What are the high level variants like?

grcotedazur20

Posted: Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 23:23

Hello. I'm going to Corsica in September. I want to do the GR 20 south to north. I've done that before in 12 days. This time I'm wondering about the high level variants. Do you think they're worth doing? I think I read that I won't see the Cascades des Anglais if I take the variant.

From looking in the French topoguide, these are the ones that I see: Aiguilles de Bavedda, Monte Rinosu (between Bocca di Verdi and Capanelle), Monte d'Oru (between Vizzavona and Onda). And I would like to go up Monte Cinto. Are these all marked well? By two yellow stripes? How is it finding the way up to Monte Cinto? In this old version of the topoguide it seems like it's an out and back. But I understand that maybe this has changed.

I was thinking of doubling every stage and doing it in six to seven days. I'm not going to bring any pot or stove. I plan to buy bread, canned tuna in tomato sauce, cheese, and sausage. I will bring a tent and sleeping bag. Do you have any advice? Thanks.



Gaffr

Posted: Mon, Jul 25, 2016, 5:42

Hello, I thought that most of these questions had been covered in replies to a previous enquiry....fitting these variants into 'fast v slow etc.'
Additionally the new route for the stage Tighjettu to Ascu is now well marked as the 'new route' with additional markings to reach Cintu. Bavella towers, Monte Renosa from the South...best done on a good day for weather. The Crete between l'Onda and P. Piana is much more interesting than going down to bergeries Tolla.
Your problem is that doing the journey 'fast with doubling up etc.' you just may not have the time to fit some of these variants in. In all mountain areas you have to make decisions regarding the weather conditions.

--

Gaffr



grcotedazur20

Posted: Mon, Jul 25, 2016, 5:56

Thanks. I'll look back at the last thread that I made.



GRRR 20

Posted: Mon, Jul 25, 2016, 8:36

All the high level variants are worth doing, but not all of them will save you time. In any case it depends on the weather. As for Monte Cinto, it's now so close to the route that many walkers divert to climb it. I don't think the Topoguide is up to date, following route changes made only last year, and confirmed only this year. It seems that only the Cicerone guide is up to date this year. If you are planning a rapid traverse then you will need all the information to be up to date.



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 6:20

Hello grcotedazure20,
Recently from this site I was able to download the IGN 1:25,000 (linear) maps for each stage of the GR20 ....
9 for GR20 north and 6 for GR20 south.
I do see on the Ascu to Tighettu map that the route is marked as a Variant....although this is now the route.

--

Gaffr



Tarjei

Posted: Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 11:48

When I hiked the GR20, most of the high-level routes looked more interesting than the official GR20 route. So, with the exception of the official route between Petra Piana and Onda, I did the high-level routes. As for the high-level route over Monte d'Oro, I did both routes.

I decided to go down to the Bergeries de Tolla and the official route to Onda, since I began the day by climbing Monte Ritondu and by doing so already had a great view of the mountains around. I enjoyed the walk on the official stage on this one though, it was a pleasant walk and I got to swim in the river next to the trail. The high-level route may be more scenic, though it is shorter and as I said, I had already seen most of the views I believe I would see.

You will not see the Cascades d'Anglais if you do the high-level route, but if you already have done the GR20 and the official route, then you already know what it looks like. So, why don't climb Monte d'Oro. If it is nice weather, the climb up is definitely worth the time.

Why not the route over Monte Renosu and the pozzines afterwards is the main route, is puzzling me. It is higher up and far more scenic than the official route I believe. Some others I walked with said that the official walk was nice, but not very special. I would definitely choose this one over the official. The markings were not very good though when I hiked this section, but in good weather it is no problem. In very bad weather, this route will be more difficult to follow (if the waymarking hasn't improved since I walked there).

I think the same goes for the Auiguilles de Bavella section between Asinau and Village de Bavella. The official route goes down in the forest, probably pleasant, but the high-level goes through an interesting landscape (there is one part requiring scrambling with the use of a chain, so in bad weather be more cautious).

The summit of Monte Cinto is now closer to the trail after the reroute following last year's accident. It is well marked. You would still need to go back to the trail after summiting.

In summary, they are well worth the visit. Regarding time, all of the high-level variants will take longer to walk, with the exception of the variant between Petra Piana and Onda.

Tarjei



Turnertactics
moderator

Posted: Tue, Jul 26, 2016, 16:14

I definitely recommend the Aiguilles de Bavella and Monte Renosu, the former for the views and some hands-on scrambling, the latter, mostly, to look at the pozzines. Monte d'Oro was pretty good as well. If you've already done the low level variants, these might give you some new views. If you have time go up Monte Ritondu from the Petra Piana. It's about 3 hours to the summit and back but its by far the best summit on the Corsican chain.

--

Alan



grcotedazur20

Posted: Wed, Jul 27, 2016, 7:30

I will think about Monte Ritondu. It sounds interesting. It does seem a little out of the way to go out and back though. But maybe it's worth it. I suppose Monte Cinto is a little out and back too.



grcotedazur20

Posted: Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 1:18

Another question. Does anybody have the total elevation gain when these variants are included? N to S and S to N? Thanks.



GRRR 20

Posted: Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 8:06

There's a summary table containing all the ascents and descents in the new Cicerone guidebook. Check the following Google Books link and scroll down through the pages to find it ---

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=GqCMDAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=...

If that doesn't work, then do your own search on Google Books using the search terms in the link - paddy dillon cicerone gr20 - then pick one of the search returns that lets you look inside the book. You could probably use the "look inside" feature at Amazon to do the same thing. Make sure that you're looking at the 2016 edition or you won't get the information for the new route past Monte Cinto.



Tarjei

Posted: Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 10:45

You don't need the 2016 edition actually, since the updated route description in the guidebook is available for free at the following link: http://www.cicerone.co.uk/filestore/staticPages/GR20-Updates/84-91.pdf.

Tarjei



GRRR 20

Posted: Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:01

But that's just one day and one set of stats. Sounds like grcotedazur20 wants info for the whole trail.



GRRR 20

Posted: Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 11:15

.



Tarjei

Posted: Thu, Jul 28, 2016, 12:53

Well, the other info still exists in the previous version of the guidebook, right?

Tarjei



grcotedazur20

Posted: Thu, Sep 29, 2016, 1:29

Update. I ended up doing just the GR20 Sud in 5 days. My first day was Conca to Asinau with the Aiguilles de Bavella variant. After that I decided that I just wanted to relax and not do the trail fast like I planned. I took the old route variant from Asinau to Usciolu. That was a long day. There were two sources along the way.

The last variant was the Monte Renosu summit. That one was really worth doing. The plateau with the pozzi was very beautiful. I think similar to the Lac de Ninu. I made a mistake on the route. Instead of turning right at the Bergerie and getting onto the ridge, I continued straight up the valley. I was the only person for two hours. There are cairns to follow and old rock circle shelters but I would not want to be alone on that route in bad weather. I got to the end and climbed up the ridge, seeing some friends who had just come down from Renosu. I had to go South to go up Renosu. If I had not seen the others, I may have missed that summit. It would have been interesting to have continued on this ridge to Col de Vizzavona and then to Vizzavona, but it would have been a long day. I went to Campenelle. There was a big rain that night and unlucky me I didn't set up my tarp properly because I waited until after dinner. It was a long night, but I knew I would only have a half day and finish at Vizzavona.

The Pozzi de Bastelica are nice. I think it could even be nice as a day hike from Col de Verde. I would like to come back to do the GR 20 Nord variants. The people that I saw who were going fast I think did not carry their own tents. I think I prefer mine though. I could have done it in four days comfortably if I had continued from Renosu to Vizzavona Edit: by staying up high and meeting back at the trail at Col de Vizzavona. But instead I chose to do the same stages as hiking friends. I forgot what the regular Sud route is like, but I think that the variants are a must do if possible. It seems like a boring route without them.