tarjei,

Water is definitely the biggest problem on the SB: not only finding water sources is almost impossible (you have to know some secluded places - out of the trail - where there "might" be some trickling water), but food also is an issue and both have to be placed before starting the walk. And that's what we did when I trekked it.
Also, people who attempt to walk it on their own take a big chance and many get lost every year. I can tell you about a group of folks that I know and that went a month after me. They had maps, gps track and waypoints of unclarified water sources: their aim was to walk it without support carrying all the food start to finish and rely solely on the waypoints for the water (idiots!)
As you may imagine, and from information that got through the grapevine, they got lost on the way, did NOT find the water, remained dehydrated for 48 hours, went through a lot of problems and a girl decided to drop out for exhaustion (they called for a boat) after 2 days. They others finally made it but ... was it worth it?

--Michele



dinny

Posted: Tue, Apr 8, 2014, 17:46

Hey Michele,
Hard boiled hiker? I've never been called that before!
Well I'm going there with my reliable GR20 companion, but without a guide. We're allowing extra time for navigation & 'misplacement'!

Tarjei, there is a hotel called The Lemon House a few km from the start of the route that will help with logistics. The owner, Peter Herold, has been helpful via email, and has also posted me a fabulous new book on the S'Blu (he's the translator into English), with an even more fabulous new 1:15.000 map of the hike. The day before the hike he'll take us, our water supplies and food bags in a car to two drop-off points along the trek. I'm hoping we won't suffer from vandalism as Michele's group did in one of the bays.

So please keep your fingers crossed for me... All being well, I'll be back on the GR20 mid June for a more-or-less solo hike. After the S'Blu I'll be walking it with my hands in my pockets, whistling Dixie!

Dinny



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Apr 8, 2014, 18:16

Dinny,

I wish you an enjoyable SB. Be very attentive for the few scattered blue marks and .... in case of distress, just shine the bat signal ;)
And please report back your impressions when you're home.

--Michele



Joanna

Posted: Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 6:09

Harry, there are lots of GR's in France, just pick and choose! There are over 100 000 km long-distance treks in that country! You can get your idea here:
http://www.ffrandonnee.fr/ (official page)
and http://www.gr-infos.com/ (not my favourite page, but will at least give you the overview of the different itineraries)

If you're very fit, you'd be able to do the whole Tour du Mont Blanc in 7-8 days - we did it in ten, but it was too slow, 7-8 would be better. Take a look here: http://joannastravelblog.com/?page_id=1241

Or you could do parts of GR 11 in Spanish Pyrenees, or GR 10 in French Pyrenees.

Or one out of my to-do-list: walkiers high route from Chamonix to Zermatt, 7-8 days.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haute_Route



PJ

Posted: Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 12:58

*edit* double post sorry



PJ

Posted: Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 12:55

I would like to few suggestions based on some of my own expériences in the Alps.
In Italy it's also Worth looking at the Alta Via routes in the Dolomites.
The classic route there is called Alta Via 1 and runs through some of the most beautifull areas of the Dolomites with stunning views.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alta_Via_1

An alternative is the Alta Via 2 that runs more or less parallel with Alta Via 1 but it's a bit more rugged and less crowded.
http://dolomitesport.com/activities/hiking-2/alta-via-two/

It's easy to adapt these routes to your own desire. You can up the difficulty by adding in "Via Ferrata" sections (Easy to moderate climbing routes secured with chains and ladders)

there are more alta via variants to be found if you Google it.

Another interesting route is the "Meraner Hohenweg" in Sud-Tirol or Alto Adige, also an area in the north of Italy. (Hohenweg is german for high mountain path) It's a circular hiking path that can be done in 3 tot 5 days and that isn't technically challenging. Only a few passages where you need to scramble a bit but these passages are secured with fixed ropes and/or chains. Nothing really difficult or dangerous tho.
If you want to make it a bit more challenging you can try to climb some of the summits you pass along the route. We've done this last year but the excessive snowfall made it more difficult than normal and we were forced to use crampons and our ice axe on some occasions (not on the normal route, we did some alternative routes much higher up in the mountains)
http://www.suedtirol.info/en/Destinations--Things-To-Do/Hiking--Mountain...

I am looking forward to be doing the GR20 this summer but i liked some of the other suggestions given here as well. Plenty things to choose from in the comming years!



dinny

Posted: Wed, Apr 9, 2014, 15:22

Hey Michele,
"Bat signal"...brilliant! Why didn't I think of that before? :-D
Dinny



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 7:00

PJ

Thanks for that. Alta Via 2 looks very good & the Haute route is on my list too. I'm heading for Bregaglia in Switzerland and then Bernese Oberland but for climbing this time. I wonder if I can fit the Alta Via route in as well?

--

Alan



Joanna

Posted: Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 8:40

There is also a very interesting-looking trail in Dolomiti di Brenta along several via ferrata, notably Bocchette. The problem is, it's difficult to google anything about it.
From what I did find, it's a 4 days' worth hut to hut hiking/scrambling, with a ferrata section every day. Some information can be found here:
http://www.discoverydolomites.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=arti...



PJ

Posted: Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 13:05

Alan,

The dolomites are sure worth a visit but they might be a bit too far from your itinerary in Switzerland. It depends if you want to make the detour.

Joanna,
I've heard very nice things about the Dolomiti di Brenta trails and they are on my to do list as well.
I can see if I can dig up any additional info about the trek. (A friend of me lives in the region)
Try the official site as well and you should be able to find detailed maps in some outdoor shops (I know i can find them here in Belgium in some shops)
The good thing is you can always bypass the difficult sections (via ferrata) if you are not up for that.

site:
http://www.dolomitibrentatrek.it/lang/EN/pagine/dettaglio/trek_tour,2/do...

--
PJ



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Thu, Apr 10, 2014, 13:41

I've done two days on the Via della Bochette and Sentiero de Bochette Alte in the Brenta group, which were hard, very long and incredibly good! These are the two central stages of a good 4 or 5 day trek that is mostly all mid grade Via Ferrata.

There are 4 refuges on or near the main ridge plus another 3 that are a bit lower down.

--

Alan



Joanna

Posted: Fri, Apr 11, 2014, 5:09

Now I know why I couldn't find anything! I googled different variants of Bochette, alta via etc, but what I should have googled instead was "Brenta trek"! Thanks guys!



PJ

Posted: Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 9:59

After having been reminded about the Brenta group I decided to take up some extra days off work and head for Italy mid July with my sister. We'll have 4 full days on the trails. I've already found a book about the different trails (Via ferratas in the Italian dolomites vol 2 from Cicerone) and a decent map of the area so I can start planning a nice loop.

So thank you Joanna and Alan :-)

--
PJ



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Wed, Apr 23, 2014, 19:19

PJ

I loved the Brenta, so good luck with that. There's a handy cable car up from Madonna di Campiglio if you want a shortcut.

I've been researching the Alta Via 2, which looks quite GR20ish in places but with more passes and settlements en-route. It looks to me to be doable in a week with a few 9 or 10 hour days. I'd have to miss the high level route up Marmolada because carrying a rope, harness, ice axe and crampons on a hiking trail isn't a likely option but the rest looks fantastic.

--

Alan



Joanna

Posted: Thu, Apr 24, 2014, 17:48

I'm so jealous of both of you!!! No trek for me this year... altough we took up trail running and are aiming for the 73km long Grand Trail des Templiers in French Massif Central, with an objective of 13 hours.

The next "big thing", a very big in fact, is going to be Ojos del Salado in Chile, at almost 7000m South America's second highest mountain, early next year. Anybody done that?

And I've just added the Alta Via 2 to my bucket list!!!



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 7, 2014, 6:46

Hey Dinny .... you there? Calling Dinny, calling Dinny ... do you copy?

Were you able to complete the Selvaggio Blu or are you still stuck in the bushes? :D Shall I send in the cavalry??? I reckon you should be back home by now .... Please report ....... with pictures please ....

Over ....



dinny

Posted: Thu, May 8, 2014, 22:00

Dinny to Red Alert...reading you loud and clear!

Yep, I'm home, Selvaggio Blu (aka Selvaggio Black and Blu) done and dusty. Man, navigation is tough out there without a GPS! So many (mostly goat) paths leading off into the bush, so much back-tracking and trying again and again and again...I thought longingly of GR20's beautiful paint splashes! I really, really needed your Bat-rescue or cavalry at times :-)
I can't wait to watch your Vimeo film again, to see how our Sardinian adventures compare. I kept saying "how did Michele enjoy this bit? Was he as tired/bewildered/frustrated as me?"!
I'm not at all technical, so I wouldn't know how to/where to do a write-up or put pictures, I'm afraid. I could send an email to you, if you have a 'safe' email address for weirdos to contact you!

My mind is still on the trail...hoping to get on the GR20 to do the whole kaboodle in one go at the start of September.

Over...
Dinny



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, May 8, 2014, 23:13

Dinny,

I'm happy to hear you guys made it. Without a gps must have been real tough. Heck it's tough even WITH a gps because the trail is very confusing (and - unfortunately - I hear the locals want to keep it that way).
I wanted to compare our impressions because, I too got frustrated and bewildered by the hostile terrain (but less then you, thanks to the fact we had a guide). Anyway, the most frustrating element was the almost never changing landscape. As soon as you realize it's going to stay (roughly) the same until the end, it gets kind of dejecting (at least for us coming from the ever-changing GR20 landscapes). Agreed the initial views are terrific (especially from the high cliffs). But then the further you go the more inland the trail gets and on many occasions you end up in thick vegetation.

Anyway, to answer your question from the other post:
Yes our first day was pretty maddening because the guide decided to double up the stage, and instead of camping out at the "Ovile de us piggius" we kept on going until Porto Pedroso (which was insane!)
The ugly thing was that - since we had started VERY late in the morning, it was mathematical that we would have gotten there at night. And that's what happened. As soon as night fell the guide lost the trail and we were stranded in pitch dark. Luckily, my friend and I took over and - thanks to our gps - we were able to safely lead the group to the camp. We arrived without a drop of water and totally bushed (pun intended). And that was just the first day ... sheesh ...
(I'll stop here as I feel I'm writing a poem ..)

Please send me a message on my blog (gr20corsica.wordpress.com) so I'll contact you in private and teach you how to upload your pics on your gmail account (get yourself one). You'll start from this page:
https://plus.google.com/+Gmail/photos

Michele



dinny

Posted: Fri, May 9, 2014, 22:05

Hold up and reverse a little there, Michele - I found your blog but don't even know how to leave a message on it. I'll see if I can get some help with that over the next few days...

Arriving at Portu Pedrosu was a delightful moment for us - it'd been a helluva haul to find it, so imagine our joy at finding four people already camped there with more cans of Ichnusa beer than they needed!!! Whoo hoo :-)

I know just what you mean by the unchanging landscape (at least by GR20 standards). I kept thinking of the pozzines (spelling?) of Corsica. Of course, a lot of the time on the SB was spent carefully watching my feet on the sharp, undulating limestone, or desperately scanning the rocks ahead for paint marks, so some landscape may have passed me by. Being able to set up camp and sleep in protected places as the whim took me was a definite bonus though.

I'll be in touch as soon as I know how,

Dinny



Tarjei

Posted: Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 22:51

It's been quiet from me for a while, the reason is of course that I've been out on a walk again. After finishing the GR10 through the Pyrenees last year I sat my sight on a far more exotic location, which also offered a challenge more than just the walk. Namely communication, both in writing and in talking.

But now I'm back after almost two months in South-Korea where I've hiked the Baekdudaegan longdistance-trail. The Baekdudaegan is the mountain range that forms the backbone of the Korean peninsula, starting from Baekdusan (2850m / 2744m in North-Korea) and ending at Cheonwangbong (1915m) in the Jirisan-mountains of South-Korea. The range is about 1700km long and is the watershed of Korea.

On the approximately 735km of the range that goes through South-Korea you can follow a trail that is called by the same name as the mountain range. It starts at the afore mentioned peak of Cheonwangbong and ends at Jinburyeong (not far from the DMZ).

I spent a total of 45 days on the trail, with three of them being rest days. And this is by far the hardest walk I've ever done. The trail goes steep up and down, up and down almost all the time. Compared to Baekdudaegan, the GR20 felt like a walk in the park. When finished my knees were really knackered and my feet has never been so sore before.

Though you walk most of the time in a forest (well, it sure feels like it), as the Korean mountains are covered by trees, it was a beautiful walk. But most of all it was a great meeting with the Korean people and spirit.

I've not finished working on my pictures from the walk (just returned home), but did made sort of a teaser album:

https://picasaweb.google.com/tarjei.skrede/BaekdudaeganTeaser?authkey=Gv1sRgCJrazMeR7M7axAE#.

A proper album will be posted on my blog when finished. I will also post the story from my walk on my blog, which I will update continuously:

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

Tarjei

PS. I know this isn't in Europe, but if looking for another challenge, this is definitely one.



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, Nov 2, 2014, 9:40

Hello Tarjei,
Good effort to get yourself out there! and to persevere for 45 days along the trail.
I wonder how long it will be before you can get to reach the other 1,000kls. in the North? :-)
Look forward to seeing your day by day accounts of life on the trail.

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sun, Nov 2, 2014, 10:43

Hey good job Tarjei. You're a real pro!! You surely enjoy your solo hiking ...



idzerve

Posted: Mon, Feb 16, 2015, 17:18

Hi everyone,

Good to see the community active and sharing experience!

Many of the suggestions on list and also something already done - summer 2014 i did Tour Matterhorn or Tour Du Cervin. It is quite different experience from GR20 - less scrambling, but long sections with crossing ~3000m pass every day and total ascent per day varies from 1000 to 1900m. Also a lot of snow and two times crossing gletchers, so crampons were absolute necessary. These few days with good weather we enjoyed really nice scenery, the rest of time it was a bit struggle with rain, fog and snow. End June - beginning of July it was not crowded at all. We preferred campsites to save the budget, so we carried all food and tents with us, but these few ocassions when we stayed in gesthouses or mountain huts were really nice ( and really expensive) experience.

So - thanks for suggestions and keep reporting your experiences!

Ivars



Claire Glavina

Posted: Sun, Jun 21, 2015, 15:19

My husband and I are planning to do the Alta Via 2 in the Dolomites in September this year. We completed the GR20 last September. I'll report back on what we think of it and how it compares with the GR20. It looks pretty rugged and scenic and transport to the start and end looks easy. Also gives the option of doing some via ferrata if you want the extra adrenaline factor!



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sun, Jun 21, 2015, 21:09

Thanks Claire. We'll look forward to your report. Have a grand time there.

--Michele



Harley1965

Posted: Thu, Jul 23, 2015, 18:11

Has anyone completed the GR54, I am looking for information on this walk and advise.

--

Neil



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jul 24, 2015, 6:20

As someone said on here that the French GR system is extensive.
Apart from the Corsican routes my only experience of this system was on the GR55 which is a tour through the Vanoise national Park....a more direct maybe more interesting variant route of the 'monster' GR5 that ends up weeks later at Nice.
We did have some unfulfilled plans for the GR52 that walks you through some of the Mercantour national park.
When looking in on the route of the 'Le Tour' in recent days centered around the Gap area the maps of the area showed that the GR54 does a circumnavigation of the Ecrins range to the East of Briancon. Perhaps useful for fitting into a 'normal' holiday spell?....time, access and return after the walk?

--

Gaffr



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jul 24, 2015, 7:00

Apologies...Faux pas...Ecrins is West of Briancon area!

I have not yet been able to look at a bigger scale map....only my 1:100,000 map...but maybe this circular route does not have too much, if any, 'walking alongside roads' as so many of the GR's seem to do.
You could argue, however, that the ancient paths that the GR's travel over were there long before any roads were built?

--

Gaffr



Kevski

Posted: Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 13:05

Curious....the forum home page indicates that the latest posting to this thread was 15 hours ago but I can't see anything since July 2015. Am I missing something?

--

Kevin



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, Jun 30, 2016, 13:10

Yes. There was a spam post I removed. The system removed the post, blocks the spammer but it doesn't remove the timing of the post. Weird!



idzerve

Posted: Mon, Sep 12, 2016, 13:04

Hi again the GR20 community!

Good to see different suggestions and reports!

I was not all the time sleeping as well and here is my latest discovery - Slovenia. Slovenians are addicted to trekking and whole country is criscrossed by well maintained and marked trails. The most famous is Slovenian Transversal, or Slovenska Planinska Pot - http://en.pzs.si/vsebina.php?pid=58

As I am interested in more technical stuff, I did only the part around Triglav and there were few really nice via ferrata sections. But the beauty of the trail system in Slovenia is that you can easily plan your way based on your abilities and skip all technical places and enjoy the views, or in contrary - choose just technical trails.

There is no such think as wild camping allowed, but there are A LOT mountain huts for reasonable prices. Huts are maintained by local tourist community. To get the accomodation cost even more down I entered in one year membership for one of the mountain communities, you get 50% discount if you are member. All info in the above mentioned webpage.

The only problem you might experience when choosing higher altitudes is lack of water if summer is dry. Of course, bottled water is always available in huts, but water for shower might be scarce.

For me Slowenia was really an undiscowered jewel and I really recommend to try!

Ivars



kazber

Posted: Mon, Mar 27, 2017, 0:44

Hi Ivars,

I really like it but I don't like to give up my privacy in my tent. This is the reason I never hike in my home land or neighboring countries. I like my little "home" and the food I carry with it. Of course, I resupply every 5-8 days.
Anyway, looks very, very interesting.

--

Kaz