Corsica - Day 5

The past few days it had been super warm, so I was quite surprised when I looked out of the window: everything was covered in a thick layer of snow. I needed to go to the bathroom really bad but the French family was sleeping along the way there. Our relationship was already strange enough so I didn't want to scare them again. I could walk outside barefooted and pee there, but that would involve walking out in the snow and the French's sleeping quarters were looking out over the balcony. In the end these were all excuses, but now I had a reason to go Bear Grylls style and pee in my water bottle. That was of course a dream come true, although I didn't go as far as to drink it. Just when I wanted to flush it down the sink the French guy walked in (while of course barely saying anything). 


The mountain today

Past night there had fallen about 5 cm of snow. That wasn't too bad but it was getting worse and the wind was picking up. Climbing the mountain with the one snowshoe might be doable in good weather, now it was nearly impossible. However, if I would get over this mountain I would likely be able to finish most of the rest of the route, while if I didn't my vacation was practically over. Despite the snow I tried to give it one more shot. If I failed I would try walking around the mountain below the snowline. I soon found the snow was really too deep, but walking around the mountain went pretty OK at first.

snow along the gr20

Great weather along the way

After a while the weather got way worse and it started to thunder. I had no choice but to descent again. Because I wasn't on a path the descent went slow because of all the bushes. It took 1.5 hours. My map mentioned a smaller path running to a village a few kilometers away. I considered going there, but there wasn't a way to get from there to the other side of the mountain either, so it wouldn't help me much. I also simply couldn't find it, although the French seemed to have taken it. It was clear I wouldn't get over the mountain or around it so I decided to turn around. There was a lot of snow on the roads I had walked on in the scorching sun yesterday. I knew the weather here could change quickly, but from a sunny 25 degrees to 10 cm of snow and thunder in one night was a lot.


Yesterday I took a break here because I was getting sunburned

After a while I came across a lady heading to the cabin, but she wasn't planning on climbing the mountain. Later I met a French hiker who did plan to climb it, but he clearly hadn't bought his snowshoes through Ebay. Later I passed two more hikers who planned to walk the route. I considered turning around and trying to climb the mountain together, but by now I was exhausted. I was annoyed I hadn't met them yesterday. Together  - and the snowshoe - I would likely have made it.


The reason that the hike hadn't worked out was a combination of still being tired from school, the snowshoes not arriving, the route being tougher than expected, not meeting anyone, the bad weather, poor sleep, and not eating enough. If I had been better rested and carried snowshoes I would definitely had made it yesterday. However, for all I know I then might have gotten stuck on the next mountain.

Black with yellow salamander

A salamander on the path

After 4 hours I returned to the asphalt road I had been on yesterday, but it was deserted today. There was a small hotel and restaurant there. I am not sure why, but I decided to keep walking so I would end up back in civilization as soon as possible. Despite now being at a much lower elevation the snow and cold continued. I continued walking down the asphalt road leading into the valley, which again had  no good camping spots.

Eventually I found a flat area next to a survival abseil trail made in the trees. That seemed appropriate. After pitching my tent I took off my clothes. Despite my waterproof jacket and pants everything had gotten wet from either the rain or sweat. I dried myself with my spare t-shirt, so my sleeping bag was the only dry thing I had left. This had gotten a bit out of hand, but I clearly had made the right decision by turning around. Later I would learn it continued snowing in the mountains for another 3 days.