Stage 4: The Variant to the Cirque almost ready

Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, Jun 18, 2015, 18:41

These are the highlights loosely translated from the park blog - 18 June 2015 update:

1. The variant for the Pointe des Ebulis is waymarked with 2 yellow flashes.
2. The chains on the technical part will be placed the next week
3. A static rope is available on one of the sensitive parts and will be replaced shortly.
4. The stage is estimated to require (roughly) 8-10 hours walk, 1200 m. of positive ascent and 7 km in distance
5. Beautiful but demanding route with technical sections and a passage above 2600m.
6. A favorable weather forecast is mandatory.



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Jun 18, 2015, 20:20

Hello Michele,
It would appear after looking at the images on the Randoblog that the section with rope is on the slabby area not far above the bridge crossing the stream. Maybe just 30 minutes+ or so from the start in the Ascu car-park.
I can recall that section....possible damp/wet patches of rock there.

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, Jun 18, 2015, 22:48

Thanks Roger, I was actually wondering where that section was: Tighjettu side or Asco side. So it is Asco then.

Michele



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 6:05

On my trip to Cintu the scrambling parts were all on the 'slabby areas' as shown on the image I sent which illustrates the short rock sections above the bridge over the stream. Thereafter to reach the small lac there was a good path. Above this it steepened a bit in two sections, at the time I went, a snowfield but now I would have think that the snow will have gone. From here to the summit my memories are of very large but stable blocks of rock.
See the image of the gentleman, in the randoblog image, with the big dog surveying the route....he had trainers on his feet. But I think that I would want boots on especially carrying a heavy sack.
Now of course I don't know exactly what the terrain is between Ebulis and Tighjettu but the 'two Belgians' did not give and hint of very difficult ground! Obviously care needed when descending with a big rucksack on one's back. I'm sure that we will get some reports on all this fairly soon.

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Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 6:31

Yes, and I'd like to see more pictures of the descent towards Tighjettu.



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 7:00

Hello Michele,
Maybe the Randoblog folks will have some images soon....do you think that it will different PNRC folks operating from the Tighjettu side?
I would image that at this moment there will be walkers making their way using this route? weather permitting of course. It looks as if, at the Ascu end, that the information boards are in place.

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 7:41

From what I read there will be different markers who will work their way up from Tighjettu. But according to the Randoblog, at least the waymarking should be complete. Next week they'll place the chains and that's it.
I'm really looking forward to seeing pictures and videos of this route.

Michele



richc1981

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 7:55

Sounds like the chains might not be in place by the time we get there (Tuesday)... It would be good to get an idea if this is passable without the chains and how 'technical' the descent is. Fitness, weather and care obviously essential. Perhaps if the weather is good we will trek up to the ridge with and early start and take a good look then decide if we want to head down or back to Asco for the 1430 navette....



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 8:01

Richc1981,

This new route has always existed and people would walk it with caution. The chains are there to further protect some delicate and potentially slippery parts. I personally don't think those parts are impassable without them.



richc1981

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 8:47

Thanks Michele appreciate your response. It is good to get an opinion from someone who has been there and seen it. We will assess the situation when we get there, and either way I am sure it will be a memorable adventure!

Thanks again, Richard



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 8:57

Hello 1981,
Well I am 1942:-). When I went to Cintu on my own I was in my late sixties in 2008. I found the scrambling bits no more of a problem than what you come across on the first three stages of the route.
It is all about 'on the day'. Although it was cloudy but clearing as the day went by I did not have rainfall to hinder progress.
That's a good point that you make....treat Cintu as a separate day trip and then return to Ascu and continue the route using the navette.
You will find that the GR20 is full of options.:-)

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, Jun 19, 2015, 10:53

Richard,

I also want to add you won't be alone on the way. I'm sure there will be lots of people on the trail (I don't think EVERYBODY will want to take the shuttlebus!!!) So having someone ahead will be kind of reassuring.

--Michele



Gaffr

Posted: Sat, Jun 20, 2015, 7:04

Hello,
Had a look into Randoblog for 20th,June...It appears in the images shown that walkers are now moving along the route. Looks like lots of rope handrails through the Lower slabs.

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Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Sat, Jun 20, 2015, 7:17

Thanks for the heads up about the pics. The route is awesome, I'd venture to say even more interesting than the Cirque. In some pics the danger of passing with bad weather or when the rocks are wet is clearly evident. I hope it will be a warning to everybody.
Gosh I wish I were there .....

--Michele



Trurl

Posted: Sun, Jun 21, 2015, 21:58

I'd be curious about reports on the new variante. I am planning on returning in September. I doubt that Cirque will be reopened by then, but I'd rather NOT take the navette (like last year).

--

--Jacek



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, Jun 22, 2015, 6:55

Hello Michele,
'gosh I wish I were there'
You guys in Italy are well placed for Corsican visits? You could probably get from, is it Livorno, for even a week-end, well maybe long week-end visit to Corse? :-)
Not like we from the Northern limits when it takes us around three days to get to Calinzana. :-)

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Mon, Jun 22, 2015, 7:06

Well, actually I live 1000 kms from Livorno and getting there is not so simple :)



Backstroke

Posted: Mon, Jul 4, 2016, 23:44

Hello, I just completed south-north June 7-21.
Most of us took off from Tighjettu towards Asco very early because of storm warnings. At the top the weather was holding well enough so three of us dropped our packs and did Cinto, 2 hours round-trip. Halfway going down on the Asco side the rain started and I began to seriously regret my Cinto diversion. Frankly, it was brutal coming down the hill. The "trail" turned into rivers, and there are multiple slabs that when wet would have been impassable if not for the multiple chains. The Tighjettu side is mostly loose rock and do-able, but the Asco side is just too steep and slippery. In bad weather I would now echo the advice to stay away.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 5:37

Thank you Backstroke for your precious feedback. I hope people will seriously reconsider doing the traverse with bad weather warnings.
--Michele



GRRR 20

Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 6:31

I have walked it in good weather. I know I wouldn't enjoy it in rain. I wouldn't do it at all if there was a storm.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 14:32

Hey Backstroke I have a question regarding this stage.
In the light of your recent experience (forget the rain for a minute), would you consider climbing up from Asco towards Bocca Crucetta safer than going down (given the steep inclination and the slabs of rock)?

Thanks



GRRR 20

Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 16:21

I have climbed from both sides and both are hard work. If I had to choose then I'd climb from Asco. Adding Monte Cinto last time when I climbed from Vallone was really hard work and maybe that made the descent to Asco seem harder too.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 16:39

Thanks GRRR20. But I was specifically asking about safety issues: if those slippery slopes/slabs are better negotiated on your way up rather than down.
In general there is more control climbing up so I also would go in the Asco-Tighjettu direction rather than the opposite way. I guess you concur on this one.

--Michele



Backstroke

Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 18:37

Definitely I would prefer going up on the slippery stuff. In all the chain situations you end up turning around anyway. So yes, up from Asco.
I personally never mind going down on the loose rock sides, throwing my heel into it and sliding. Some people hate it.
I found the rock composition to be grittier in the south. I could walk straight up very steep rocks in my trail runners. Some in boots could not do that, the rubber on their boots was not as sticky.



GRRR 20

Posted: Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 19:16

Whichever way you go, the highest part is rocky, and the steep slopes going up and coming down are loose scree on their higher parts and bare rock further down, with rugged valley paths at the start and finish. There's not much to choose between going one way or the other, but if I had to choose I'd climb from Asco. The only chains are on the Asco side of the mountain, but there are a couple of places on the Tighjettu side of the mountain that would be safer with chains.



manac

Posted: Thu, Jul 7, 2016, 6:19

https://www.flickr.com/gp/manac/2V3736
Recent crossing S-N to get an idea.

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MnM