Hiking North to South

Bos_Gol

Posted: Sat, May 27, 2017, 18:48

Hi!
I am planning on hiking the GR20 north to south in September/October.
I was wondering if anyone could answer some questions :)

- how many kilometers do most people hike everyday? how long does it usually take to hike the whole trail?
- Is it possible to filter water along the way? or is it more recommended to buy water? are there many water resources?
- Is it possible to sleep anywhere along the trail or are there designated campsites?
- It is recommended to send food packages to yourself along the way or to buy food?
- Is there cellular reception on along the trail?
- Do you need a permit / to register somewhere in order to hike the trail?

thank you!!

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bgol



rosbif_rebuffat

Posted: Sat, May 27, 2017, 19:43

Hi Bos

- because of the rugged terrain km's isn't a good barometer of the distances, some stages are only 6km long yet can take 5-6 hours often using all 4 limbs. It takes most people 13-15 days to hike the entire trail, plus it's good to factor in a rest day due to the unpredictable mountain weather.
Some extremely fit people can do it in 7-8 days.

- while it is possible to filter water at some places, most people just fill up at the campsites at the beginning/end of each day, so you need a minimum 2 litre capacity water bottle ideally.

- It is both illegal and frowned upon to wild camp, if the park staff find you camping outside a designated campsite they will move you on quickly regardless of the time of day/night. However in the real world people do still wild camp.

- I heard it is possible to send food ahead but I never tried it. Perhaps one of the other folks can help with this. Food is available at the refuges at inflated prices because they have to helicopter/mule it in.

- At some points such as Vizzavona, but for large tracts of it there is no reception.

- no permit required to hike the trail.

Good luck, it is a fantastic trail. I am going back again for 2nd time next week and can hardly sleep for the excitement!



Bos_Gol

Posted: Sat, May 27, 2017, 20:11

Rosbif - thank you so much for the reply!! It's very helpful!! :)

Also - would you / anyone else know to say if it's still realistic to do the trail starting october 2nd? Will refugees etc. still be open?

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bgol



rosbif_rebuffat

Posted: Sat, May 27, 2017, 20:27

In 2015, I went from Sept 2nd - 18th and it was a busy period, all the refuges were open and lots of hikers.

From what I understand talking to others it is cutting it fine starting in October, it depends on the weather conditions that year and there is no fixed date for the refuges to close. Some years they start to close around late September.

Perhaps someone else with experience of October can help you there. Good luck



GRRR 20

Posted: Sun, May 28, 2017, 20:38

October can be great, but it's definitely cooler, and almost everything is closed, so you are on your own. I did three days of the route in October once, and noticed quite a few full-length trekkers. The moment it snows, it suddenly gets very serious.



Bos_Gol

Posted: Mon, May 29, 2017, 6:31

Thanks for the comments rosbif and GRRR 20!

When you say on your own, does that mean that I would have to carry food for a few days because the refugees aren't open? would you know how long the longest stretch should be?

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bgol



GRRR 20

Posted: Mon, May 29, 2017, 15:06

You will have to carry as much food as you will need until you can resupply. In October you might not know when the next resupply point is going to be open. Your only other alternative is to try and guess, and if you don't take enough, then you will have to leave the trail to get more food. That can take one out two days, depending on where you are. Unless you can get hard information about where you can resupply at that time of year, the best option is to carry everything you need. I have done short trips on the GR20 in October and November. I took everything with me and was never able to buy anything on the trail. I have been to Vizzavona when everything was shut, but at least it's still possible to get the train to Corte and go shopping.



Bos_Gol

Posted: Tue, May 30, 2017, 6:39

I see, thanks!

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bgol