Cirque de la Solitude

bob29

Posted: Tue, Jul 9, 2013, 20:02

Firstly thanks for all your useful advice on here before I made my trip to Corsica. I did the GR20 North to South starting 9th June. I do feel a great sense of achievement and certainly viewed some spectacular scenery. In summary I found the hardest part of the GR20 wasn't the weather or the hills but the terrain. Im not sure how you would prepare for all the rocky ground. There seems to be very little places of flat ground, but I guess that is the nature of it!
As a novice walker I did underestimate the conditions up in the hills and there was a lot of snow up there, I only wish I had asked on here about that first to you more experienced folk;o) Seems I had prepared everything else very well, but perhaps leaving me with a rucksack a little heavier than I wanted.
I put together a video of the Cirque for anyone who wishes to see it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00Kl1NVfJnA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUE4...

I would be interested to know if there is always that much snow at this time of year. I had sort of relied on Paddy Dillons guide book for much of the walk and didnt expect to have to carry crampons and ice axe but I guess I will know in future to check the weather!

Also on a side note Im sure I read somewhere here about someone being bitten by a 'creature'. Well I awoke one morning around 2 am to go to the toilet only to find my rucksack had been stolen from the outside compartment of my tent. I panicked, got my trousers on and rushed outside the tent thinking I wont be able to complete the trail my bloody rucksacks been stolen. I fumbled with my headtorch but was in such a panic I dropped the batteries on the floor and simultaneously noticed my rucksack 10 metres away in a bush. Some creature of the night had given it a good rummage through, the stench of what I can only describe as dog drool was overpowering (and stayed with me and my rucksack for several days). I gathered everything together but couldnt see anything as it was pitch black. I peed in a circle around my tent to mark my territory in fear of it coming back. Yes I know. Like an invisible forcefield nothing will get past that... Well I didnt sleep too well that night. In the morning I discovered my sausage had gone. It would have made a lovely dinner. And the nasty critter had also had a good go of my porridge for the trip. So thank you Mr Fox of whatever you were I had a few hungry mornings. I guess it was really after the sausage though so something to bare in mind for future travellers! I think I did feel a slight upper hand though, it left my bold sweets-couldnt get the wrappers off ha ha ha Mr Fox ha ha

--

Bob



Tarjei

Posted: Tue, Jul 9, 2013, 20:55

Nice video, Bob, it looks like you've got a flair for the dramatic.

And yes, the animals on Corsica has taken over the role as bandits :).

Tarjei



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 3:47

Hello Bob,
I began my journey from Conca on the 4th,June this year.....crossed over the breche Capitellu area down to Manganu on the 13th....and through the cirque on the 16th. So maybe we passed each other around col de Viergo around the 14th or so?
Not many folks around in the cirque.....there didn't seem to anyone else at all when you were there? when I passed through on the 16th, there was a couple of guided groups ahead of me and a couple coming down from the Ascu side towards the almost buried ladder and later three faster travelling light folks who caught up with me close to the exit.
I guess that most folks, as when I reached there, were going round to Calasima by mini-bus or the other way round,as I witnessed, from Vallone/Calasima to Ascu.
The head mounted? camera certaintly adds to the drama....hope it doesn't put too many folks off going in there! :-)
Were these 'spikes' that you had on something like the Microspikes type things which I have seem folks around here using on icy paths in winter?
We travelled from N-S in 2007 in the middle of June and there was nothing more than a couple of snow patches on the entire route so I guess that this year was a bit different.
At Manganu there were several folks in tents who had things taken by the renard on the night when I camped there. At Col de Viergo, where there are apparently regular visits from the fox, there were two dogs staying at the camp site when I was there.....so no appearance from mr. fox.

--

Gaffr



Joanna

Posted: Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 5:43

Well, the weather and snow this year were (are?) extraordinary. We hiked the Northern part in about 2008, early June, and there were only snow patches left, and no snow in the Cirque. So during a normal year one would not need crampons in June...



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 7:57

Bob,

I like your video although it might show the Cirque as a little scary and confusing for folks who haven't done it yet.
PS
Where did the fox accident happen? Was it Manganu maybe?

Thanks
--Michele



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 16:20

Bob

Great video. I love the choice of movie sound tracks. They certainly added to the drama. I love the improvised ice stick too. You'd have had a lot more problems crossing the Cirque without it.

I can see why the Cirque was closed now!

The head cam gave it a completely different perspective. I just hope it doesn't scare some of the less experienced trekkers from trying it. In the dry and without snow it's easy enough.

--

Alan



Joanna

Posted: Wed, Jul 10, 2013, 19:48

Bob, could you make the video available on tablets as well? My PC has just burned (!!!) and I'm left with my ipad, but when i click on the link, youtube informs me that the video is "not available on this platform":-(



bob29

Posted: Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 7:06

Hi Gaffr,
I got there on Sunday 9th but got the bus on 10th (and fuel) so didnt start from Calenzana until 11th so we probably passed each other on 15th I think maybe around Auberge U Vallone. There were a couple I think who did the Cirque but most got the bus, I didnt even see a ladder! Perhaps I went up another way.
I had the camera strapped to my rucksack on my chest but I guess on the head too it would give agood idea of what you see. I didnt think about putting people off, I hope not it was certainly the most exciting bit. Yes the strap ons were just something I took 'in case', I actually never thought I would use them but they did come in handy. The snow was quite soft wasnt it, I guess I learnt a little more about accurate foot placement and not to rush things. Yes a dog on patrol would cure the fox problem wouldnt it;o)

--

Bob



bob29

Posted: Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 7:08

Yeah I certainly learnt a lot from that experience Joanna;o) I dont know where you are from but in England our winter seemed to last for ages so perhaps I should have thought it may be similar in other parts of Europe...

--

Bob



bob29

Posted: Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 7:11

Hi Michele, yes it was Manganu! I guess this is a recurring theme... Thinking about it the guardian did have a dog but perhaps it was kept inside at night. I love wildlife but I also love my porridge in the morning;o)

--

Bob



bob29

Posted: Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 7:24

Hi Alan,
Yes you are right I would have been lost without the stick, it would have been really dangerous. It did rescue me, and I cursed myself for rushing things with my feet!
Yeah I wouldn't want it to put people off. I can't imagine the Cirque without snow being much more difficult than the stages before it. I do think this stage is the highlight of the trip however and like I said in my video description, if its important for you to do it like it was for me then at least an awareness of possible conditions is advisable.
There are lots of videos of the cirque in nice conditions which is certainly one of the reasons why I didn't expect any snow there. If I thought there was a possibility of snow I would have been better prepared.
Perhaps I a link to the weather forecast page would be useful in the vid so people can judge for themselves

--

Bob



bob29

Posted: Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 7:28

A friend of mine cant view it on his ipad either Im not sure why Joanna. I think it might be to do with me using other peoples music. Warner brothers have all sorts of copyright protection enabled on their recordings. I cant see any option to enable it on mobile devices it just says "No, this video should not be available on mobile phones and TV"

If anyone knows how to overcome this that would be very helpful!

--

Bob



Joanna

Posted: Thu, Jul 11, 2013, 8:08

as far as i remember, you need to enable the devices when you upload. I'll take a look on my own uploads on YouTube once I'm back home and see how to do it.