Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
I awoke feeling surprisingly refreshed. But standing up reminded me that my hamstrings had cramped in the middle of the night, in the tent. Severely.
It was essential that I not strain hiking today. That I relax.
… Unfortunately the very start of the day was tough. Crossing the creek on a suspension bridge … and looking at the 750m climb to Bocca a i Stagnu.
This exact spot is where many hikers quit. (There’s an exit back down to the coast via Bonifatu.)
I persisted, scrambling the Spasimata slabs.
You can see that many from the Refuge started together. These kind of rush hour crowds are another reason I prefer tenting in the wild.
There are cables to assist, not needed when dry, but essential when the granite is wet.
It’s a good idea to start up the slabs early, taking advantage of the morning shade.
My obligatory photo of the North American Indian rock …
At the top the GR20 drops down to a ski resort and road — forget that. The high line, instead, is a route finding challenge along the Muvrella Ridge.
I LOVED this section though it was very slow going. That’s the normal GR20 route far below …
Once (eventually) down in the valley, I enjoyed the easiest hiking so far, even taking time to cool my feet.
During the afternoon I pretty much had the trail south to myself as there’s no Refuge before the infamous Cirque de la Solitude, the crux of the GR20.
I was thrilled to be walking so much better today. (It would have been a crushing disappointment to travel all the way to Corsica and miss the Cirque.)
… I planned to wild camp somewhere high and make the famous traverse next morning. It looks pretty thrilling from the photos.