Hawaii hiker needs help planning!

Kim

Posted: Tue, May 14, 2019, 17:51

Hi. On a last-minute whim, I'm in Europe for 3 months from Hawaii and decided to come to Corsica to hike. I am a strong hiker having done 20-mile day hikes (with 5,000 feet of climbing) in the Rockies before. However, because I'm in the midst of 3 months in Europe, so I don't have all the gear I typically would and I've never embarked on a multi-day hike like this with so little information. I apologize for deluging you with questions, but any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

**Between the Mare a Mare Nord or Mare e Monti hikes, would you recommend either over the other?
**For the gites on both hikes, do they typically provide blankets or would you recommend bringing a sleeping bag?
**The weather looks like it'll be rainy in Bastia and on the eastern side of the island the first few days I was scheduled to hike (starting May 24). Would there be any reason to not do the MMN trail from west to east (Cargese to Moriani) to avoid that rain since it's supposed to be clear on that side?
**How well is the trail marked? I have been unable to find a good map to download to my phone, so if anyone has any recommendations, I would appreciate it.
**What about water sources on the trail? Do you have to fill up at the gites or are there trustworthy sources on the trail?
**At this time of year, how far ahead do you have to call to get reservations in the gites. If they're sold out, what is Plan B? Are there other accommodations around?

Thank you for any help! I am ecstatic to hike in Corsica, but my lack of knowledge has started to put doubts in my mind. Please help ease that uncertaintz with information!

Mahalo!

--

Kim from Hawaii



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, May 15, 2019, 5:05

Hello Kim,
Could I suggest that having a guidebook for these trails would be helpful.
We used a couple of guides for these trails one a french one and another, in English, written by Gillian Price.
The French book we purchased in a tourist office in Corsica....Topo Guide for Corse...Entre mer et Montagne...FF Randonnee...well laid out in French with maps phone numbers of the gites and as usual with guides a daily stage detail of the route etc.
The English one....walking in Corsica is a Cicerone guide and is available online...I think that also the French book can be found online. The Walking in Corsica guide has both of the routes that you wish to walk and several day walks included. With the Mare e Monti nord and Mare a Mare nord…..these routes can be joined up at Evisa where you can, from there, walk up to Col Veirgo and connect with a further three stages, or more generally in rural Corse, of the route out to the East coast or connect with the train service at Corte.
The route of the Mare e Monti nord generally connects with small villages and in some of these there are two hostels in which to stay overnight....and has the connection a few times with the sea on the West coast.

--

Gaffr



Kim

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2019, 9:49

Hi Gaffr. Thank you for taking the time to share your insight. I'm buying the ebook now.

One of my biggest concerns is how well the trail is marked. Did you rely on maps at all or is the trail clearly marked that you can just follow the orange markings?

--

Kim from Hawaii



Rainman

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2019, 12:04

I’m no expert but have been following Facebook Group: GR20 2019.
There is a lot of snow currently reported on the trail with depths of more than 1m. You may need spikes and snow axe.



Kim

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2019, 12:38

Oh wow... Even at the MMN that only gets up to 1,500 meters? Good to know. Thanks for the heads up.

--

Kim from Hawaii



Rainman

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2019, 14:00

Not sure if the recent GR20 snow info extends to the MMN. Maybe someone else on the ground can clarify the situation.



SQFP

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2019, 21:21

Snow cover starts at ca. 1500m elev: both the "Tra Mare e Monti" and "Mare a Mare Nord" trails are snow-free at the moment :) Weather in the coming weeks will be inclement though; a bit on the cold/wet side.
Just check the weather forecast a few days before arrival so as to adapt your gear and schedule accordingly (see e.g. the col de Vergio weather forecast)

All these trails are very well marked: cairns, orange markings, boards...
However, they also have many variants (shortcuts, seaside vs. higher-altitude panoramic route etc.)
Therefore a map - even a summary one - is useful, in order to decide on which route to take when at a junction, or to choose between variants on the next day depending on weather and tiredness.

--

Geology in Corsica



Kim

Posted: Thu, May 16, 2019, 21:31

Awesome! Thanks for the information. Based on the rain, I may choose to do the Mare e Monti trail instead just to stay on the dryer side of things (and I left my crampons in Hawaii). And I've been checking the weather and it (fingers crossed) looks like it'll be cool but dry when I want to start.

--

Kim from Hawaii



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, May 17, 2019, 17:18

Hello.... As I recall the highest place reached on the mare e monti nord is at Evisa...around 800 metres.

--

Gaffr



Mummis

Posted: Sun, May 19, 2019, 21:21

Maybe my photos from Mare e Monte (Calenzana-Cargese) April 2019 can give you someonformation. Please note you find details in comments! https://photos.app.goo.gl/kiDpSuN3AU4rJ5sg9



Gaffr

Posted: Sat, Jun 1, 2019, 19:18

Hello Mummis…..many thanks for the comprehensive group images of your tour on the Mare e Monti.
They should give folks intending to walk there a very good impression of the route

--

Gaffr