Snow on the GR20 – 30th May 2018

It’s the end of May and the guardians have  gone up to the refuges to get ready for the season.  Each refuge organizes  helicopter drops and journeys with mules to stock up on food and provisions. 

If you are doing the trail early this summer your burning question, will no doubt be ‘What’s the snow like?’

Snow on GR20

If you are doing the trail early this summer your burning question, will no doubt be ‘What’s the snow like?’

At present, there are patches of snow and ice dotted about in the South. Although you need extra time and care to confront this, you will not need specialist equipment to get through.  Equally, you  should anticipate that all water courses are deeper and  harder to cross with the snow melt.  Extra time is needed to take your  boots and socks off, before making your way carefully across the river, using your poles for balance.

In the North section, there is still a lot of snow, some guided groups have gone through  accompanied by leaders with the ‘high mountain guide qualification.’ This means they are qualified and proficient at using ropes, crampons and ice axes.

IML guides ‘International Mountain Leaders’ are not qualified to take groups knowingly through in such conditions.

There are two main sections in the North that are impossible to undertake without the necessary winter mountain equipment and experience.

Haut Asco - Tighiettu. This stage incorporates  the Monte Cinto ridge, the highest point on the GR20 trail at 2600m altitude.  At the time of writing, on the north side (Haut Asco)  there was snow at 2000m  On the South side (Tighiettu) the snow is lower at 1900m. You can avoid this stage by using the bus that runs twice a day between Haut Asco and Calasima  it costs  35 euros and the journey takes about 2h40.

Your second  high-point that remains out of bounds is the high breche above Capitello lake situated at 2200m.