In the footsteps of the artisans of the mythical GR20

With almost fifteen thousand meters of elevation gain to climb between the Northwest and Southeast of the island, the GR20 fascinates. The secrets of the mountain are revealed in the special edition of Corse-Matin “The mythical path of Corsica”

Of calenzana at the conca, passing through the latissimus dorsi of Corsica. One hundred and eighty kilometers of trails, identified and marked out in the 1970s by a handful of passionate climbers, supported by the National Committee on Long Distance Trails.

Almost fifteen thousand meters of elevation gain to climb between the Northwest and Southeast of the island. From coast to coast, from the Mediterranean to the Tyrrhenian Sea, the GR20 is now breaking attendance records, putting its infrastructure to the test. Pushing your receiving capabilities to their ultimate limits. The mountaineers of the beginning, authentic and passionate, today share the path with a more open, more diversified, less temperate tourism.

An evolution that follows that of time, that of the openness and curiosity of minds.

READ TOO. GR20 record attempt: Anne-Lise Rousset breaks the record of 5h22′

After the beaches, it’s time to discover the secrets of the mountains, long reserved for the curious. These developments, this history, these memories are forged by those who travel these paths and also, perhaps above all, by those who are the soul of the GR20.

Man and woman

First there were the shepherds, herders of goats, herders, historical inhabitants of the mountain pastures and steep ridges. They were the first to share bread and cheese with bivouac hikers. Over the years, his life, his profession followed the evolution of care. These men and women now open their fold to visitors. For them, they are memory makers, memorable table organizers, with recipes tested and kept secret.

READ TOO. VIDEO. The GR20 in the cleaning phase

In the most hostile environments, equines advance in caravans, heavily loaded and driven by the drover. He alone will be able to guide them unhinged from shelter to shelter, from shelter to shelter, whatever the weather. Ecological conveyors, essential today for the proper management of supplies. Between tradition and modernity, a meeting that only the GR de Corse knows how to offer its guests.

There are the goalkeepers, guarantors of full bellies, toned legs and controlled refreshments. They always looked after the refuges and provided advice and food.

The trail manager, the Parque Natural Regional de Corsica, deploys numerous field agents throughout the season. They provide surveillance, reception, overnight stays, advice, compliance with mountain and environmental rules. They keep the shelters with brooms in hand, the paths with the mower, guarantee the supply of wood, gas and food by helicopter, build and improve the reception conditions of each structure.

There are private establishments, reception areas dotted along the route from start to finish.

Sometimes offering shelter and often an atypical meal to those who leave for this great crossing known for its difficulty. There’s everyone else to share, hikers, visitors, hikers, climbers, mountaineers, hikers, rescuers, etc. And less talkative, more savage, those who are watched in silence so as not to scare them away. Mouflons, deer, vultures, eagles, batrachians, etc. The island’s fauna is rich, deserves and offers encounters that you will never forget. Everyone testifies, in their own way, to their way of apprehending this particular adventure. To come to know the GR20 is to come to know who is the soul of this trail.

The mythical road to Corsica, available at newsstands for €6.90.

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