GR20 stage 13 : Refuge d´Usciolu to Refuge Asinau
Distance: 17 km, asc/desc: 1010/1225m, 11h
August 18th, 2016
This stage starts scrambling along the final part of the Corsica Spine Ridge from Usciolu, through a final gap, and then down to Bocca di l´Agnonu, where the trail splits in two:
1. The official trail: Via plateau de Cuscioni, over wonderful farmland passing three Bergeries, the last being the wonderful Bergerie de Croci, located only 2,5-3 hours walk from the summit of Monte Alcudina, alternatively 3 hours walk from Refuge Asinau. I walked this trail in 2014 camping at I Croci.
2. The variante: Crossing the plateau de Cuscioni before passing I Pedinieddi, the only place on the GR20 where camping is allowed, though no facilities are available and the nearest water source is a 30 minutes walk away. I camped here, thus splitting the stage in two. The next day is a straight-forward two-hour walk up to the summit of Monte Alcudina followed by a quite challenging ascent down to Asinau, placing right after the descents to Carrozzu and Haut Asco in difficulty. In fact I saw man being evacuated with helicopter due to an ankle injury.
Asinau is located at the top of the valley. It can be windy but the views are great. Note: The Asinau Refuge burned down in early 2016, and as I understand it there is (2016) nothing left on the site except water, thus it should should be possible to pitch a tent. Alternatively, Bergeries d´Asinau offers accomodation a bit further down the valley (reservations essential).