Randoblog update

karkulin771

Posted: Fri, Apr 20, 2018, 15:20

hello when the update randoblog I wrote an email to adminblogpnrc@gmail.com and so far unanswered. Do you have any information about snow conditions on GR 20.



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Apr 20, 2018, 15:58

Hello,
I too wrote to the PNRC folks a few days ago again no reply.
The last information on the PNRC blogspot was on the 21st, February .....usually in winters they give out reports on their work on the GR20.....at the moment two reports are missing this year.
Maybe like buses several reports will arrive soon.
It is getting close to the time when the folks going to the GR20 early would want to have some information.

--

Gaffr



karkulin771

Posted: Thu, Apr 26, 2018, 5:59

New information

The snow remains very consistent throughout the GR20.
Above 1600 meters the amount of snow is still important.
A lot of the tags are not yet visible at this altitude.
Technical equipment is obligatory

Namely also that the risk of melting avalanches is marked.

The practical conditions of the GR20 will be communicated once a week.



karkulin771

Posted: Thu, May 10, 2018, 17:00

The GR20 Practical Conditions will be announced once a week. Do not you know how many days a week is in Corsica?



SQFP

Posted: Thu, May 10, 2018, 17:32

Extensive snowfields above 1800m/5900ft in the Rotondo and Cinto ranges; up to 2.2m/7ft of snow on some north-facing slopes and/or above 2400m/7800ft. (Will give a more detailed account when I'm there on saturday)

Parts of the GR are still impracticable without appropriate gear and orientation skills. All refuges are to be staffed starting this monday.

--

Geology in Corsica



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, May 11, 2018, 5:05

Hello SQFP,
Still no update on what was the position on the 21st, of April? I thought that there were going to be weekly reports during May? I was trying to work out where the area on the images was on the April 21st, report?....Northern close to Ascu perhaps? not many words to accompany the images.
I guess that there will be many folks awaiting your survey of the current conditions.
It does look good with, as you say, all refuges to be staffed from the 14th, of May?

Many thanks.

--

Gaffr



GRRR 20

Posted: Fri, May 11, 2018, 5:44

Some of those pictures are definitely from the route between Asco and Tighettu. The snow is covering the red/white markers so the only clue for route finding involves following footprints left by other trekkers. The pictures were posted over two weeks ago so things might look different at the moment. Personally, I wouldn't go at this time.



SQFP

Posted: Fri, May 11, 2018, 7:44

Yep, as mentionned at least some pics are from the Asco valley. I don't know what's happening with the regular updates, the PNRC staff is probably busy somewhere else (they are conducting various surveys for mammals, at the moment).
I got my info from people who live in the Niolo valley - as of today, "too much snow" is the take-home message.

The refuges being staffed and supplied (some have been for weeks now) has little to do with the practicability of the full GR; it is essentially a requirement as soon as the booking system reopens, i.e. on monday the 14th. Especially whenever there are various duties and chores to expedite before the obnoxious crowd arrives ;)

--

Geology in Corsica



SQFP

Posted: Sun, May 13, 2018, 8:43

Quite foggy here so no pics for the moment... will post some if weather allows.

Rotondo range (Vizzavona < > Vergio): everything above 2000m is still covered in snow. The Manganu/Ninu lake/Vergio hotel part is free of snow though. Your best bet right noe is thus : (going S to N) from Vizzavona, take a train to Corte, then follow the Mare trail to the West in the Tavignanu valley, up to the Sega refuge (about 5 hours). Then further W to Manganu refuge (about 4 hours, back on the GR), then proceed normally to the Ninu lake and Vergio hotel on the GR.

Cinto range (Vergio <> Calenzana): I can't see the northern part from here, but the Tighjettu-Ascu part (via Monte Cintu) is a no-go, snow everywhere above Tighjettu refuge and still some snowfields around Ciuttulu di i Mori refuge. I guess the Calenzana-Asco parts must suffer the same fate. If you really want to make Vergio-Calenzana: going S to N, follow the GR to the N from Vergio hotel but don't go up to the Ciuttulu refuge, instead take the Sentier de Transhumance trail (purple-orange markings) to the NW, via Guagnerola pass, to the Puscaghja refuge (it's open and friendly there :)). Then the Sentier de Transhumance, and later the Mare trails , will bring you back to Calenzana via Tuarelli, the Lucca Pass, and Bonifatu (stunning views, flowers everywhere). No snow there, hostels (Tuarelli, Bonifatu) etc.are open since April.

--

Geology in Corsica



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, May 13, 2018, 11:18

Thanks SQFP for that on the island weather and conditions summary.
I hope that the early starters on the GR20 take note of that. There are still a couple of weeks of possibly? hot sunshine to alter conditions before some of the intending starters hoping to begin at the end of May.
I guess that you would still recommend a start in the South for also the early June folks perhaps?

--

Gaffr



GRRR 20

Posted: Sun, May 13, 2018, 12:55

Early June used to be an OK time to start, but the new route from Asco to Tighjettu is significantly higher than any other part of the trail. It holds the snow for longer than anywhere else. Planning a trek along the GR20 months in advance, it's probably best to avoid early June altogether. Anyone who wants to start early must keep checking the snow conditions until the last minute and accept that they might need to change their plans.



SQFP

Posted: Mon, May 14, 2018, 7:05

Rotondo range behind Alzo plateau, Paglia Orba and Foggiale pass (GR), Pointe des Eboulis pass near Cinto (GR)
https://reho.st/self/ce1523cfba49dd349d4717d3c206d9d9541a1104.jpg

https://reho.st/self/dd298e06647dd3aef62e25c2589c11f4dbf946ac.jpg

https://reho.st/self/98f65d79957a463517ce190c3d950cf9ae6c6590.jpg

P.s. Snowstorm in the Niolo right now...

--

Geology in Corsica



charlie'thelege...

Posted: Wed, May 16, 2018, 18:30

Arriving in the great Corsica next week and wondering if anyone has any updates on the weather conditions for the whole route.

We are planning to do the whole thing in 7 days...



MrFaulty

Posted: Wed, May 16, 2018, 22:41

The whole thing in 7 days!?! Good luck, you'll be travelling light and almost running. I think I am reasonably fit and it took me 13 days last year (I did start with 25kg) and I don't think I could have done it any faster



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 6:22

The Parc Naturel Region Corse.. PNRC....they don't appear to have issued anything regarding conditions on the route since the 21st, of April. Although fortunately there is SQFP who does work occasionally on the island....see above.

As the Moderator Michele says as well as having the site organiser not appearing to be interested in the site any more. Now there is also the infestation of spamming that takes place regularly.

We should be thankful that there are so many contributors still around to send in useful comments to those heading for the GR20...possibly one of the more difficult walking places to get to and to get around in after reaching the L'ile de Beaute.

--

Gaffr



charlie'thelege...

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 8:16

Yes, thats the plan. We are very fit individuals and are prepared to do long days. We are just concerned about the snow conditions and whether it would be impractical to do parts of the northern route.



Daisychain

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 9:35

On Monday 14th, Tuesday 15th May we had a lot of heavy rain on the coast and, on the radio, they were announcing snow down to 1300 metres in places. It is still cold for the season, i.e. 20° here near Ajaccio and any snow up in the mountains will not be melting at this rate.

Several years ago when we had late snow conditions in June, the PGHM (mountain police) told me that they preferred that hikers ring them to find out weather conditions in advance, rather than getting into trouble in the mountains and then needing rescue. Telephone numbers are here : https://www.montagnesdecorse.com/Infos-touristiques_a45.html



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 10:03

By the way, please Daisychain correct me if I'm wrong. To save the PGHM phone number in international format, is it correct to save it this way? +33495611395 ?
Thank you

--Michele



Daisychain

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 11:28

Michele, yes that is correct. All numbers in Corsica (apart from mobiles) start with +33 495, then 6 numbers.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 11:58

Excellent. Thanks



SQFP

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 11:58

Live from Ciuttulu di i Mori (north of Vergio) - Still plenty of snow above 1800m, plus extra snow (5-10cm) from last Sunday starting at 1400m. Northern GR not practicable without snow gear and orientation skills, right now.

--

Geology in Corsica



Ash804

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 12:42

I am hoping South section is better than north.

Ash



charlie'thelege...

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 13:08

Cheers for all the help people! Would you guys recommend following the low routes in the Northern section then or will these be snowed over also?



GRRR 20

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 15:40

Going north from Vizzavona it is easy to stay low, but once you climb to Petra Piana, you have to stay high. The mountain ridge between there and Manganu usually bears snow and ice early in the season. If you can negotiate it, then there should be no more problems going north until you are faced with Monte Cinto, which will always carry the most late snow.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 16:21

This is a recent pic of Bocca alle Porte https://image.ibb.co/cMh71J/bocca_alle_porte_invernale.jpg



charlie'thelege...

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 17:02

We are going from North to South as we are flying into Bastia and leaving from the South. We are planning our route tomorrow



GRRR 20

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 20:00

Well starting from the north means you can probably expect some snow cover on the highest parts of the first three stages. You can stay low to avoid the first two stages and even do that in one day, but you still have to climb high to reach Asco. You won't know whether it's possible to climb past Monte Cinto easily until you try, but be sure to ask locally about conditions. I climbed Monte Cinto a long time ago on a slope of snow that was unbroken for 600m to Pointe des Eboulis. But - I wouldn't risk crossing to the other side of the mountain ridge to reach Bocca Crucetta. Snow and ice on that side of the mountain is quite dangerous.



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, May 17, 2018, 20:11

Hello,
The recent image of the descent/traverse from Bocca alle Porte tells you a lot.
Arriving there after coming up from Manganu without crampons following a cold night you could put yourself into a serious situation.

--

Gaffr



charlie'thelege...

Posted: Fri, May 18, 2018, 10:46

If we were to do the first 2 stages on the low level in a day, are the conditions from carrozzu to ballone passable?



charlie'thelege...

Posted: Fri, May 18, 2018, 10:46

If we were to do the first 2 stages on the low level in a day, are the conditions from carrozzu to ballone passable?



GRRR 20

Posted: Fri, May 18, 2018, 11:33

Carrozzu to Ballone? That sounds as though you are contemplating going through the Cirque de la Solitude. That route has been closed since several people died and were injured in 2015. Some hikers who tried to get through after that time have needed rescuing. The route now passes close to Monte Cinto, which is likely to have more snow and I've on it than any other part of the trail. The only way you can avoid the new route is to travel round by bus or taxi.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, May 18, 2018, 12:36

Unless they intend to cross the Cirque WITH the snow/ice!!!!



charlie'thelege...

Posted: Fri, May 18, 2018, 15:18

Sorry, I meant to say the new route thats been mapped out that avoids the cirque de la solitude and goes closer to Mount Cinto. Is there diversions around Mt Cinto that anyone knows of?

Our plan is to do the 2 low routes from Calenzana in a day and then get down to Vizzavona in 3 days on the normal GR route and do the Southern section in 3 days. We are coming on Thursday and are prepared to be doing very long walking days. We have all got crampons and poles and unless, we hear the conditions are too dangerous then we will try smash it.

Our other option would be to get a train from Bastia to Corte and then get to Vizzavona and just do the southern section.



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, May 18, 2018, 19:30

Hello,
It is sensible to have alternative plans.....another option could be go all the way down to Conca and work your way North....just see what happens when progress is made.

I know that you are on a 'fast track' approach to completing the GR20. Obviously not the best time for this in 2018 and this early in the season.
Maybe it is not possible for you to re-plan for something like a 'guide book standard' timescale of South to North?

I understand that you are starting the GR20 on the 25th, May?

--

Gaffr



SQFP

Posted: Sat, May 19, 2018, 8:42

See my previous recommendation to avoid the snowy steps between Calenzana and Vergio, and between Manganu and Vizzavona (still too much snow at the moment around Asco/Cinto and in the Rotondo range, I wouldn't do it for the next 2 weeks or so).

Basically: Calenzana - M.F.Bonifatu - Bocca di Bonassa - Bocca di Lucca - Tuarelli (gîte) - Bocca di Capronale - Puscaghja (refuge PNRC) - Bocca di Guagnarola - Vergio (refuge/hotel)
Then : Vergio - Manganu (refuge) - Sega (refuge) - Tavignanu gorges to Corte (train station) - Vizzavona (train station, gîte...) - Gr20 South

These are all good hiking paths staying below 1800m, with accommodation along the way, and enjoyable landscape.

--

Geology in Corsica



charlie'thelege...

Posted: Sat, May 19, 2018, 17:45

Yes we will be starting early doors on the 25th and aim to finish on the 31st as we need to catch our plane home on the 2nd June. Idea was to spend the last day on the beach. We are flying in to Bastia so makes sense now to start at Calenzana.

Will look into these alternative routes and have a few plans and see what seems the more logical and sensible plan when we get there.



Emma87

Posted: Fri, May 25, 2018, 6:30

Hi,

Any further update on the Weather/snow conditions? Heading out 2nd June 2018. Original plan North to south route in 12days. Wasn’t planning on carrying full winter gear initially as not wanting to carry the extra weight if only necessary for one or so sections in the North, (-as we could navigate around these using lower paths) However, from the previous comments being equipped with full winter gear seems like a must if attempting the higher sections, especially in the North. Looking at the currrent conditions- does this seem likely for the first 2 weeks in June?

Our plans now are (as suggested above- thank you SQFP) do the lower route for the first couple of stages of the Northern route. Then make our way up again to he high gr20. If the conditions are not good enough with out winter gear walk back down and continue along the lower route until safe to go higher.

Our other option is to carry all our winter gear (rope, axes, cranpons, winter protection) and do attempt the route proper. But we aren’t planning to take too long over it and the extra weight will slow us down. Is the route still impassable in places with full winter equipment? Due to Avalanche risks etc... can’t seem to find any winter condition reports online other than this forum!

The other option, although least preferred is to walk south to north-but we fly in to Calvi and out from Figari so that would involve a fair bit of faff- which we’d prefer to avoid!

Any more news on whether more refuge/hotels are open? Advice and comments appreciated.

Thanks for all the current information.



AirborneMuttley

Posted: Fri, May 25, 2018, 7:41

I got this reply via e mail from PNRC 17 May

"Hello, the conditions are bad, weather unstable, rain, snow in altitude ... I advise you to contact me about May 30 to make a weather and snow conditions.
At the present time, you would need adequate equipment for snow, especially for the northern part.
As I told you, come back to me by the end of May so that I can give you new information"

Same as everyone else.



Michele
moderator

Posted: Fri, May 25, 2018, 7:53

Those interested in the current snow conditions should take a look at the following facebook post:
https://www.facebook.com/couleurcorse/posts/1961273440572243 dated 23 May.



GRRR 20

Posted: Fri, May 25, 2018, 8:56

Scary picture, and not my idea of fun. I prefer to keep my feet on solid rock. I first climbed Monte Cinto on snow from Asco, but the other side of the mountain is steeper and I wouldn't risk it with snow cover. That said, I have been on fully-equipped, roped-up glacier treks where everything felt much safer. As the text points out, the route markers aren't visible, so it's clearly a dangerous place to be in snow and cloud if you don't have advance knowledge of the terrain. I guess anyone who wants to take a chance within the next couple of weeks will find themselves relying on footprints in the snow. It always used to be said that the GR20 'season' started in June. With the new high level route past Monte Cinto, it isn't really safe until some weeks later.



spider

Posted: Sat, May 26, 2018, 18:04

Dear SQFP
Could you say something about the altitudes (up/down), distances and the approximate walking times of your recommendations. This would be very helpful for my planning. I have unfortunately only the information for the first two routes.

Calenzana - M.F.Bonifatu / 450hm up/ 150hm down/ 10km / 4 hours
M.F.Bonifatu - Bocca di Bonassa - Bocca di Lucca - Tuarelli (gîte) 620hm up/ 1050hm down/ 15km / 5 hours
Tuarelli (gîte)-Bocca di Capronale - Puscaghja (refuge PNRC) ?

Puscaghja (refuge PNRC)- Bocca di Guagnarola - Vergio (refuge/hotel) ?
Vergio - Manganu (refuge) - Sega (refuge) ?
Sega (refuge)- Tavignanu gorges to Corte (train station)?

Thank you for your help!
Spider



Gaffr

Posted: Sat, May 26, 2018, 19:25

Hello,
I can help with a couple of times taken from guide books....

The map shows around 12 kls. from Tuvarelli to refuge de Puscagha much of it on a road to Barghiana...after the refuge 3kls to link up with the GR20 trail above Bergeries Radule.

In the Paddy Dillon book...he gives a time of 5.5 hrs for Verghio to Manganu to carry on to Sega ref. I would need to get a map out for that distance. Since it is mainly downhill you could make good time there.
I have looked at my 1:25,000 map and to get to Sega there is a path from close to Vaccaghja bergeries. before reaching Manganu, and in 10 kls. you will get to Sega. I have not used this path. My route from Sega was to the South side of Cintu.

In the French Entre Mer et Montagne the time for Corte to reach Sega is 5.5 hrs. but that is for an uphill walk from Corte so going down to Corte you should shave some time off that figure.

--

Gaffr



Ash

Posted: Sat, May 26, 2018, 21:19

Hello. I was planning to do the full gr20 with a friend in 2 weeks from south to north but unfortunately he has had to pull out because of an injury. It sounds as though conditions are still pretty precarious with a lot of snow and ice around and I am not sure if it’s a trip I should undertake by myself without winter equipment. Presumably there are still some companies operating in these conditions?

Thanks for any feedback.

Ash

--

Ash



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, May 27, 2018, 2:11

Hello,
In two weeks time so you would set off from Conca on the 9th, of June.
The temperatures in Corse seem to high at the moment. I would say that have a good chance of getting through with no need for winter kit.
I have been to the GR20 on two occasions once beginning on the 16th, of June from the North in 2007 and we did not come across more that just a patch of soft snow....a fine trip with nearly two weeks of perfect weather conditions. The second trip was beginning in early June 2013 from the South when conditions in the North were known to be wintry. During the seven days to reach Vizzavona no snow fields were encountered and the weather was very warm.
After Vizzavona there were a couple of soft snow fields prior to reaching L'Onda. A large soft continuous snowfield was walked on between Petra Piana and Manganu when walking poles were adequate to make progress. No further snowfields walked on until stage four that were again soft and melting rapidly.
Folks travelling on the GR20 were fairly resourceful and where a passage was not to their liking other ways around the problem area were sought out.
Considering your start date of 9th, you will be in Calinzana by the 16th, by then you will be meeting folks coming down from the North....chance to ask them about conditions etc.
So around the 19th, of June for the stage Petra Piana to Manganu...by then you will have much more information of what is ahead of you. After then a couple of days before reaching the highest stage Vallone to Haut Ascu around the 21st, and with an opportunity to leave the trail at Vallone down to Calisima etc. if things are still pear-shaped on stage 4. In 2013 a wee bus was in operation from Calisima to Haut Ascu to get folks around the stage 4....Calisima is a short downhill walk from Vallone.
When in Ascu you will moving like a well oiled sewing machine with three very fine stages to walk over prior to Calenzana....around the 26th, of June.

Have a good trip.

--

Gaffr



Ash

Posted: Sun, May 27, 2018, 8:13

Thanks very much for the advice Gaffr.

Best, Ash

--

Ash



SQFP

Posted: Sun, May 27, 2018, 9:58

Tuarelli - Capronale: 4 h 30 mn
Capronale - Puscaghja: 30 mn
Puscaghja - Guagnarola : 3 h
Guagnarola - Vergio : 1 h 30 mn
Vergio - Vacaghja : 3 h 30 mn
Vacaghja - Manganu: 30 mn
Vacaghja - Sega : 2 h
Sega - Russulinu bridge : 1 h 30 mn
Russulinu - Corte train sttn: 2 h

These are average estimates, plus/minus 25% depending on weather, physical condition, taking time for pics etc.

edit: my rule of thumb after many months: on well-defined paths carrying 1/7th of my body weight, distance of 5 km per hour on flat ground, ascent/descent rate of 400m per hour on slopes; if venturing off the beaten tracks, it can go down to 500m distance/100m elevation per hour... blame it on thorny shrubs or problematic cliffs.
So for instance, going down 200m from Capronale (1300m) to Puscaghja (1100m) really takes 30 mn. Going up 750m from Puscaghja to Guagnarola (1850m) takes a bit longer than expected though (3h instead of 2), due to the steep slope at the end and locally poor condition of the path.

--

Geology in Corsica



Gaffr

Posted: Sun, May 27, 2018, 10:31

Hello SQFP,
Maybe French geologists carry lighter sacks that those on the GR20. :-)

--

Gaffr



spider

Posted: Sun, May 27, 2018, 19:53

Dear SQFP
Thank you very much for this helpful information. We will start on the 3th of June in Calenzana and we will see what is possible.
Are you on the GR20 as well at the moment?
Greetings from Switzerland!
Spider



SQFP

Posted: Sun, May 27, 2018, 20:02

Hey Gaffr,
maybe people who carry unnecessarily heavy backpacks on the GR20 are weirdos. ;-)

Joke aside, I tend to be on the light side for safety and convenience (having to be fully autonomous for a full week at a time, plus having to bring rock samples back). Then again... if people really feel compelled to suffer lifting 50 pound of unneeded gizmos and gear only to walk 4 hours a day on steep slopes between two hotels-restaurants providing full accommodation and meals, who am I to judge eh? To each their own death :-)

--

Geology in Corsica



Gaffr

Posted: Tue, May 29, 2018, 1:53

Hello SQFP,
What is the difference between a Backpacker and a Geologist?...........A Backpackers backpack gets lighter as progress is made along a route however the Geologist's gets heavier on account of the rocks that are added to the sack for further study at base. Must be a interesting place for you to collect rocks that have been created by the coming together of the two great 'plates' of Europe and Africa?

'Le nom des fous et ecrit partout'....forgive my grammar.... something that is not taught well in British schools.

We impecunious folks from a dis-United Kingdom who live in Scotland, robbed blind by the keepers of our savings, are very used to sleeping under the stars on our multi day walks on the the L'ile de beaute as we are in the highlands of our own land. The luxuries of a soft bed and well cooked Corsican food are something that we only dream about from under our nylon shelters. :-)
Twice during my visits to the Jairvan, I have surrendered to not looking at the stars, when on my journey South I slept on a creaky military style bed in the Dortoir behind the I Laricci Hotel in Vizzavona and when going North from the Col de Verde on a day of heavy showers I gained refuge in the Renosu ski station at Capanelle...a very welcoming place where I could dry my tent and belongings in front of the wood-burning stove there.
Not too many 'soft spots' in Corsica for the camping fraternity. :-)

Thanks for the advice to those coming soon to the Island....there isn't too much readily available at the moment.

--

Gaffr



Stom_slo

Posted: Tue, May 29, 2018, 16:16

Slightly offtopic but still somewhat relevant to discussion :)

I'm assuming most people here are from Europe, based on comments. In terms of thru hike philosophy/approach/gear would someone be able to compare GR20 to AT, CDT, PCT?