Cirque de la Solitude open?

Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Wed, Dec 12, 2018, 18:20

Hey everyone,

I just saw this: -- was anybody able to cross Cirque this season? How was it? Chaings and ladder still taken out? These don't matter much as long as way is marked, so, more important - are waypoints marked?

P.S. Crossing Cirque a year before the accident was one of the best stages and mountain trips that I did, with crazy weather, snow on the way, etc., and I want to do that again! :)



Posted: Wed, Dec 12, 2018, 19:38

'Open' really means that no-one will stop you from going there. If you want to do it again, it's not the same place. All the paint marks are gone, as well as the chains and ladder. Can you remember how to get across the rocky parts without the markers? Can you climb the overhanging rock where the ladder used to be? There is more rock and rubble waiting to fall, so can you survive being hit by a rock flying at speed? If you die there, is it fair to expect someone else to risk their life to get your body? If you get lost or injured you can't phone for help and again is it fair to expect someone else to risk their life to come and rescue you?


Posted: Thu, Dec 13, 2018, 11:03

Odd enough, the Cirque was reopened under the pressure of the local guides who still seem (now more than ever) interested in guiding groups who make such request. Probably at increased price.

Lawrence of Spain

Posted: Thu, Dec 13, 2018, 14:40

GRRR 20, having printed detailed map of the route, I can do it, as I've done in other mountain areas without markers (although I admit it would be more challenging without them), and I could do without chains with ladder.
As for other points - all you say applies to any other exposed areas, like the ones you cross on second and third day going from Calenzana, where any fall would be fatal. My question was more about experience of other travelers who maybe have already crossed the circus after lifting the ban.


Posted: Thu, Dec 13, 2018, 22:19

I have been through the Cirque three times without a problem, but the removal of the ladder is a big problem for me. I looked at the rock near the ladder each time I went through and knew that without the ladder I would not be able to go any further. If you're a rock climber, then fair enough you might enjoy the challenge, but just one slip at that point and it's going to be serious injury or death. The only people I have heard about going into the Cirque since it was 'opened' have been those who were rescued. I think one of them was stuck in there for three days because he just couldn't figure out how to get out of the place. You might want to think about hiring a guide.


Posted: Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 17:24

I crossed the cirque in July 2016 N to S. There were cairns in the downway to the low point. The chains are loose and laying around, the ladder has been still there. No cairns the way up to Bocca Minuta.
The overpainted marks nearly invisible on this side of the cirque despite best sun light.

The problem is that the way up changes suddenly the direction to the left and taking another couleur.
You have to know this. chance.

I met noone.

The guardien from Tighettu Charlie meant 2016 that the cirque is forbidden in contrast to Randoblog,
and 2017 there were signs and letters from the commune Manso about this.


Posted: Mon, Jan 14, 2019, 19:04

Thanks for your informative report Idsynk. I won't be surprised if they reopen (officially) the Cirque to the Gr20 traffic in the near future. It's definitely a less demanding way than the new route.


Posted: Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 12:46

That was July 2016. The chains and ladder have been removed.


Posted: Wed, Jan 16, 2019, 17:50

Ok, i have passed the cirque several times, and on some occassions i tried to make it without chains and the ladder. Has been no problem.