My (rather amateurish) video of the Cirque de la solitude showing it is not that tough.


Posted: Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 9:58

Hi all

I know quite a few people are anxious about the cirque de la solutude and whether you need to have good technical climbing skills. The truth is that if you can scramble you can easily do the cirque. The only possible issue is that if you are afraid of heights there are a few parts where you may feel exposed. I made a short video showing some of the steeper bits as well as the easy traverses so that you can see it really isn't that hard.
The lesson is to just keep moving slowly, one step after another.



Posted: Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 22:46

Thanks for posting the video Jonathan.
Some of the people doing the chains seemed .... well .. let's say rather uncomfortable, though .... :)


Posted: Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 17:04

There were some people in our group who had never scrambled or been on high rock like this. Then there were some women in the group going ahead of us who were just absolutely terrified and a bit frozen.
The reason I wanted to post the video is to show that you don't have to be an experienced rock climber to manage the cirque. As long as you don't freeze up from fear and just move slowly and steadily you can do it.


Posted: Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 18:08

Yes fine in dry warm conditions. Not always like this though. All a bit different if the rock is wet or has snow and ice on the surface....and not forgetting the possibility of folks being careless with foot placements and disturbing some of the loose rock in the area. I guess that with more traffic a lot of the vegetation at the top of the exit from the cirque at Bocca Minuta has been eroded. I saw a bit different between 2007 and in 2013.
Nice Video though.




Posted: Thu, Feb 20, 2014, 19:16



It's good to see some content that might reduce some of the fear of this section, which is sometimes hyped-up into something absolutely terrifying.

For an experienced mountaineer, the cirque is probably the best fun of the whole GR20 traverse but for someone not used to scrambling, it can be a worrying prospect.

There really isn't anything to fear. As you say - just keep going (at a pace that suits you).




Posted: Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 3:07

OMG!!!! What have i committed to???????
i have just booked into this walk with a UK company called Exodus....... 15 days - 2 guides....... day pack only........ even soooooo yikes........... better get my training boots on. Heading off on 17th August 2014.
i so appreciate you going to the trouble to show us newbys what is down the track for us.




Posted: Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 7:34

You need to look no further that Michele's two 'Memories of a Trekker' videos which are accessible from this site.
Also many Trip reports from many regulars around here The Norwegian folks and Turner's images....blowing my own horn see 'Fra li Monti June 2013', and many others,for a few images.
Should, I hope, give you a bit of a flavour of the beautiful route. :-)
Am I right in saying that the Exodus folks begin the trek from Col de Bavella and then head Northwards?




Posted: Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 11:13

Hi Juju
Don't be put off. I'm sure you will be fine. You have plenty of time to get fit.

At the risk of promoting my blog (Michele hope it is okay for a link here) I've put up quite a few tips on hiking the GR20 here ( where I talk about how tough it is and how to prepare. It also has some other information such as the recent prices of food at some of the refuges. I also highly recommend Michele's blog on the GR20 as well as his amazing videos.



Posted: Wed, Feb 26, 2014, 7:26

You can take a look at my blog while you're at it, too:

Right now it only has the northern part, but I'm planning to update it soon with the southern part as well.
For those our there who plan to do the TMB as well, there is a brand-new section about this hike on my blog too ;o)