GR20 stage 2: Refuge d´Orto di u Piobbu-Refuge de Carrozzu
Distance: 8 km, asc/desc: 750/1050m. Time: 8h
August 4th, 2016
The toughest stage of the GR20 and the one that broke me in 2014
I still took me more than 8 hours to complete the 8 km in 2015.
2014: I was tired from the start of the day after the first stage.
2015: I had taken a rest day at Refuge d´Orto di u Piobbu, where it was so hot that my iPhone overheated inside the tent.
2014: I started at 8:30.
2015: I started at 05:45.
2014: I was cooked when I emerged from the valley at Bocca Piciaia around midday.
2015: I was at Bocca Piciaia at 9 am before the sun hit the valley.
2014: Resting at Bocca Piciaia, I thought the worst was now over with the ascent completed
2015: I knew the worst was to come with the next couple of hours scrambling on top of the magnificent cirque.
I remembered, and feared a couple of these scrambling sections from 2014, but in 2015 they seemed easier and entirely manageable.
2014: I lost the trail on the top and descended needlessly in the scorching heat before having to reascend.
2015: I did not.
2014: I lost the trail on the descent when crossing a dried stream and had some really hard scrambling requiring an extra hour.
2015: I found the trail.
The descent to Carrozzu is the hardest of the entire GR20.
2014: I had no water before starting the descent
2015: I threw out my last water at the top to save weight, a huge mistake. There are only two water sources, both in the beginning.