Calenzana to Carrozzu in one day?

mzaa

Posted: Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 14:46

Hi,
My girlfriend and I (mid-20s, experienced hikers) are planning 7 days in Corsica for the first week of June and would like to do at least part of the GR20. It looks like the North start offers the most scenery/adventure for the time so we were thinking about doing Calenzana to Carrozzu as a 2 day, 1 night attempt. We would be traveling very light (leaving most luggage in the car except sleeping bag, first aid, and water/snacks, planning to stay at the refuge) so I think it should be doable. But could someone advise if this is a terrible idea? I know snow can be a concern this early in the season.



SQFP

Posted: Thu, Apr 4, 2019, 17:27

Calenzana to Ortu di u Piobu takes 3.5 to 5 hours; Ortu di u Piobu to Carrozzu, about the same. Nothing difficult if going lightweight. Just make sure to check the weather forecast, for the path follows closely some exposed ridge. From Carrozzu, the way back to Calenzana is both easier and faster if doing it in a loop: 2 hours down to Bonifatu, then 3 hours to Calenzana.

Another less-used option is to start at the Bonifatu car park, hike all the way to the GR20 to spend the night at the Ortu di u Piobu refuge: nice spot, great view and, if time and weather allow, you can even venture off the GR by walking up to the Tartagine Pass and Monte Corona (greatest panoramic spots of the area). On the next day, follow the GR20 to Carrozzu (have lunch there? a bath in the cold river by the hanging bridge? the refuge itself is small, easily crowded, unimpressive). Later on, it's just a matter of 2 hours walking down to the Bonifatu car park.

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Geology in Corsica



mzaa

Posted: Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 15:41

The less-used itinerary you mentioned sounds intriguing. Do you think we would miss out on much by skipping leg 1, or is it pretty comparable?



SQFP

Posted: Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 16:47

Leg 1 is just an overly long (and imho quite boring) ascent, spent mostly in low shrubland. The only benefit I can think of is the clear view towards Calenzana and Calvi - however you get the very same view from Ortu di u Piobu and its surroundings.

On the other hand, the more direct (and steep) ascent from Bonifatu runs mainly in (or along) a valley occupied by a typical pine forest - it has far fewer visitors, and more of a "wild" atmosphere, with the view opening up as you climb.

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Geology in Corsica



Gaffr

Posted: Sat, Apr 6, 2019, 7:44

Hello,
Stage one directly up from Calenzana is brutal with a large heavy sack straight out from the UK....imho one of the iconic stages on the GR20. This stage would be much easier when travelling light. Get through this and the rest of the GR20 is relatively straightforward in normal snow free conditions. On the two ascents and one descent I have made to Calenzana by this stage, one of these when the snowfields were still a bit of a problem on other stages. So I guess that this stage does not usually hold snow even when other stages do. In the guide of PD he lists this Calenzana-Bonifatu-Piobbu as a first stage alternative for the GR20. Now that would be a long day out in the sun.
I can see that the advice given regarding the loop and having the car at Bonifatu and using the two paths linking to the GR20 to Carozzu and to Piobbu would be a tidy way to do this with the car easily reached.
The less interesting section to me would be the lower route to Bonifatu that we walked to reach the good parts of the MM Nord so much so that before continuing on the MMN we walked the two paths that are in the loop that you suggest. Directly up to Carozzu from Bonifatu is a fine walk and the descent back to Bonifatu from Piobbu is pleasant in descent but I would perhaps not enjoy this to reach Piobbu from Bonifatu.
Travelling light does open up different approaches to walking the GR20 not that this has ever been an option for us travelling from Scotland and always staying for three weeks on the island and being pensioners have to spend cautiously when on the island...we do purchase all of our food and pay for camping and occasionally stay in a hostel when enjoyed the delights of walking on L'ile de beaute.

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Gaffr