Corsica - Day 4
I woke up amidst the prickles. Everything in my tent including myself had shifted downhill. I hadn't slept much because of the slope and the heavy wind. After packing and breakfast I continued. Two nights ago I had slept in the bushes and then found an open spot 5 minutes later. Yesterday I had been searching for an open spot for 1,5 hours and now again found an open field within 5 minutes. That was really frustrating. I carried a GPS and physical map but for some reasons those spots weren't marked on them.
The frustratingly level piece of grassy ground
I walked through a forest and quickly covered some ground. I crossed a relatively large river. It was getting less warm now I was getting higher up the mountains.
A huge fallen tree
The first snow along the route
A second enormous tree
After a steep incline I reached Refuge Asinao, which was deserted but open. Inside were many sleeping places and a living room with kitchen. There was also a closet with stuff people had left behind. There were some panns, peggs, and a snow shovel. After this cabin I would have to climb Mont Incudine, the highest point of the GR20. There was much snow on top, but the snowline seemed to lie a lot higher than the 1600 m internet claimed. Climbing this mountain would determine if it was possible to completed the route without snowshoes or not. It could end up being a bit dangerous all by myself, but (besides the snowshoes) I carried proper equipment and knew my limits.
Dirty matresses in the sleeping area
The living room
The view from Refuge Asinao
The cabin lies at 1540 m, after a lot of climbing I reached the snow line around 1850 m. The summit was at 2050 m. Walking through the snow was very difficult as it was deep and had gotten all slushy due to the heat. The first 1/3 was difficult but doable. Later every step involved me sinking in it up to half way my upper legs. That was redicululously tiring. After falling quite hard a few times I made up my mind. This was too dangerous. It would take at least an hour more to reach the summit and at that point I would still be only halfway over the mountain.
The slope up Mont Igual
A hill in the other direction
During the descent I fell a few more times, including one where I slid down the mountain for 100 meters. Fortunately I didn't hit anything, but my socks and trousers were drenched. I decided return to the cabin to take a good rest and decide what I would do for the remainder of the trip. At the moment it looked like it would be over soon. I cooked dinner while playing some music, which was really nice all alone in the mountains. I hadn't seen anyone the entire day.
While cooking I just happened to look into the direction of the closet with left behind hiking stuff and noticed something lying on top. It was the most Bram-ish thing it could have been: a snowshoe. Indeed 1! snowshoe, likely someone had lost the other one and didn't bother to carry this one back. I wasn't sure if it would make it easier to get over the mountain but it was very odd to find one now.
Upon inspecting the route my options were pretty clear. If I would manage to get over this mountain I would be able to take a detour around the second one and continue following the GR20 for at least a few more days before it would reach above the snowline again. If not, I would have to walk all the way back to the paved route and then take a bus to a different hiking path or go back home. I also considered walking around this mountain, but that would involve a huge detour and climbing along some steep drops. Right now I would first take a nap.
After getting some rest I brushed my teeth and wrote this story. I decided that if I would feel better tomorrow, I might make another attempt to get over the mountain using the snowshoe. Depending on how that went, I would continue with the GR20 or follow a different route. Either way I would have to be careful. I still hadn't seen anyone the entire day and despite all the snow problems the weather was nice and the views amazing.
In hindsight it wasn't the best idea to go directly after my graduation, but that was the only moment I had time. I also definitely didn't eat enough during the first few days, but was slowly doing better.
Just before I fell asleep a family barged into the cabin. It seemed best to get out of my sleeping bag and put on some clothes. Just when I was standing in my underwear they opened the door. That must have been quite a shock as they hadn't expected to see anyone. They were really French, the man immediately and enthusiastically started telling me entire stories in French. As soon as I asked if he spoke English he replied 'a little' and left. Those people are really stubborn.
Now I still wasn't able to go to sleep. They were in the room but simply ignored me. I felt a bit like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I was quite sure the French family didn't feel comfortable with me being here, but I hadn't done or said anything wrong. I felt bad I still hadn't managed to not see another person for an entire day.
Distance walked: 10 km