South to North vs North to South


Posted: Mon, May 22, 2017, 0:49

I would like to start GR 20 in two-three weeks. Which way is it better to walk in this time of year? I am considering mainly the snow conditions ( I dont wanna carry the crampons, should I?) and as I am a solo walker, where which way is it easier to meet some people?



Posted: Mon, May 22, 2017, 1:16

From what I have read you should be fine eiter way. Also, from what I have read, most people do it north to south. I myself am starting on 1 June and am waling south to north, for a few reasons:
- I have read that this allows you to adjust as the steeper sections are in the north
- I have read that the more picturesque sections are in the north and therefore I am saving the best for last
- I want to walk with the sun on my back as this will help charge using a solar panel.



Posted: Mon, May 22, 2017, 5:44

I have walked the route both ways. The scenery looks better going S-N because you're not squinting into the sun all the time. It's not as tough, going from Conca to Paliri, as it is going from Calinzana to Piobbu on the first day. It's quieter, because most people go N-S so you see them mostly in the middle of the day.

If you are the sort of person who just wants to do the trek on your own, then S-N is the way to go. When you go N-S, you will end up meeting the same people most days, which is fine if you are looking for someone to walk with, and you'll be with the same people pretty much all of the time. Walking S-N, it can be a bit odd turning up at refuges where most people seem to know each other, but no-one knows you. On the other hand, there are more people going S-N than there used to be.

Snow won't be much of an issue a couple of weeks from now.


Posted: Mon, May 22, 2017, 7:39

Thanks for the answers. S-N seems to be the most reasonable way to go. Some suggestions about the cash I should take with me? I will sleep in the tent and I will buy one meal a day in the refugios... What prices should I expect?

About charging my camera and phone, is it possible to charge them in some refugios or should I carry on a a solar panel?


Posted: Mon, May 22, 2017, 9:00

I have no idea what sort of money you expect to spend. If you want to buy meals or supplies at the refuges, then it is always more expensive than getting stuff in shops, or in restaurants in towns. The best plan is to take a lot more cash then you think you'll need. If you find you run out of cash, it could cost you a minimum of ONE DAY to go off-route and get some more. Depending on where you are, it might cost TWO DAYS! It's just not worth it, so take plenty. The only other way you can get cash, without leaving the route, would be to beg at the side of the trail, or rob someone. Come to think of it, those refuges must be stuffed full of cash by October!

Expect to be able to charge things every two or three days. It might be free, or you might have to pay. Even if you don't see any charging points, always ask. I took a small solar unit last time and barely got enough power to get from one charging point to the next. Everyone seems to be loaded with electronics these days, so the refuges are beginning to offer charging points.


Posted: Fri, May 26, 2017, 7:35

If you don't drink a lot, I think on average 40-50 EU a day would be sufficient for staying in a tent and one meal. Of course you need to carry some contingency fund.