Newbe

Jennifermorgan

Posted: Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 19:46

Hi everyone just joined, after a confusing registration my fault can't find my way around a website what hope do I have of finding my way around the gr20 !!! Anyway that's the intention nx year for us think by reading all the blogs we seriously need to do some training. Firstly was really saddened to read about the dreadful accident on the cirque du solitude it was one of the first things we read after we had decided to give it a go sincere condolences to all the families involved. Ok lots and lots of question ,firstly though best time of the year to do it in 2) does it get crowded (it's a big area ! ) 3) altitude sickness is this a problem for some I know it's normally 3 thousand or more was just wondering ...think that's enough to be going on with at the moment thanks for any replies
Jen

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J Morgan



dunit

Posted: Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 21:13

If you can go outside of the main school holidays, then do so. It will get very crowded in July, August and the early part of September. If you intend on staying in the refuges then you will need to book these in advance. This can be done early next season once the refuges are open after the winter (no fixed date, it depends on the weather but quite likely to be early May). If you're camping and carrying your own tent then you don't need to book ahead, just turn up early and secure your spot amongst the stones.

There will be snow on the trail in May and quite likely in early June. It can start to get really hot from June onwards - almost to unbearable in July and August.

I would suggest that you spend some time scrolling through this forum it really is full of fantastic information and I'm sure that you'll find most of the answers to your questions here.

Don't think you'll need to worry about altitude sickness at all. Mont Cintu, the highest point on Corse is (only) a shade over 2700m and as you say, it would be unusual for anyone to be bothered beneath 3000m or so.

The regular contributors on here are very knowledgeable about the GR20 and certainly the information contained here had a very positive impact on my own GR20 experience. Questions are always welcome, but please do try and read through as much of the given information as you can too!

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Dunit



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 21:18

Welcome Jen to the forum. I guess you have a lot to read (but you've got time) :)

1. June thru September
2. Yes, it gets VERY crowded
3. No altitude sickness. Usually you would start to feel altitude sickness around 3600 mt: in Corsica we never exceed 2700 (Mt. Cinto).

For a first approach you may want to read my blog: www.gr20corsica.wordpress.com/about
Of course a good guidebook is very helpful also. Here is one: GR20 Corsica – Complete guide to the high level route – Cicerone Press (by Paddy Dillon).

Best luck with your GR20

--Michele



Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Wed, Jul 15, 2015, 8:37

About altitue sickness - I've just finished GR20 second time, and second year in a row after crossing Cirque and Monte Cinto I had a severe headaches during the night at Tighjettu and Valone (doubt it was dehydration), so I think it is somewhat personal that you are getting used to. No issues whatsoever later on.



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, Jul 15, 2015, 8:58

Hello L of Spain,
I think that I am reading through this that in 2014 that you crossed from Ascu to Vallone via the Cirque and in 2015, since the Cirque is now closed, that you went Via the Cintu route to reach Tighjettu?
What are your thoughts regarding the recently 'marked up' route over/near to Cintu?

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Gaffr



Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Wed, Jul 15, 2015, 9:20

Hey Gaffr,

You are right - I did Cirque in 2014, and Monte Cinto this year. The route is very well marked, with two yellow lines, so I had no issues whatsoever on finding a trail, although I went down from Lac d'Argento to Tighjettu alone.

Going up to Monte Cinto was a bit more tricky, as from the crest you have to first follow square grey markings, which change to red dots after a few hundred meters, and the start of that for me was not that obvious, but I incorporated onto the trail a bit later and was able to follow the red dots without any issues, once again.

All in all, a physically demanding, long, but beautiful route, managed to do it in 9:15 (as per https://www.endomondo.com/workouts/558951894/21378079) until Valone with heavy backpack.

Personally for me Cirque was more visually impressive and I think it had more scrambling parts which I really loved.

Cheers.



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, Jul 15, 2015, 16:16

Hello L of Spain,
When I was on Cintu in 2008 I was aware that in low cloud conditions that it would perhaps be possible to stray onto the route, marked up, coming up the South side of the mountain from refuge de l'Erco.

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Gaffr



Jennifermorgan

Posted: Wed, Jul 15, 2015, 21:02

Hiya can you camp outside the alberguies /refuges ...and then eat inside of them ,or would you have to bring your own food
Much appreciated any answers

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J Morgan



rosbif_rebuffat

Posted: Wed, Jul 15, 2015, 23:10

Yes you can, according to the Cicerone guide. I am camping all the way this september, or thats the plan. I would recommend getting that guidebook it really helped me get my head around the planning.

So it took a tough 9.5 hours from Haut d'Asco to Vallone, thanks for that Lawrence the guidebook still assumes I am going though the cirque de solitude



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Jul 16, 2015, 6:35

Hello,
I find that we mix and match with staying with our tent at a refuge camping and then when getting under way with sometimes a breakfast at a bergerie.
Coming from the North, for example, after an overnight camp at Refuge Tighjettu we had breakfast at bergeries Vallone or after a camp at col de Vergio we had a bit of lunch at de Vaccaghja. During a wet spell we decided to camp at Bocca di Verdi rather than travelling another 600mtrs. upwards to Prati which can be a windswept place in poor weather.
When coming up from the south I stayed overnight at Paliri refuge then had breakfast at a Bavella in a restaurant there before heading up to the Towers and onto Asinao. Another option is after a visit to the top of Monte Alcudina I came back to the Asinao col and went down to camp at Bergerie di Croci which was a much quieter place to stay rather that the melee at some of the refuges.
There are many options available and these have increased since our first visit.
Spare a thought for the guidebook writers when a disaster, which happened recently, has caused an alternative route to be set up.....only the next guidebook revision will reflect this! The GR 20 Cicerone was updated only around a year ago....and is now slightly out of date.
Food can be purchased at most of the overnight stopping places and at others...plenty on offer nowadays.

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Gaffr



Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Thu, Jul 16, 2015, 7:32

Totally agree with Gaffr - plenty of options on the way. BTW, would highly recommend both omelet and lazanya in L'Onda, they do it with brocciu, and then once again omelet with brocciu in the restaurant of the Gite in Bavella (says family restaurant plus something on the title) - was able to continue from Bavella to Conca after eating that one ;D



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Jul 16, 2015, 9:05

Gite/restaurant at Bavella ....above the entrance..La Grimaldi Depuis 1936.
A long established business in times before the great unwashed travelled this way on the GR20.
But also of think of the, now in ruins, very old hotel in Vizzavona (Hotel for English? Grand Hotel de la Foret) from Victorian times even before the time of the railway. Was it to get to cooler air or to bathe in the waters (cascade des Anglais) that attracted the well healed to this area?

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Gaffr



Jennifermorgan

Posted: Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 10:52

Hiya iv looked through the site there seems to be very different opinions on the training we will need to do has anyone on here done the camino France St Jean de pied to Santiago compostella ? Just for us to get an idea of the scale of it if someone has then in compareson to it ..totally understand that they are very different walks but it will give us an idea on what we need to do before we tackle it we only climbed at the most 1600 /1800 mtrs
Thanks in advance for any advice
Jen

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J Morgan



Olly

Posted: Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 11:32

Hi

My wife and I completed the Northern section a couple of weeks ago; we have a combined age of 120 something. We did some training carrying loaded packs on five to ten mile walks in our local hills but not too much. My advice would be to keep your pack weight to the absolute minimum and don't treat the route as a race. We made an early start every day and didn't worry about being overtaken on the trail. We would often to arrive at a refuge not that much later than the quicker people only to see younger folk than us nursing blistered feet and knee and ankle problems.
We ate in the refuges most evenings with the exception of Ascu and Verghio and only regretted doing so at Carrozzu where the food was truly dreadful.

Olly



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 12:02

Hello,
Both my wife and daughter have cycled on the Camino but the difference would be that most of the GR20 wouldn't be done on a bike.
I take it that when you say 1800 mtrs. alt rather than walking upwards for 1800 mtrs. in a day?
Even the re-arranged stage four will be a bit less than this...must be getting on for around 1600 mtrs of height gain?
As Olly has said, I belong to the next generation up from his, that getting out with a filled rucksack is what you need to do. I was camping on all the trips made to Corse so keeping a steady, non rushed, pace was the best approach. We also kept to the stages all fifteen to allow for rest each day.
Olly, Carozzu has improved since we first went in 2007 but we always cooked our own food there and at many of the other refuges....also how did you find the new stage four over Cintu?

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Gaffr



rosbif_rebuffat

Posted: Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 13:17

Hello All, further to Gaffr's question, I'm sure I read somewhere that there is a basic hut on top/near the top of Monte Cintu ?

Has anyone ever spent the night up there ?

It's a nice idea but obviously risky if one isn't 100% sure of the weather for that night, I would hate to get caught in a thunderstorm up there.
Although I do this all the time in Wales, Scotland and the Pennines I am able to check the forecast first, something I wouldnt be able to do on the GR20.



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 16:21

Hello Gaston,
I did not find any basic shelter on Cintu and wasn't looking for one maybe you are confusing this basic shelter with the one to be found on Monte Ritondu perhaps?

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Gaffr



Jennifermorgan

Posted: Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 17:25

Hi Olly our hope is to do the whole of the gr20 on the full 15 stages we walked the camino of 500 miles following the stages we neither got any blisters at all what I'm after is the difference between them both is it for argument sake 100% harder or if you done the camino then we should be ok with the gr20 but looking at some of the comments the gr 20"seems very much harder than the camino just dying to get a picture of it all ...we are however very excited about doing it
Jen

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J Morgan



Olly

Posted: Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 20:33

Hi,

To answer Gaffr about the new stage four, I cannot comment on the whole stage as we had been advised that it would take 10 hours and assumed that that would be for people that walked faster than we do. For this reason we took the navette to Calisima and then walked to Verghio. However having finished the northern section and decided that after two days the coast was too warm for us!! we went back to Ascu and climbed Cintu. The first half of the new stage four is already suffering from the extra footfall and we found it hard work.
Jen
I would suggest that the main difference between almost any walk and the GR20 is that the GR has no path. It is a way-marked route over rubble, scree, boulders and scrub; but it does lead you through some of the most stunning scenery on the planet.

Olly



Jennifermorgan

Posted: Fri, Jul 17, 2015, 20:51

Thank you Olly for your your advice and information much appreciated
Happy trekking to you
Jen

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J Morgan



Jennifermorgan

Posted: Sat, Jul 18, 2015, 20:45

Hiya , how much n advance do you need to book the hostels ,refuges 1/2/3 months example
Thanks
Jen

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J Morgan



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, Jul 19, 2015, 7:00

Hello,
I don't know. I have never booked any accommodation on the island but of course I have the tent and camping kit in reserve. If we needed to stay in a hostel and there was no bed space then the next option was to rent a room in the village for the night.
Both the French Randonnee guide and the Cicernone guides have the phone numbers of all the Gites/refuges on the routes. Maybe they could even be on line nowadays?

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Gaffr



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, Jul 19, 2015, 7:21

Hello,
Apologies. I was mixing up two separate enquiries. Yours is, I see, now obviously for the GR20.
For the GR20 you have to go onto the PNRC website to book accommodation at the refuges.
If you look around the site you will find many requests regarding this and links to the site etc.
I can't directly help here since when on the GR I have always taken the tent and camped at the refuge site.
Of course there are other options besides the refuges at some locations.
At Haut Ascu, at Vallone, at Col di Vergio, at Vizzavona and at Col de Verde, at Bergeries Crocu for example that are independent of the Parks system.

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Gaffr