Escape Routes on the GR20

hikelite

Posted: Sun, Sep 22, 2013, 22:02

Hey there,

I'm planning my upcoming Vizzavona - Calenazana trip and wonder if there any "escape routes" from the trail (through which I can get to a bus\trains stations for example) in case of bad weather.
Also, are there any stages you'd absolutely advice to avoid in such conditions?

Thanks!



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 6:35

I take it that you do not have some sort of 'guidebook' for the route? The book that I used as reference has most of this information for getting away from the route!

Going North from Vizzavona....Eastwards from L'Onda and from Petra Piana where you could reach the train in the Tattone area.
From Manganu you could get down to Corte for the train.
Col Vergio you could go either way but maybe best (depends where your going home Port is) going down East to the area of Albertacce.
From Berg. Vallone down to Albertacce.
Haut Ascu down to the Train at Ponte Leccia.
Carozzu West and down to Auberge Bonifatu.
Ortu di u Piobbu you could get down to Bonifatu on a good path.

The real problem would be getting into 'bad weather' in between any of these stages?

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 8:26

Hikelite,

Probably the only safe route of the northern section is between Manganu and Castel de Verghio. The corsican rugged terrain can be very dangerous with rain or other negative weather conditions. Especially those granite sections: The cirque de la solitude but also the Spasimata slabs are the 2 most notable ones.

--Michele



hikelite

Posted: Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 14:00

Thanks for the answers Gaffr and Michele.
As I understand, i shouldn't continue ahead in case rain is approaching?

If you have recommendation for a guidebook - Let me know.

Gaffr - Those routes you suggested are quality ones (maybe signed?)

Thanks again!



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, Sep 23, 2013, 18:48

Hello,

The book that I used was the Cicerone guide to GR20...Paddy Dillon.
Routes signed or signposted with also some paint splashes.
The ones either from Petra Piana or from l'Onda will have the same red/white splashes as for the GR20 since the lower or standard route heads to Begeries Tolla or at least the bridge close by from both directions....never had to go further down from here but generally you are looking for yellow and on the other Randonnee routes on the island look for Orange splashes.
To get off from near Manganu there is the Breche de Capitellu now correctly signposted....the guidebook Breche de Capitellu should now read Bocca alle Porte...and another at Bocca a Soglia anyway both will take you to the Hut marked up on guide and Map? You can reach Berg. de Grotelle/Restonia valley/Corte using either of these to leave the GR20. Just after Manganu there is Berg.de Vaccaghja where you can get down to Sega refuge and the Tavignano gorge/Corte. My own aquaintance with Sega was from Corte/Tavignano/Sega/Albertacce/Col de Vergio.
Never been down from Vallone to Albertacce but there is a trail...folks were using this in the summer to reach Calasima.
From Haut Ascu to Ponte Leccia you can hitch a lift down the road maybe.
To reach Bonifatu from either Carozzu or from Piobbu you are on good Mule type tracks.
Forgot Col de Vergio.....road in both directions here....East or West.

--

Gaffr



cpt_pickard

Posted: Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 7:29

"As I understand, i shouldn't continue ahead in case rain is approaching?"

Not really. As Michele said, the only really really safe stage is Manganu - Castel de Verghio. This one can be probably done in a considerably bad weather without a serious risk. Even here, there are places I would avoid if there was a lightning storm in the vicinity, both open plains and exposed ridges.

Bad weather is always a matter of personal experience, stamina and determination. Usually, bad weather does not make the terrain impossible to pass but it can make your progress soooo much slower. Spasimata slabs, probably the Cirque and maybe some other parts can be treacherous when wet but generally my opinion is that just rain is no reason to stop. Just plan 2 hrs extra if you have rain + a difficult part ahead.
For example we did Vizzavona - Onda via Mt. d'Oru in fog, rain, cold and snow and I would not say it was "dangerous". We were just pissed :)

The main weather related problem I see is a lightning. The route is very exposed in some parts and a storm can be really dangerous.

Apart from that, you can always make an emergency bivouac somewhere, adds to the adventure :)

Cheers

Dan



hikelite

Posted: Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 8:40

Gaffr - I don't know what I'd do without your help, thanks! if you have any other info about those routes let me know. I'll rewrite them into maps. btw - About Verghio, can I reach Evisa \ Albertacce easily from there?

cpt_pickart - your info is much appreciated and helpful. As for rain, do you estimate it's levels and strength on October high and strong?



cpt_pickard

Posted: Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 9:46

October - no precise idea. Winter is coming, though. The climatic charts for Corsica suggest that October is the second rainiest month of the year. The temperatures in the mountains may be pretty low, too, so if I were to make a bet, I'd say cold, sometimes freezing, fog, heavy rains, occasional snow.

Nice sunny days are not completely impossible, the chart says. Nevertheless, I would not expect continuous good weather but rather bits and pieces here and there.

I would pack heavy in this time period, including full GoreTex, warm layers, warmer sleeping bag and an own tent for a possible emergency bivouac, own stove, full food. The GR 20 is not easy as it is, in a bad weather it may be a heavy fight.

Dan



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, Sep 24, 2013, 20:00

Hello,
From Col de Vergio both Evisa or Albertacce can be reached by road....west to Evisa and East to Albertacce.
Both can also be reached by travelling along the Mare a Mare Nord. Maybe 4 hours on foot with a big pack. Have only experienced going up to the pass from Albertacce and down to Evisa. Have also reached Evisa by travelling along the Mare e Monti N.
Basically don't forget the altenatives to the GR20 if the weather is not so good! It is possible to mix and match according to what's happening.

Both are downhill if you are at the top of the pass in Vergio.:-)

--

Gaffr



hikelite

Posted: Wed, Sep 25, 2013, 15:51

Dand and Gaffr - thanks, the information is really helpful. going to use every part of it.



cpt_pickard

Posted: Thu, Sep 26, 2013, 12:39

Let us know how it went. Being a winter type of person myself, I am always interested in how these sunny summer places look when the weather is not so great anymore.

Frankly speaking, I did not enjoy the rain we got in June but I absolutely loved the snow.

Cheers

Dan



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, Sep 26, 2013, 12:53

Well Dan, if you love the snow (like I do) you might appreciate the winter pictures of sections of the trail shot by the park rangers. You can find them on the official blog page (http://randoblogpnrc.blogspot.it) if you dig into the archives. They have been taken mostly on sunny days and the places are gorgeous and inspiring.

--Michele



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Sep 26, 2013, 13:42

Hello Michele,
I must have got it just about right in June....those images in the cirque were taken on the same day that I travelled through from Vallone to Haut Ascu.

--

Gaffr