The idea is quite simple: do the GR-20, in both directions, in 20 days or less. It’s all about the challenge, and about being in an amazing place outdoors, away from electronics, away from society.
The idea was born after completing the GR-20 for the first time in September 2018. It was a painful trek, especially with the heavy pack (16kg), but by the time I got to the end, I had gained a lot of strength and fitness and wasn’t in much pain anymore. My body had somehow adapted in the 9 days. I felt that I had the ability to turn around and do it again, and it would be a lot easier. So that’s really where the idea came from. It’s a silly challenge, and one perhaps a lot of people wouldn’t do, but one I think I’m able to achieve.
The challenge has some basic rules, in case anyone else is up to doing it:
- Camping every night
- 16 stages in each direction, high-level variants between stages are OK
- 20 days or less
- Both directions
I’m really hoping a buddy can join me, otherwise I’ll be doing the challenge solo. My biggest concerns are: blisters, storms, shower/toilet situation, loneliness, heat stroke. I’ve taken leave from 22 June to 21 July 2019, which gives me some days before and after the trip. I am starting to plan seriously now, and there’s a bit to sort out, but it’s happening!
You might ask why Corsica again, why not a change of scenery?
I like the Corsica style of trekking because of the combination of freedom and technical challenge.
I don’t like strict schedules and I really don’t to stay in the refuge dorms. I much prefer to camp and adapt to changing conditions. Not many highish level routes in southern Europe allow you camp, as far as I’m aware. Corsica is more relaxed in this regard. If you are trekking solo with a small single-man tent, you don’t really need to book anything with the refuges. You can just pitch up, pitch your tent, and pay for the space. I love this freedom. I like the basic refuges also, they have a very informal vibe.
And there’s no questing the technical challenge aspect of the route. There’s no getting bored whilst trekking, and you go over some very interesting and rough terrain.
For these reasons I return to Corsica and will start the Corsica 20-20 Challenge on 24 June 2019.