GR20 Stage 3

GR20 Stage 3 – Circumstances, events, hiking route and a lot of information for the camping and food. Additionally difficulties will be higlighted.  For GR20 Stage 2 look here.

GR20 Stage 3 – The planned route

The third stage will start at Refuge de Carozzu and leads to the ski resort Haut Asco. The track will have a climbing part at the beginning. Stopover will be the Lac de la Muvrella.

Stage Route Start Goal Distance Metres in Altitude Duration
 Refuge de Carrozzu Refuge d’Asco Stagnu  4,5 km 700 m 6:10 h

GR20 Stage 3 – The Night and the following morning

The night was very restless. Arround 11:15 pm we woke up by a loud roar. A storm was about to begin. A real summer storm, quickly we put our backpacks inside of the tent. It was really uncomfortable this night in the tent, because there was not much space for us left. The lightening and thunder accompanied us the whole night, but we were able to fall asleep. The funny thing about the situation was, it was just loud, but there was not a single drop of rain.

Early in the morning, at 05.00 am the alarm rang. We packed our things and prepared ourselves for the tour today. Again we ate our own rations for breakfast. Despite preparations on the evening and better timing in the morning, we were still not able to leave earlier the refugee. We were starting our tour at 07.00 am. The view from the Refuge de Carrozu will remain in our memories for a long time.

GR20 Stage 3 – To Lac de la Muvrella

The first part of the third stage led us to a mountain lake “Lac de la Muvrella”. The path to the lake had two particularities: On the one hand we needed to cross a river – Rau de Spasimata – by a suspension bridge. On the other hand a heavy climbing piece was right in the morning in front of us. The track was secured by ropes and anchors in the ground. But there were some places where we needed to move on all fours. This climbing part can be uncomfortable especially when it rained. The stones profile was not very easy to walk on. The way up to the lake was an easy ascend. We took around 3 hours up to the lake. At the lake, there was a shelter for camping. It should be noted here: The lake has no drinking water and swimming is forbidden. We could unfortunately not enjoy the time at the lake, because there was a strong and cold wind. Therefore we moved quickly on up to Bocca di Stagnu.

GR20 Stage 3 – To Haut Ascu via Bocca di Stagnu

We hiked the stage from the Lac de la Muvrella up to Bocca di Stagnu  in one hour. This part, however, was badly signposted. The track behind the lake went slightly upwards, from there it gave the impression that the way is leading done again. But that was the wrong way, we had to search for the correct way more on the left side. We had that day even fog, so we had great difficulty to find the right way. The way to Bocca di Stagnu was a small climbing part but easy to achieve. Afterwards it goes one more time a little bit up and we were at the top of the bocca. Once at the top at Bocca di Stagnu, you can see Haut Asco already. We were back civilization, after 2 days. A ski lift and a hotel could be seen in the distance. The descent to Haut Asco was stated with two hours. Also this part was poorly marked. There were parallel serpentines going down and all were marked with the red and white signs. In some places, the sign was just disappearing and you were standing in the middle of no where. It was important here, not to lose sight of the Haut Asco.

GR20 Stage 3 – Haut Asco

Haut Asco was a common ski resort. There was electricity, a hotel, a telephone, a fountain, several ways to eat and a refuge for the GR20 runners. The best thing was: There were hot showers. However there was additionally a shocking message for us – the GR20 Stage 4 was closed. In summer 2015, an accident in the rocky landscape of the Cirque de la Solitude occurred, therefore the section was closed. From Haut Asco an alternative route was offered. A difficult way over the Monte Cinto. It needs to be mentioned that this route takes around 12 hours and afterwards connects again with the GR20.  Another way was by bus. We did not feel ready to walk again a very difficult stage. We chose the bus. The bus ticket was really expensive with 35 € per person. The refuge had a small grocery store. We could buy some stuff for the next days and additionally bought Bolognese for the evening.

GR20 Stage 3 – Summary

GR20 Stage 3 was an easy tour. The most difficult part was the climbing in the begining. It needs to be mentioned that the marks were really bad at the second part of the trail behind the Lac de la Muvrella.

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