General questions!

ak02

Posted: Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 12:30

Booked tickets to start hike around end of this month! Have a couple questions which I did not find proper answers, so thought I will make a post!

1) Can I get a printable map available online? Or do you think buying/carrying a whole guide is worth it? I will be using phone only for emergencies, so not relying on GPS or any app.

2) Do I need to book refuges in advance? Even if I am bringing my own tent and sleeping bag, and need refugee only for space to camp? Doing that would make trip restrictive about when I get to starting point and when I reach where, and I was keen on being keeping things flexible.

3) How much cash would you advice to carry?

Thanks in advance! =)

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- AK



ak02

Posted: Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 12:31

ALSO! Is a 5 degree Celsius sleeping bag enough? Or should I get 0 degrees one? The latter is a little heavier, so, I am confused. =|

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- AK



harold

Posted: Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 12:55

Hi ak02,

That info is easy to find, check:
https://gr20corsica.wordpress.com/about/
http://www.le-gr20.fr/en/pages/infos-gr20/page-1.html
Regards, H



Gaffr

Posted: Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 15:23

Hello,
No need top book in advance if camping. Just turn up and see the folks in the refuge.
For an extra wider view than offered in the guide book the Two 1:100, 000 maps for corse are sufficient
Maps 175 and 176 cover the entire route and more.
I am sure that your sleeping bag will be ok...mine was a summer bag so a bit cooler than yours...just wear extra clothes if colder.
Most folks seem to operate with around 40 Euros per day....I don't drink beer so less for me.

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Gaffr



SQFP

Posted: Wed, Jun 12, 2019, 19:10

1) I second Gaffr about the IGN "Top 100" maps n° 175 and 176 (North and South Corsica). Easy to find in supermarkets, at tobacconists, bookshops, gas stations...

2) No need to book if you have your tent, just turn up, and pay the tiny fee (7€ per night per person) to the staff - which entitles you to using gas burners etc.

3) According to various testimonies, 50€/day covers the necessary expenses (camping fees, dinner/breakfast) and even allows some extras.

A 5°C sleeping bag is more than enough for late june/early july.

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Geology in Corsica



SwissMountainLeader

Posted: Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 4:31

I'd struggle to recommend 1/100000 maps to navigate in Corsica. Or anywhere by choice, bad enough in parts of the world where there's no choice.

People get lost on the gr20 all the time, having a proper map is a good idea.

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SwissMountainLeader - Leysin, CH



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 6:10

Hello....I cannot see why the 1:100,000 Map cannot be considered to be a valid map...it is produced by the IGN folks... Same as those who do the 1:25,000 maps.
For the GR20 you would have to carry 6/7 of these.
To have the 1 cm for each kilometer map allows you to see beyond the 'corridor' that relying on the guide book linear maps allow...I other words it will allow you to take a track away from the GR if required.

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Gaffr



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 6:12

Hello....I cannot see why the 1:100,000 Map cannot be considered to be a valid map...it is produced by the IGN folks... Same as those who do the 1:25,000 maps.
For the GR20 you would have to carry 6/7 of these.
To have the 1 cm for each kilometer map allows you to see beyond the 'corridor' that relying on the guide book linear maps allow...I other words it will allow you to take a track away from the GR if required.

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Gaffr



SwissMountainLeader

Posted: Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 7:51

The general consensus would be that they lack detail to relocate yourself and miss major terrain features. I would have thought the skills and tools to micro nav in that sort of terrain was required.

The fact it's produced by IGN doesn't mean a lot although in this case they do actually sell them on their website under a GR20 label. And they are packaged as having rando routes. None of which means it's actually a great idea but it might reflect a realistic assessment of nav skills.

I am aware that people try and navigate with 1:100,000 and/or the guidebook maps, I've found a few of them :-) Walking with my wife near cirque solitude last autumn she was surprised by the number of people who had no idea where they were

By and large, people don't get lost or have accidents but having a decent scale on your map, a compass and the skills to use them are generally considered core skills (and delivered as training by alpine clubs under UIAA labelling if you're interested).

The answer to the original question is Visorando will allow you to print some decent maps, just don't be a miser with the printing and make sure you're covering enough terrain either side to allow for detours and bad weather. Openstreepmap derived maps like Freizeitkarte aren't bad either and often contain trails that aren't on the IGN maps (version dependent).

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SwissMountainLeader - Leysin, CH



Gaffr

Posted: Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 8:29

Hello SML,
Thanks for your views on maps/navigation.
I am not suggesting that we use the 1:100,000 maps for micro navigation but as an extra tool beyond the linear maps contained within the e.g. Paddy Dillon guidebook for the route.
When we first went to the GR20 we had six of the 1:25,000 maps but beyond having a look for the days walking ahead at each camping spot....the maps were never out of the rucksack and that at a time when the version of the PD guidebook had just line drawings of each stage of the route. These drawings and the very generous trail red/white markings ( the standard markings that get you to the refuges in European countries) and various signposts were adequate for us to get from Calenzana to Conca. The weather conditions were mainly clear and warm.
We used the 1:25,000 maps during some of the other multi day routes on the island.
When I returned a few years after I used only the 1:100,000 maps as an addition to the guidebook but this time using the book in reverse.....travelling S-N.
In Scotland where there is no extra paint markings or even waymark posts on the hills ….a few cairns in places:-) ...so maps usually 1:50,000 are used along with a compass to navigate in this land of much cloud and rainfall.

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Gaffr



ak02

Posted: Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 13:02

Thank you so much everyone for answering *all* my questions, and for the links and recommendations! It's nice to have some help, not as confused about stuff as I was before posting this. Thanks so much! =)

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- AK



SwissMountainLeader

Posted: Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 13:56

"In Scotland where there is no extra paint markings or even waymark posts on the hills ….a few cairns in places:-) ...so maps usually 1:50,000 are used along with a compass to navigate in this land of much cloud and rainfall."

That's kind of the point on Corsica, away from the main trail there's really not good route marking. In fact, it's not great in places on the route and there's been "competitive" trail marking over the years. It's quite easy for people to step off the trail and relocating yourself with a 1:100k map is pretty hard even for me - the resolution just isn't there.

Another case would be quick escapes from the ridges in unexpected thunderstorms which really need extremely accurate navigation and route finding that would be impossible without a decent map. That might be catch-22, something you'd not attempt without some practice and tools and just having a map wouldn't necessarily help.

Navigating from the guidebook does rather sound like the start of an incident report :-) Once of the lost guys we found last year was doing just. I think he'd been lost for 3 or 4 hours when we found him although part of that was being misdirected by another group who were incorrect about where they were. It was a nice French book, some nice route suggestions but it really needed a map and compass to go with it.

Mostly, people get by just fine of course but some are probably on a finer margin than they realise.

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SwissMountainLeader - Leysin, CH



SQFP

Posted: Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 0:57

Having a detailed map and a compass are of little help if not trained to use them ;)

FYI, only four 25000k maps are now needed to encompass (no pun intended) the whole GR20 route, namely 4250OT, 4251OT, 4252OT and 4253ET. However these maps in their new (V3, post-2017) version have become misleading due to excessive removal of details in a quest to increase readability; sometime newer is not better.

A neat, lightweight alternative is the couple of (old) 50000k maps by Didier Richard, "Corse du Nord" and "Corse du Sud". Now out of print, grab'em while you can.

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Geology in Corsica



Gaffr

Posted: Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 6:30

Hello SQFP,
I've just had a look at the 1:25,000 maps that we have. All of them have a late 1990's date on the 'legend area' of the maps. However, unless the areas covered on the later maps are different, we have 4149 OT to get us from Calenzana up to Piobbu refuge. I agree on all of the others 4250 OT- 4253 ET. so for the versions that I have five are required.
I guess that on the new versions of the maps the wee muddle over the labelling of the Breche de Capitellu and that of Bocca alle Porte has been sorted out. :-)

The sixth map that of 4253 OT was a bit superfluous however for the trip up from the South when I wanted to camp at Croci bergeries for a change of venue this map gave me the details of this....including the position of Cavallara bergeries and the trail to link back into the 'normal route' on the GR20 close to Forcinchesi.

...also as I think I said earlier that the 1:25,000 maps were useful on sections of the other multi day routes on Corse.

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Gaffr



SQFP

Posted: Fri, Jun 14, 2019, 10:50

Ah you're right, the 4150OT lacks the first few km between Calenzana and the ridge overlooking Ortu di u Piobbu. And, yes, this last version from 2017 no longer has a brownish blob of topographic details near Capitellu :) On the other hand, they have now erased many smaller paths and water springs (which are still there!)

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Geology in Corsica