Thursday, August 30, 2012

Carozzu - Haut Asco

Distance: 6km, altitude at start: 1270m, altitude at end: 1422m, highest point: 2010m.

I sort of roll out of the tent more than walk out of it. And then gets a brutal start on the day with a visit to the toilet, you spend more strength on the toilets along the GR20 than you use on the walking. The breakfast is just like yesterday lying ready for me inside the cabin.

Passerelle de la Spasimata. Agnes on her way over the suspension bridge. Not much water left in the river now, this late in august.

The gardien at the cabin reported yesterday that a storm was coming today, so I'm off earlier than yesterday. Typical for the weather down here is that the clouds and bad weather usually tends to come later in the day. About an hour after leaving the cabin I come to the suspension bridge that goes over Ruisseau de Spasimata and I know that I've got the highlight of the day before me. The passage over the Spasimata slabs up towards Bocca a i Stagni.

There is so little water in the river now that you can just as well walk over it to get to the other side, but suspension bridges are fun so I enter the little queue that is to walk over by it. Clouds are now high up in the pass above. Then the hike up the Spasimata valley starts.

The Spasimata slabs. The trail ascends up and over the massive slabs of stone towards Bocca a i Stagni, layers and layers of granite.

The ascent goes up over the Spasimata slabs and there are chains available most of the way. In rainy weather the stones get really slippery quite fast and some places turns into death traps (apparently) where you risk falling down into the abyss below you if you should be unlucky to slip. Now, however, is it completely dry and so the chains are more like decorations. Well, some uses them anyway, not all of the hikers are just as confident going over the slabs. The abyss lies threatening to one side of the trail.

View down towards the Spasimata valley. The slabs lies like lego bricks stacked upon each other above the river.

It's really cool going upwards. The slabs lies on layers upon layers, like a huge staircase for giants up towards the pass above. In the middle of the valley a cleft is breaking through the slabs with the river running below. The river will probably soar down the valley during springtime. Now it's just quiet, a quiet echo from the past.

A chopper breaks the silence, further down the valley the little bird of steel goes flying up towards Carozzu with materials. I catch up with Odd and Gro, the other Norwegian couple that I've met. We enjoy a break together while enjoying the vistas in backwards direction.

Lac de la Muvrella. After climbing up all the slabs on my way here I couldn't resist taking a bath. Cold, but refreshing.

Up by Lac de la Muvrella the Spasimata slabs traverse is finished, but the ascent isn't over. It's still steep up towards Bocca a i Stagni. But before taking on the last climb, I go for a swim in the water. The water can't be said to be very clear, nor is it hot. It's still refreshing though after all the sweat I left behind slab upon slab. Muvrella is by the way the French word for mouflon.

The view at Bocca a i Stagni (2010m) is as expected, fantastic. And now Monte Cinto is almost alongside us. I turn my gaze towards where the Cirque de la Solitude lies and awaits me. Looking down, the path goes very steep downwards, far below lays the old ski station of Haut Asco. Up to Haut Asco there is a road and I can see cars stand parked alongside the hotel. The civilization awaits, I can't manage to stifle a little sigh. You can understand the some people choose to go the old route that bypasses the ski station.

Bocca a i Stagnia, view back down from where I've climbed up from. Lac de la Muvrella down to the right, Calvi still seen in the horizon upper left.

After a long (and steep) descent my feet touches asphalt. I meet up with the French group again for a beer and an omelet for lunch in the restaurant at the hotel. It's the civilization, but it brings good food with it at least.

Steep down towards Haut Asco.

Refuge de Ascu-Stagnu is a really sad building in concrete and it's just as sad on the inside. But the gardien here is anything but, she was a fantastic nice, warm and attentive woman. On the sign outside of the cabin it says hot showers, but it's as expected ice cold. Yet, it's nice to get a cold beer on the terrace outside. Just as nice isn't the news the gardien brings, the weather forecast for the next four days are very bad, heavy storms are on their way. Gloomy views in other words. The storm that should come today has still yet to come.

I eat dinner together with Laurits, Agnes, Gro and Odd at the hotel. Melon with Corsican ham as starter, duck with pommes frites, ratatouille and salad as main dish and tiramisu as dessert. The food was excellent. Something to make up for the bad news, the path is apparently closed tomorrow. It's forbidden to walk. The weather forecast is storm, rain, heavy wind, thunder and even snow in the next days. Not the weather to hike to the summit of Monte Cinto or through the Circue de la Solitude.

View down towards the valley below Haut Asco.

Todays stage was a nice walk, with the Spasimata slabs as the highlight. Yet, not as exciting as the two previous days.

<- CarozzuIntermission ->

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