To meet the demand for more and more numerous than our foreign competitors, here is the description in English from the ultra trail di Corsica
Fireworks in center town, atmosphere, atmosphere…
We are going right to the heart of the matter, oh yes, the climb is very steep, 1400D+ for only 6.2km, welcome to Corsica and good luck!
It is necessary not to be too euphoric and keep some strength without forgetting to admire the luxurious panorama which becomes more and more aerial.
On your left hand, the Monte Rotondo range 2622m, the 2nd highest summit of Corsica stretches his arms: you can perceive in the order the Lattinicia, the Cardo, Felicina, I Ciotti and finally, the impressive Rotondo outlined by big piles of snow.
Behind you, Corte seen from the sky, with the sea in the background, it’s worth it.
Be attentive, do not miss a geological curiosity coming out from nowhere! L’Arcu di u Scandulaghju.…
Below, a river flows, it is the majestic Tavignanu which you will be able to approach a little later.
The supply station in the Padule sheep stables will restore you, and not far, you will finally go by Bocca Canaglia pass, 1790m (Phew, a little “rest”) It’ll take 2h to go 6 km, only..
A little downhill trek in the grass and pebbles, take’s you quickly to Cogna sheep stables; from there, you will be able to relax your legs on a beautiful forest track spreading nonchalantly on 5 km.
Near the Bonniacce sheep stables, when you pass in front of the “parrot” headstone, think of the maquisards, who, during the 2nd world war, had prepared from here the Corsican liberation, which was the first department liberated, a year before the Normandy landing.
A steep drop and very technical, takes you to km16, Sega refuge (the saw) 1160m, where a restorative supply is waiting for you.
This place, in the past, was a site where the “pin laricciu” was to be used for making masts of ships.
What a pleasure to walk along the Tavignanu, in the shadow of century old pine trees, admiring 2 magnificent and refreshing waterfalls.. You go back up about 4km then, in Pinadellu, you leave it to go from here up to a ridge to Bocca Cappizzolu before arriving to the Calacuccia artificial lake, by a long path which will take you to Casamaccioli. A place where takes place “A Santa di u Niolu” early September, a religious celebration, rural fairs, parties…
3km more on a forest track and you reach the Calacuccia supply station where your supporters will be able to see you. Even if the 1st ones will be there at about 3h, the last ones will have to leave before 9h. Build up your strength before engaging in the massif of the Cinto, the highest summit of the island, 2706m.
A trail will take you to the Ercu refuge, which means 6 km for 700D+ and now, you’ll begin the second most difficult part of the day. Passing near the lake Cintu, it will takes you to the highest point of the race: Bocca Crucetta 2415m Ahhh!.The ascension to Bocca Crucetta .How happy we are when we reach the top! You just reached the famous GR20.You deserve the view !!
In a more serious mode, a very technical downhill takes you to Ballone sheep stables, 3km for 1000D-, a small supply is welcome.
Now, it’s time to climb up to Bocca Foggiale (5km for 500D+), then Ciottulu di i mori refuge, you are half way and close to the most beautiful summit of the island: Capu Tafunatu and Paglia Orba.
You continue on this path in the high Golo valley, that you’re going to follow, and reach the Radule sheep stables before going up to Vergiu sky resort. The best moment for a serious restoration. Even if the first ones arrive before it gets too warm, the night comes for those who are strong enough to continue, with the supporters cheering for them!
Easy slope to Col Saint Pierre (Bocca San Petru) then, a little steeper to reach Bocca A Reta (1883m) before going down to the velvet shores of Lac du Ninu (1756m) inhabited by trout, source of the Tavignanu, where wild horses, cows and pigs graze.
You are at km70, on the mythical GR20, your legs begin to feel the trip, make sure you stay hydrated out there and eat properly at the supply station.
You’re going to hike around 7km on the Campotile, a vast grassy plateau to join Manganu refuge, passing by Vaccaja sheep stables.
Joking apart, now you’re reaching the “crux”, the terrible Bocca Alle Porte pass (2250m), which will separate the men from the boys!
A steep climb in a mineral and austere universe, scattered with piles of snow, will bring you to an improbable breach. What a wonderful reward when you arrive at the top, a 360° view with, in the back ground, the highest pics in Corsica, and the most beautiful lakes at this high altitude. Capitellu and Melu at your feet.
Continue for another 1.5km on the GR until Bocca Soglia, keep very concentrated because a long and very technical downhill trek will take you directly to the stables of Grutelle where Téo’s waiting for you with a wonderful high caloric meal (Corsican coldcuts, chees, soup, pasta…), that can be accompanied by a great massage by physiotherapists: that will not be a luxury seeing the state your muscles will be in, and seeing there are 20km to go! You are now km86 and the most difficulties are behind you.
A downward path will take you along the Restonica down to “Chez César” before attacking the last difficulty of the day (yes! One more to go!)
About 800m of downhill trek for 3 small km, bringing you to plateau d’Alzu, a very popular grazing pasture for all the Cortenais and the last and most friendly supply station with a very special atmosphere thanks to all the volunteers, all the shepherds and all the nature lovers in Corsica
Physiotherapists will be available for those suffering from cramps or sore muscles before leaving for the last 12km along the banks of the Tavignanu.
Finally Corte is in sight, a little detour by the upper town and the citadel, and the finishing line ahead! After a little rest, the festivities began, Corsican singers and all…