Latest news about the Cirque de la Solitude


Posted: Sun, Feb 28, 2016, 22:41

Hi, it has just come to my attention an article written on a Corsican site ( regarding the future of the Cirque de la Solitude.

According to the article this, in short is what is going to happen:

1) At the beginning of the season (2016) the route called "variant" waymarked with double yellow flashes will become THE OFFICIAL route between Asco and Tighjettu and waymarks will be repainted in red and white.

2) The ban to cross the Cirque will be lifted BUT .... all cables, chains, ladder and other safety equipment will be REMOVED. All waymarks will be covered, erased or in a way or another, cancelled.
Hikers will be allowed to cross the Cirque, but that'll happen with their personal equipment and under their complete responsibility.

An article has been published on Corse-matin about it: Here is the link:

and here:



Posted: Mon, Feb 29, 2016, 16:20

It would be difficult to get through the Cirque if they get rid of the paint marks. I have been through a few times, and often stopped to see where the next white and red marker was painted. I didn't always need to hold the chains, but for me the little ladder was essential. If all the chains and the ladder and the paint marks are removed, I know I wouldn't go through the Cirque again, but at least I got to see it in the past. The new route near Monte Cinto is really good, so I don't have a problem with it going that way. I wonder if they will keep the bus service from Haut Asco to Calasima? A lot of trekkers used it last summer, and it must have made a lot of money for the bus company. Some of the trekkers thought it would be too difficult to follow the new high level variant.


Posted: Mon, Feb 29, 2016, 17:50

Well, I don't believe they'll be able to **perfectly** remove the waymarks (i.e. scratch 'em away). Paintmarks will probably be covered in dark paint (like they did with the high level route to Altore). If this is the case for at least a few years the old waymarks will be recognisable. Not sure if the route will be as easy with no chains.

I guess the authorities want to rightfully discourage the majority of hikers who will still want to take their chances, dangerous environment notwithstanding. So by removing chains, ladder and waymarks is a way of saying: we don't endorse this route anymore, you're on your own: bring a rope, harness and gear if you want.

I think the bus service will stay in place. With all the money they're making, why stopping it? Besides it's a good alternative not only for those scary of the new route, but also for those days when the ugly weather will make stage 4 impossible.


Posted: Tue, Mar 1, 2016, 7:38

Re "the bus service from Haut Asco to Calasima?" , I don't yet have any news from the bus company but a local taxi service contacted me a couple of weeks ago with this information about a stand-by vehicle :


Posted: Tue, Mar 1, 2016, 7:46

Thanks Daisychain. I knew the shuttle service is a huge business they can't possibly overlook.


Posted: Tue, Mar 1, 2016, 9:26

I don't think that anyone will have a lesser experience on the GR20 or on the new stage 4.
The stage from Haut Ascu up to Cintu is a pleasant walk up to the high ground. I know nothing of the descent to Tighettu but I am sure that the 'markings' will be secure. Also I went to MC with a light day-pack. Perhaps some good training with loaded pack carrying before you go? However the first three stages from Calinzana-Haut Ascu, all fairly tough stages, will let you know a great deal about your fitness level?

When we first travelled on the route, from the North, in very warm dry conditions it all seemed a delight to descend and re-ascend from the cirque. A few years later when coming from the South in thawing conditions from a lingering snowpack at a similar time in June the descent from Bocca Minuta was different from that of the first visit when we ascended. The debris below the col, above where the chains began, had increased probably owing to the amount of traffic on the route wearing away the binding vegetation? The experience was different.




Posted: Tue, Mar 1, 2016, 23:21

I think that the new route will be interesting. I had always thought that if I did the GR 20 again I would try to go to Monte Cinto.


Posted: Sat, Mar 5, 2016, 13:49


Posted: Sun, Mar 6, 2016, 11:40

It's such a shame they arent re-opening the cirque officially, but if it saves lives then it's understandable.

I did the new stage 4 from Asco to Tighjettu last year in damp conditions, and for me it was the hardest stage, the descent to Tighjettu in particular was slippery, but it was a great day. If you have the energy I would recommend descending 45 minutes past Tighjettu to the Bergerie where the food is better (at a price)

I can't wait to do this again this summer


Posted: Wed, Oct 26, 2016, 14:08