GR20 Stage 2

GR20 Stage 2 – Circumstances, events, hiking route and a lot of information for the camping and food. Additionally difficulties will be higlighted.  For GR20 Stage 1 look here.

GR20 Stage 2 – The planned route

The second stage will lead us from D’Ortu Piobbu to Refuge de Carrozu. The route looks exhausting and additonally there are a lot of ascends and descends.

Stage Route Start Goal Distance Metres in Altitude Duration
 Refuge d’Ortu di u Piobbu Refuge de Carrozzu  8,09 km  Ascent 680m

Descent 1000m

7:00 h

GR20 Stage 2 – The Morning

Contrary  to the last night, we woke up early. 5:00 am the alarm clock rang. We put our stuff together and disassembled our tent. At the sink we refilled our water bladder, because the sun was not up yet it was very difficult to do that, even with our lamps. We were a little bit slower compared with the first morning. At 06:30 am we finished our packing. The final step before departure should be the breakfast in the Refuge. The sunrise cast a beautiful light pink tone over the mountains. After a healthy breakfast, we managed to leave arround 7:00 am. The next night we will camp at Refuge Carozzu.

GR20 Stage 2 – Bocca di Pisciaghia

The beginning of the tour was very easy. The road went along a ridge, covered by trees. This path led us forward with almost no ascend. It went a bit downhill and we saw the first long climb ahead of us. We turned around a last time and said quietly goodbye to D’Ortu Piobbu. We were at 1500 m and had to climb up to 2040 m. The Bocca di Pisciaghia was located at 1940 m. The word Bocca will be mentioned more often, it describes a hill, hump or plateau. The first climb to the Bocca was badly signposted and very stressful. There were almost no places to rest. We improved our orientation and were additionally looking out for little stony figures. At about 1850 m there is a possibility to take a break. We needed 3.5 hours until that point. The final ascend to Bocca again requires quite a bit of climbing skills. But this time there are no chains available. The last part to the Bocca is well signposted.

GR20 Stage 2 – Bocca di I’Innominata

The part to the second Bocca: Bocca di Innominata led us back down to about 1800 m. The path has a lot of serpentines and is the foundation is mostly gravel. As we walked down the serpentines the sun was at the highest point. The midday sun was hot and the gravel gave us a hard time. Shortly before we arrived at the Bocca, there are three difficult passages. The first during a descent: It looked as if it would have to continue straight ahead, but the signs were gone. We went 10 minutes in the wrong direction. When we were uncertain due to lack of markings. We turned around and noticed that the way was going to the left instead of straight. The second difficult incident was a so-called chimney. A chimney is a continuous upward vertical climbing part. We needed to climb 10 m, without security measurements available. There was no backup, only now and then a few crevices for our fingers. Biggest problem  here was the deep cliff below our feet. After this climbing passage we arrived at Bocca di I’Innominata at around 1900 m. Until this Bocca we needed 6 h.

GR20 Stage 2 – Refuge de Carrozzu

The biggest challenge and the most difficult part was still ahead of us. We needed to move down from 1900 m to 1200 m. Gravel switchbacks, dust, sand, a heavy piece of work for our legs. In between, there was a part where you had to take off the backpack. There was a part where it is impossible to move through with the backpack. We got rid of the backpack and crawled through this area. The descent to the Refuge down was unexciting. In the evening we were totally exhausted as we arrived at 03:00 pm in the Refuge.

The Refuge was based in a forest. Finding a good campground was unfortunately difficult. Many places were occupied by the tents from owner of the refugee. These tents were rentable. The other tent sites were often colonized by ant trails. We had found a place right in front of the showers. The Refuge itself was a very nice house with a huge kitchen. Gas was provided. Additionally it was possible to order some food. The only special feature here: You need to enter the house without shoes. Showers were available too, but cold water only. The showers closed at 07.00 pm, so we needed to hurry. A special feature: The toilets – Dry closets without water. In the evening we spent again one of our rations – dried egg and mash. We filled our water bladders this time in the evening, to get away quickly in the morning.

GR20 Stage 2 – Route summary

Die GR20 Etappe 2 empfand ich als eine der anstrengsten auf dem ganzen GR20. Die Tour die mit 7 h angegeben war, jedoch zerrten die beiden Aufstiege mit den Abstiegen an unseren Kraftreserven. Insbesondere die Schotterwege machten unser Leben schwer. Bei dieser Tour ist es ratsam, etwas mehr Trinkwasser dabei zu haben, die Sonne war zur Mittagszeit sehr intensiv. Die schlechte Ausschilder am Anfang und kurz vor dem zweiten Bocca machte diese Tour nicht einfacher. Hier empfiehlt sich ein früheres losgehen, um einen besseren Zeltplatz zu ergattern.

The GR20 Stage 2 I was one of the most stressful tours compared with other routes of the GR20. The tour was described with 7 h of walking. However, because of the ascends and descends it was stressing our body a lot. In particular, the gravel roads made our lives difficult. On this tour, it is advisable to have a little more water available. The sun was very intense at midday. The bad signs at the beginning and just before the second Bocca made this tour not simple. Here we recommend an earlier start to get a better place for the night.

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