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The GR20 between Calenzana and Conca is considered one of Europe's best but also most difficult hikes. The recommended time of year to do this hike safely is usually given as June to mid-October.

Our travel plans would only allow us to be on Corsica in late October / early November.

As Wikipedia and other sources state, the southern part between Vizzavona and Conca is considered to be easier.

My question is:

  • What types of difficulties are the reason why doing the hike later than mid-October is not recommended?
  • Are they as relevant for the 'easier', lower altitude southern part?
  • Would specific equipment and weather report information be more crucial than during summer?
  • Is the northern part much more interesting and beautiful, such that you would recommend rather going for only that one or the full hike sometime in summer?
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    – Willeke
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 10:40
  • It’s been 45 years so take with a grain of salt. I don’t recall the north being harder than the south, but we went south to north so we’re getting into shape on the south bit. We also were early in the season, with only one refuge open for business (others were unlocked but unattended). I’d say the worst thing will be snow coming in, so use a good forecast and good judgment.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 12:25
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    Yes, the recommendations to go between June and mid-October are because of snow. However, because of the global warming during the past 30 years, the climbing season in Europe is now longer than in the past. IMO early November is still okay. Temperatures might be low and the mountains could be slightly dusted with snow, but that's about it. Oh yes, days are quite short in November, make sure you take that into account. Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 7:27
  • @JonCuster I suspect if it's about elevation rather than difficulty. A quick check shows that the only summit over 2500m on the route is in the N half, where it also goes over 2000m 4 times. in the S half it nearly reaches 2000m a couple of times, at the highest - so lower peak altitude, by enough to affect the chances of snow
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 11, 2023 at 10:34
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    I went in summer, north to south, and the biggest difference IMHO is terrain: in the north half, you basically cross a mountain ridge above the timber line every day, and everything is quite steep and stoney. The south part doesn't feel alpine anymore, for most parts. You still have more mountaineous crossings like Col de Pavella, but nothing really tough like theCirque de la Solitude. In worse weather, I'd find the south acceptable, probably not the north. Commented Sep 19, 2023 at 7:12

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