GR20 - Late May 2018 queries.


Posted: Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 9:11

Good day fellow hikers,

I am planing to hike the GR20 but I have a few little questions or maybe just a few statements I need verification or clarity on!

I am aware that from May 15th this year (I have spoken to the park rangers) the refuges will be maned and provisions will be available, so I was planning on trying to start my GR20 adventure on the 22nd of May.

I realise there will no doubt be still some snow and ice in the high alts, so I am planning on bring a ice axe and some crampons. and in lieu of their being more snow cover in the northern section I was considering starting from Conca and heading north to Calvi and just assessing the weather each day as it unfolds.

Has anyone had much experience hiking around this time of year (May)? and does anyone have any input or suggestions on my idea?

Thanks a lot guys :)




Posted: Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 14:15

Hi Geo,

It's certainly an interesting choice but, agreed, you'll have to deal with a lot of snow and ice on many places (around the Cinto area and Bocca alle Porte for sure).
However it's not the ice I'd be worried about more but those snow fields where you'll have to trudge in deep melting snow that will likely make you go down a lot and drain your energy.
Of course this in theory because it's still impossible to foresee the weather conditions around that time of year and if we're going to have an early summer or not.



Posted: Fri, Feb 23, 2018, 18:26

It's not just the snow and ice I'd worry about. It's the constant moving from snow and ice onto bare rock and back again. It's horrible walking on rock in crampons, and it's dangerous to step even on a small icy slope if you're not wearing them. In other words, crampons will be on and off your feet on some stretches. I've done this sort of thing, and it's annoying and time-consuming, but you have to play safe.


Posted: Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 10:25

As Michele and GR are saying the predictions for May are difficult.
Perhaps staying in touch with PNRC blog for the GR20 would help you to make decisions.
The most recent images are taken at the Petra Piana refuge on the 21st February and at the highest refuge a bit earlier. Deep snow is the current picture.
The parks folks are out in amongst it during most weeks up to the start of the 'season'.
Probably for most seasons starting in the South in May at Conca could be a good choice.
If you read through the reports from the early starters in some years problems have been encountered. One I recall was a guy beginning his walk from the access from Corte? had wet and cold conditions in the middle of May and had to retreat....I don't think that the person had much experience of multi day walking perhaps.




Posted: Sat, Feb 24, 2018, 10:59

And another guy/girl I remember some time ago, posted that was going crazy walking across Mt Alcudina due to the lack of waymarks because of snow cover.

So, please beware of this additional issue as well!!



Posted: Sat, Mar 10, 2018, 15:18

Hey guys,

Related question to this topic. When huts are opening officially this year? As I read for safety reasons it is kind'a open all year round. But when they are operational and you can buy food there?


Posted: Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 7:46

As a rule the huts begin to operate at the beginning of June. However, in the past few years - and if the weather was fine - they have opened a few days earlier.
If you go to the Parc site to book your accomodation you'll notice that reservations begin to become available starting 15 May. So I have to **assume** that the official opening is now that date.