Here's a brief outline of our GR20 trip in June 2011 (‘our’ being me and my Dad). There are loads of threads on here so any questions about practicalities might be better added on to those: especially GR20 Blog Available
You'll see on that thread some of the questions I asked (including travel) before going and I'll be happy to assist where possible, though Paddy is normally on hand and is usually best placed.
We took Paddy's Guidebook, which it should by now go without saying is fantastic. We had no set plan for each day and adjusted our itinerary as we went to fit in some extras. We managed to take in Montes Cinto, Ritondu, and d'Oru and the Aguilles de Bevalla. Unfortunately Monte Renosu had to be avoided because of extremely strong winds. Incredibly we didn't see a single drop of rain the entire two weeks; I appreciate how lucky we were. It brewed up a couple of times but never came to anything.
Footwear: this exercised much of my thinking before going. Just before going I discovered some quite light mids (Meindl Respond) that fit me perfectly, which were great. There were loads of people doing it in trainers, including simple running trainers as well as those like my Dad in heavier walking boots.
Tent: Having faffed about with the refuge booking site we decided just to take a tent as it wouldn't add much weight and then not to bother booking. There was never a problem for us in getting a space, though I think on a couple of nights if you'd have arrived late in the day it could have been trickier given how full they can get. Also I can obviously only speak how it was for us early in the season (late June). We took my Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2 with a sheet of light plastic flooring (the one from MLD). It stood up fine and came back completely in tact having made sure we did some careful pitch selection, though the MLD flooring got a little torn.
Food: we ate at the refuges each night, which was fine; we only had a couple of duff dinners. It is expensive but is filling and is largely decent value if you consider that Corsica is expensive generally and the method by which the food has to get up the mountain. The best meal of the trip was at Bergeries de Vaccahja (p103 of the book). We camped there the night and the farmer cooked a wild board leg (that he’d shot himself) in an outside wood oven: it was incredible! He also made his own brocciu (a local cheese), which was the best on the walk and apparently is renowned for being so. Also fantastic was the brocciu lasagne at the Bergeries de l’Onda.
Kit: we went fairly light and were glad of it (base weight pre-food/drink with half the tent each was 7.3kg). It gets cold in the evenings and I was glad of my warm gear. I’d be happy to talk gear with whoever wants to but won’t bore the others in this report.
Some of the highlights:
Distance = 208km (129.25miles)
Total ascent = 15,210m
Total descent = 15,225m
Longest day was 28.5km (day 12)
On the final day we walked 27km, climbed 1,250m and descended 2,535m; fair to say we were pretty knackered at the end of that day. A swim in the bluest sea the day after was an amazing reward.
Hard to get across what a great time we had.
Here's the link to that other thread again: GR20 Blog Available
Sorry this had to be posted in parts- the website wasn't playing ball.
Sounds like you had a great time on the GR20!
Getting from Calenzana to the Refuge d'Ortu di u Piobbo in half a day must have been a serious confidence booster for the rest of the trek.
You did well to include a few extra mountains. I managed your 'Day 8', climbing Monte Ritondu in the morning, then taking the high-level route to the Refuge de l'Onda in the afternoon. It was well worth the effort. I climbed Ritondu with a French Canadian woman, but she took the low-level route to l'Onda, and arrived much later than me.
I'll have to have a read of the blog now.
Thanks Paddy and thank you for your help before we went. We had such a good time. We were on top of Ritondu by 8.30am on a glorioulsy sunny morning. There were only two other people there - a German couple who were very keen climbers and were just doing peaks across Corsica.
The blog is YGarn's that he put up ages ago.
It’s not all hill walking and Kendal mint cake
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