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Thread: Gr20 hints and tips

  1. #41
    ‹bermensch
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    Looks like the same level of incompetence as last year. Be patient - they may have the booking system up and spasmodically running by mid August. I do not jest!.

  2. #42
    Widdler FooFaa's Avatar
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    Thanks Paddy/Pedro - I shall keep an eye on their site. I'm coming all the way from New Zealand to have a crack at this - I'd hate to be barred from a tent site due to a flakey booking system! Cheers.

  3. #43
    Widdler FooFaa's Avatar
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    The GR20 booking system is open for bookings: http://www.parc-corse.org/vad/

    Be warned - it is one of the most tedious systems I've ever used - set aside at least an hour to get through it.

    Be aware that you can't use this system to book stuff between L'onda and Prati (which includes Vizzavona). Be aware that Refuge de Puscaghja and Refuge de A sega (between Refuge de Ciottulu di u mori and Refuge de Manganu) may be surplus to your requirements (they're not on Mr. Dillon's list of overnight stops, as far as I can see).

    Tip: it is not obvious how to add multiple refuge/nights to your 'shopping cart' - after adding one item, use the 'Les refuges du Parc' button at the top of the page to return to the refuge listing so you can select and add the next one. Some of the fields default from one booking request to the next, but the "Nombre de couchage refuges"/"Aires de bivouacs par défaut"/"Avec location tente (2 places)" do not for some reason.

  4. #44
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FooFaa View Post
    Be aware that Refuge de Puscaghja and Refuge de A sega (between Refuge de Ciottulu di u mori and Refuge de Manganu) may be surplus to your requirements (they're not on Mr. Dillon's list of overnight stops, as far as I can see).
    Too right they're not on the list... but that's because they're nowhere near the GR20 and are of no practical use to anyone following the GR20. If you walk off-route to either of those refuges, it takes so long to walk back to the route that you gain absolutely nothing. In fact, you'd be lucky to be able to return to the route at the same time you left it the previous day!

    The reason you can't book anything at Vizzavona is because the PNRC don't offer any accommodation there. It's all in private hands and fairly plentiful anyway. In case of desperation, when all the beds in Vizzavona are taken, and you don't want to camp, you can always bail out to the Hotel Monte d'Oro. It's outside the village, but you can detour to it BEFORE reaching Vizzavona, or phone them from Vizzavona and they'll come and get you.

    I'm still keen to hear what happens to people who book their overnights, then find they can't cover a stage due to bad weather or general fatigue. Do they get a 'red card' and get sent off the mountain? Last year the refuge guardians made it quite plain that they hated the booking system, and they were quite happy to operate outside the 'rules' as posted on the website.

  5. #45
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    I've just had a play on the booking system. Foofaa - if you think this is tedious you obviously didn't try last year. What is interesting is that every hut has 25 permanant tented locations and 100 bivouac sites. You can't book the latter which is good news.

    If you go in through the 'Refuges de Parc' button , it allows you to choose direction of travel and provides information on the first hut - capacity, stage details etc and a 'reserve' button. I can't find a way to move onto the second hut in the chain though.

    If you go in through the 'Effectuez votre reservation' you can select huts directly but it does not supply the same hut information.

    As a matter of interest I have used the 'contactez- nous' page to ask what happens if one is delayed by bad weather. Watch this space but don't be too optimistic.

  6. #46
    Widdler FooFaa's Avatar
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    Very keen to hear the results of your 'contactez- nous'enquiry, Pedro!

    To select any hut on the trail (via the 'Refuges de Parc' button), click on any of the small, square thumbnail images...


  7. #47
    ‹bermensch
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    Oh dear - except for the current one all my thumbnails are white and so is the background. It works if I click on where I think the thumbnail is !

  8. #48
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    I tell a lie above. You do book bivouac sites. How it works is you state the number of people in your party excluding those who are going to stay in the permanent tent. By default it is assumed they are bivouacing/camping. You then modify the outcome to say how many of them are staying in the refuge. You then add in the number of permanent tents you want. So a part of 6 (say) two each in refuge/bivouac/pemanent tent is actually a party of 4 plus a tent booking. Only a Corsican could create such a system !

  9. #49
    Mini Goon
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    If someone is interested in some practical info and a story of my GR20-hike, read here http://joannastravelblog.com/?page_id=167. I am NOT trying to get more traffic to my side, I just want to share some tips and don't want to spend hours rewriting them here

  10. #50
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    The response to my enquiry:-

    'Des modifications seront possibles dans la limite des places disponibles, a voir sur place avec le gardien'

    In other words - it's ok to modify if there is room. See the guardien when you get there.

    And if there isn't room ??????


  11. #51
    Widdler FooFaa's Avatar
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    The travel article by Joannad is well worth a read - thank you, Joannad!

    On the strength of the article (backed up by a question to Joanna directly) we have come to the conclusion that we can safely leave all cooking and eating gear at home, and can rely fully on purchasing everything we need food-wise 'on the track'. We're still planning on taking a couple of emergency meals (mainly to mitigate refuges will poor culinary reputations), but are going to rely on the cooking facilities (including pots) available at the refuges.

    In light of the fact that we intend to camp each night (i.e. not pay to stay inside any refuge, which may reduce our access to refuge facilities), can anyone comment on the wisdom/ limitations/ etc. of the above plan? It'd be great to leave the stove etc. at home if at all possible...

    Thanks in advance.

  12. #52
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    FooFaa

    There are two lots of cooking facilities at the huts, inside and outside. In theory the inside ones are for people staying in the refuge and there are pots supplied, the outside ones are for campers and consist of two gas rings - one small and one large but no pots. Theory is not always put into practice. I suggest you take a pot for outside cooking. Make sure it has a fairly wide base to prevent the flames licking around the side and hence heat being wasted if using the large ring. If using the small ring, patience is required. Patience will also be required if there is a queue to us the cooking (and other) faciltiies.

    I ate hut meals where available but I did take a pan and tea/coffee to make a morning and other cuppas.

    Suggest you read:

    http://www.peewiglet.com/GR20/index.html

  13. #53
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    The first time I walked the GR20, you had to pack all your own food for several nights at a stretch, which made for hefty pack weights. I already knew that the refuges had cooking facilities (from a winter visit I'd made previously), so I didn't bother packing a stove and pans. However, there were sometimes very long queues for the stoves, and when I did my cooking outdoors, I had to beg the guardian for a pan. One of them lent me a pan on the very strict understanding that I had to return it to him personally, and he wanted to be able to see his face reflected in the bottom of the pan! Once they started offering meals at the refuges, I gave up carrying food too. In fact, I guess I had the lightest pack of anyone trekking the route! I know some people complain about the price of the meals and the price of stuff on sale, but let's face it... it's a straight choice between paying the price for something that's been carried up on mules or flown in by helicopter, and carrying several extra kilos just to save a handful of Euros. Me... I'll always pay the price. I've never been able to see the sense in lugging heavy stuff over mountains when it's already available on the mountains! Some people say you don't get enough food when you order meals... but that's a very British problem. Observe the French trekkers... go back and demand a second helping! Honestly though... I've even seen British trekkers refuse a second helping out of politeness, even when they're starving. Get over it... get stuck in... and get yourself fed!

  14. #54
    Widdler FooFaa's Avatar
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    Thanks, Pedro/Paddy - your advice is greatly appreciated.

    I'm with you, Paddy - Kilos vs Euros is no contest (my knees are not what they once were)!

    Sounds like a small pot to boil water in might be worth it, though...

    Cheers!

    P.S. I take it there's never an issue obtaining a cooked meal at the refuge as a camper? I.e. they cater for way more people than the refuge holds? And do they supply plates an cutlery? Sorry for so many questions...

  15. #55
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    I've always got a meal when wanted. Yes, plates and cutlery provided and you don't even have to do the washing up.

  16. #56
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Yep... all you need to provide is an empty belly for them to fill!

    And remember... sharpen your elbows and get into the scrum for seconds!

  17. #57
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    If you're tea or coffe junky, you'll need a pot, I agree! We only drink water (and beer, and wine) so we did not need any pot.

    I am not sure if there are any common stoves at Ballone, Col di Verghi and Haut Asco though... all the other refuges I stayed at had them

  18. #58
    Ultra King Paddy Dillon's Avatar
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    Ballone and Col di Verghi aren't PNRC refuges, and facilities are basic to 'encourage' you to dine in their restaurants. That's no problem, by the way, since they both do good grub. The Haut Asco refuge is next door to a hotel and you always notice a lot more people dining at the hotel than are actually staying there! After three days of 'mountain fare', I guess the idea of an a la carte menu is too much to resist. Put it this way, I can't resist it, but I always feel I've earned the right after climbing Monte Cinto.

  19. #59
    Mini Goon
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    It's not only the a la carte meny I felt I earned after trying and failing to hike the old GR20 in the heat! The bathtube and a bed the hotel could offer was more then worth the 75 eur!!!

  20. #60
    Mini Goon FredL's Avatar
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    I am interested in doing the route in September. Is there any need for climbing, ie. more than bouldering, experience?

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