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For anyone heading to Corse for the GR20.

For anyone heading to Corse for the GR20.


Postby gaffr » Mon May 06, 2019 8:21 am

For anyone heading to Corse for the GR20 this summer and intending to use the Refuges....the refuge on the first stage up from Calenzana at d'Ortu di u Piobbu has been destroyed by fire...and this in the off-season.
see..... corsica.forhikers.com/forum.
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Re: For anyone heading to Corse for the GR20.

Postby ChrisButch » Mon May 06, 2019 7:41 pm

Did the GR20 in 1978, before any of the new refuges were built, so camped and carried own food throughout. (Only one restocking opportunity the whole route then!). Remember it as a spectacular route, and being caught in a big storm in the middle of the Cirque de Solitude (where there have been recent fatalities after a landslide), and for friendly little wild boar everywhere in the forests. The big downside was the extraordinary quantity of rubbish.left by previous trekkers - the leave no trace culture just hadn't penetrated at that time.
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Re: For anyone heading to Corse for the GR20.

Postby gaffr » Tue May 07, 2019 8:55 am

ChrisButch wrote:Did the GR20 in 1978, before any of the new refuges were built


I guess the early days of the GR20...40 years ago. Was it possible to just camp where you chose to along the traverse?
I guess also that then as now the fear from out of control vegetation fires would be an issue.
The very strict rules today on camping would appear to collect most of the waste, well at least from cooking activities, at the disposal points at the refuges. I recall the ponies leaving from Usciolu loaded with litter to take down to Cozzano and no doubt return with more products for sale at the refuge.
When I returned to the island seven years ago and walked the route from South to North I was aware of the huge amount of erosion that had taken place at the exit from the Cirque compared to our earlier North to South walk in 2007.....vegetation at the slot had been worn away and that combined with the prevailing condition of rapidly thawing snow probably helped to bring about the disaster in 2015.
The route is now marked from Haut Ascu, to get around the cirque, to the high col a short distance from the summit of Monte Cintu. Probably when you walked the route there was no need to go down to Haut Ascu, since as far as I am aware, the marked path kept walkers on the higher ground all the way to the descent into the Cirque of Solitude?
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Re: For anyone heading to Corse for the GR20.

Postby ChrisButch » Tue May 07, 2019 2:05 pm

Yes, you wild camped anywhere - it was the only way you could keep to the route. It's a shame the Cirque de S will now be bypassed, since it was a highlight. And yes, that meant the route never strayed far off the main watershed, hence the virtual impossibility of restocking with food except where the route crosses the road and narrow-gauge rail at the Col de Vizzavona. We actually did the whole thing in 10 days, carrying 10 days' food (the discovery of the tiny shop at Vizzavona was an unanticipated oasis).
From what you say it sounds as if things have become rather more sanitised in the intervening 40 years.
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Re: For anyone heading to Corse for the GR20.

Postby gaffr » Tue May 07, 2019 4:04 pm

Hello..... Yes I guess that it must have been a complete adventure forty years ago. I first heard about the route from a teatcher in West Lothian who went and did the traverse with a group of pupils....sometime in the early eighties however we never got to it until retirement in 2007 a few years after our daughter had gone to the route.
Both times I went the cirque was still on the menu but I do think that the replacement for this stage is more demanding....I am basing this on a day trip I did to Monti Cintu from Haut Ascu...the rest is all downhill to the refuge at Tijhettu. The entire up/down has now been cabled up. More demanding or not what it does do is to add another 600 metres of vertical to the effort.
The refuge at Piobbu was torched a couple of days ago and the one at Asinao burned down a couple of years ago both during the off-season......before all of this plans were announced to built new up to date buildings....I wonder perhaps this is some sort of crazy attempt to speed things up. We never used the refuge system much preferring the tent for overnights.... Well with just one night in a building at the dortoir in Vizzavona.
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