early october hiking


Posted: Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 9:55

Hello everyone,

I am planning to walk solo on the GR20 route between 28 Sept and 12 Oct (12 days for trekking). Minimum plan is to complete northern part, other depends on weather conditions and my physical abilities (a year ago I did tour de mont blanc in 9 days and it was quite comfortable).

I have couple of general questions for the situation when refuges already unstaffed:

- Is there electricity available in refuges (charging electronic devices, for example)? I think for safety reason telephone should stay charged all the way.
- Should I take stove and gas with me for cooking or I can use things available inside refuges? I am not big fan of cooking but hot meal is definitely preferable as well as hot drinks in case of bad weather conditions.
- What is the situation with water on the way in this season? I plan to have at least 1.5-2 liters with me.
- What is temperature inside refuges, what could be your recommendations regarding proper clothing and equipment? As I understood from previous posts tent is not required and shoes need to be chosen for rock relief (vibram or similar).
- what stages could be combined ( North to South way)?



Posted: Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 14:39

All the refuges will still be staffed when you arrive (last week of September); only some will still be staffed into the 2nd week of October.

- Electricity is available at some refuges (for free of for a small fee) but only when staffed. For safety reasons they shut down electricity and tap water if the refuge is unstaffed. Even with the refuges unstaffed, by using power sparingly, you'll still be able to charge your phone along the way, for example at the bars or gîtes/hostels/hotels in Asco, Vizzavona etc.
- Even when unstaffed, gas burners and some pans are available at each refuge. There's a chimney (or woodburner) and wood as well, to be used -sparingly!- in case of bad weather.
- Some "wild" rivers and fountains along the way will probably be dry, however each refuge features at least a permanent water source. Make sure you pack enough for each stage before leaving.
- Temperature inside refuges is the same as outside, minus the effect of the wind :) Indoors, expect roughly 0 to 5°C at night in early October (and exceptionally below freezing). If at risk of hypothermia, use the chimney or woodburner.
- Many stages in the southern part are long in distance but not overly difficult, and therefore could be combined. In the north, the rugged terrain and weather makes combining more risky, but many people seem happy walking Tighjettu to Manganu withing a day, bypassing Ciuttulu.


Geologist in Corsica


Posted: Fri, Jul 19, 2019, 7:39

Thank you for detailed answer!


Posted: Sat, Jul 20, 2019, 7:25

I have been on some short stretches of the GR20 in October and there have been frosts, so it can get cold at nights. I have shivered all night long at Piobbu and Carrozzu on my own, with ice outside. I have been on part of the GR20 in November in deep snow where it is very difficult to make any progress. The refuge guardian at Usciolu showed me a photograph of his refuge with only the top part of the roof sticking out of the snow. You really don't want to be on the trail once it snows.


Posted: Sun, Jul 21, 2019, 6:59

Hi, Алексей,
I think the best option to charge devices is a solar panel and probably it is the only option for the end of season. But keep in mind network is not available during 80% of the trek. I did GR20 North to South this year in 10+ days. It is challenge! I can share with you some ideas, if you like.
Мой адрес на почте гугл: andrej.zujev...

Good luck!




Posted: Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 12:15

Solar panel is an interesting idea especially in combination with power bank. Of cause depends on weather.


Posted: Tue, Jul 23, 2019, 12:21

I'm planning to take my Garmin device for navigation, so telephone will be used as camera mainly and in airplane mode.


Posted: Tue, Oct 15, 2019, 20:42

So I did GR20 between 29 Sept and 10 october (11 days for walk and one day rest due to bad weather conditions ).
My backpack was around 18kg at start including 2 liters of water, 2kg energy snacks and 7 dinners (used only 3). The highest temperature was from 28 at seaside to 17-20 in mountains, mostly sunny, especially before 5/6 pm.
I think i had good preparation and moved quite fast (one-two hours less than numbers in description per stage, max day walking time was around 10 hours). Starting from Asco several stages were combined: 2 in northern and 3 southen parts:
1) Asco- Tighjettu - Ciottulu di i Mori (was tired at the last ascent)
2) Manganu-Pietra Piana-l'Onda
3) Capannelle-Prati-d'Usciolu
4) d'Usciolu-d'Asinao-Bavella ( I guess it was the most difficult day as 2 alpine routes were used: official route to d'Asinao and alternative path to Bavella).
5) Bavella-Paliri-Conca

29 Sept, d'Ortu di u Piobbu - staffed
30 Sept, Carrozzu - staffed
1 Oct, Asco - staffed
2 Oct, Tighjettu - closed
2 Oct, Ciottulu di i Mori - staffed
3 Oct, Manganu - staffed
4 Oct, Pietra Piana - closed (dry water source, river only!)
4 Oct, l'Onda - closed
5 Oct, Vizzavona - staffed (nice shop at camping site).
6 Oct, Capannelle - closed (shop was working last day).
8 Oct, Col de Verde - closed (no refugee!)
8 Oct, Prati - closed
8 Oct, d'Usciolu - no dinner but there were 2 people working/living there. They had a shop with a lot of food. As i understood these products for selling left after high season.
9 Oct, d'Asinao - closed
9 Oct, Bavella - staffed
10 Oct, Paliri - closed

Some food can be bought at:
Asco, Castellu di Verghio, Vizzavona, d'Usciolu (while they open)

There were 12-15 people on the way each day in both directions, quite a lot of them were solo hikers.

Best regards,


Posted: Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 7:32

Thanks Alexey for your very useful report.



Posted: Wed, Oct 16, 2019, 19:50

A very fit person. However very sensible to start with the first three stages as per the guidebook...a gradual warm up then the revving up.:-)
Good information for those going late in that basically you can't rely on the services after the first few days of October.