Snow conditions update as of May 17, 2016

Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 18, 2016, 8:23

On the GR20 South, there is little snow, with some snowfields that can be easily circumvented.

On the GR20 North, 2 sectors remain problematic with snow:
- The ascent to E Ghjarghje Rosse (La Pointe des Éboulis) on the new GR20 trail between Ascu and Tighjettu (north face);
- Bocca a e Porte between Manganu and Pietra Piana
The trail is evident but it is dangerous to cross without crampons! The slopes are **steep** and according to the time you get there, the snow might still be very hard and falling can be fatal.
Crampons are badly needed.

At Bocca a e Porte, traces take you to the winter passage which is further south than the normal passage, and less exposed to the east slope. Follow these traces because the classic passage through Bocca a e Porte is still very snowy and crossing over lakes Capitellu and Melu is exposed.

Original source: http://www.altre-cime.com/2016/05/y-a-til-a-de-neige-gr20/ with some nice pics.

Thanks to Altre-cime for the very useful update!!

--Michele



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, May 18, 2016, 11:29

Hello Michele,
Thanks for the report from altre-cime.
If these images match the date,17th May, then if I was going in from the North early then Crampons would be in my sack. It looks a bit like the conditions in 2013....although a lot of changes to the snow can happen after the sun has been on it for a couple of weeks. :-)
Also for the North side of the slopes up to the col beside Eboulis it would be very useful to the crampons available in the bag.
Always the option to go from the South although on your Blogsite you have had a report from someone doing Conca to Vizzavona in recent times....maybe early in May?

--

Gaffr



GRRR 20

Posted: Wed, May 18, 2016, 11:46

Those are the sort of conditions I would expect in the middle of May. My first trek along the GR20 started in the last week in May. I walked on snow and ice every day between Calenzana and Vizzavona. Most of the time, it was no problem if the sun had been hitting the snow for a couple of hours, because it made the surface break up so that it offered a lot more grip. Problem areas were...

Climbing Monte Cinto as a side trip, there and back from Haut Asco. I was warned at the hotel that there was 500m ascent on deep snow on the north-facing climb to Pointe des Eboulis. They said that if I started late in the morning, the sun would hit the snow before I got there and make it easier to climb. That's exactly what happened, and coming down the snow slope afterwards was brilliant, and much better than all the stones and rock underneath. If it had all been frozen, I wouldn't have touched it, even with an ice axe and crampons.

Bocca a e Porte was different, because the sun hadn't hit the snow and ice because of low cloud. The surface was quite slippery, and I crossed it with a few others. I was the only one with an ice axe. Some didn't even have trekking poles, but those who had two shared with those who had none. The worst thing, even though we couldn't see because of the cloud, was knowing that the ice went straight over a cliff. One slip would have meant death. Looking back, I wouldn't do that again.

One other problem lay off the main route. I climbed Monte d'Oro and came down La Scala. The north-facing gully was stuffed full of ice and the sun didn't hit it at all. I was a very scary descent. Never again!

So - you take your chances at the end of May - and even early June can be tricky.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 18, 2016, 12:21

Always the option to go from the South although on your Blogsite you have had a report from someone doing Conca to Vizzavona in recent times....maybe early in May?

Hi Roger,
If you're referring to this lady (user name: Claudia) who wrote about her experience, I don't think she saw any snow. In fact she wrote
There is almost no snow in the south.
I guess she was referring to the lack of proper trail what must have scared her.

--Michele



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, May 18, 2016, 15:08

I misunderstood Michele. It was not conditions on the trail but that the lady thought that the trail surface would be less rough. An often finding when perhaps comparing the GR20 with other trails?
It is good however to have an early season report from someone making their way on the Southern sector.

--

Gaffr



Michele
moderator

Posted: Wed, May 18, 2016, 15:51

Good indeed! So now we have confirmation that the southern section is free from snow and that the refuge Croci is full of bedbugs :)

--Michele



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, May 18, 2016, 17:48

Well and I am the one who has blown a trumpet for Croci ever since my visit in 2013.
Well then everything there seemed orderly and relatively new with the outer wall of the dining area still being built. Food was good etc. but then I camped so would avoid any small resident bedroom creatures but of course then there probably weren't any bedbugs. Of course the great transporter of these bugs are humans.
It did appear to be well supported with lots walkers staying overnight and it did have a least one organised group staying in the building.

--

Gaffr



Cecily

Posted: Mon, May 23, 2016, 12:01

We are heading to Corsica for a north to south GR20 starting on June 12, is it pretty safe to assume that the snow would not be a problem by then? Thanks!

Cecily

--

Cecily



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, May 23, 2016, 19:07

I have come across snow at this time in June. A lot can happen to the snow in a few days. Starting 12th maybe 16th before you would likely get some soft snow on stage four....the snow might not be much of a problem then.

--

Gaffr



Stippel

Posted: Tue, May 24, 2016, 20:46

Hey,
I leave May 27 to do the gr20 from south to north on a solo trek.
I have read the posts here in connection with the snow on the road and wonder if I need crampons and ice ax.
I do not reserved campe place and wonder if this is necessary.

--

--stippel--



GRRR 20

Posted: Tue, May 24, 2016, 21:05

The PNRC Randoblog was updated earlier today. It said that snow was a problem on three exposed parts of the route - all in the north. It added that crampons were essential and even obligatory. If you take crampons, you should also take an axe. On the other hand, it will take you at least a week to reach the snowy parts, and conditions might be less problematic.

You won't need to reserve camping spaces.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Tue, May 24, 2016, 21:10

Stippel, it's very difficult to give a correct answer to this question. If you get some stable sunny weather you "shouldn't" find any ice (best thing to do is **not** to start too early from PietraPiana because in a (roughly) couple of hours (or less depending on the snow cover and your pace) you should reach the critical area (which should be from Col de Rinoso on) and it would be best if you could get there when the sun is at its peak.

--Michele



Stippel

Posted: Tue, May 24, 2016, 21:15

I'm going to rethink whether it is worthwhile to 1.5 kg extra to carry around for probably not to use.
I follow the weather closely

Thank you for the quick reply

--

--stippel--



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, May 25, 2016, 6:29

Hello,
I recall that you were leaving Conca at the end of May....by the time that you reach Piana you will be around 10 days further into June and another three days or so before you will reach snow-slopes again with the hotter sun the snow surface will have changed.
In 2013, coming form the South, I met a number of folks with crampons strapped to their sacks when I asked where they had used them I found that few had put them on and many had taken the bus from Ascu and walked up to Vallone.
I have old Salewa strap-on crampons (1kg.) that I can use with my Asolu walking boots.

--

Gaffr