Stage 3 of the GR20

Before starting this stage of the GR20, remember that even if it is very short (around 5 km), it is also very technical! Here is some information on the topo for this stage between Carrozzu and the (ski) resort of Asco

Between Carozzu and Ascu Stagnu in both directions :

From Carozzu to Ascu Stagnu refuge From Ascu Stagnu refuge to Carozzu
GR20 North > South (stage 3) GR20 South > North (stage 14)
5 km | 640 m D | 800 m D – 5 km | 800 m D | 640 m D –
GPX trail for the North > South stage GPX trail for the South > North stage
Download PDF topo Download PDF topo
See details of the North > South stage See details of the South > North stage
Highlight: Passerelle de Spasimata | Sommet de la Muvrella | Bocca di Stagnu
Highest point: 2010 m (Bocca di Stagnu) | Lowest point: 1250 m (Passerelle de Spasimata)
Sources: xxx (km5) | xxxx (km8)
Accomodation and meals: Refuge PNRC d’ASCO | Le Châlet Hôtel | Refuge de Carozzu
IGN map : Consult here | Download all the GR20 maps
Following stage NS: from Ascu Stagnu to Tighettu Next stage SN: from Carrozzu to Ortu
Previous stage NS: from Ortu to Carrozzu Previous stage SN: from Tighettu to Ascu Stagnu

Stage 3 of the GR20 North > South | Carrozzu > Ascu Stagnu

Here’s the profile of the stage between Carrozzu and the resort of Ascu: just one bump and a serious descent!

Profile of stage 3 between Carozzu and Ascu Stagnu

Printable summary of the topo for stage 3 of the GR20 North South

1 – Before leaving the Carrozzu hut, take one last look at the Spasimata fountain and get ready to hit the road! Descend to the Spasimata suspended footbridge , around 15 minutes’ walk from the start of this stage. On your right, you’ll be able to see a view of the Punta di Spasimata.

2 – Head south-east, where you’ll have a long, gradual climb of almost 3 hours, with a 700-metre difference in altitude, to the Bonifatu cirque and the Muvrella lake. On the way, turn right to see the Bocca di Maghine, and left to see the Capu di a Marcia.

3 – Half a kilometre to go to reach one of the two highest points of the stage: the Bocca di a Muvrella at almost 2000 metres altitude. You’ll also be able to seea Muvrella on your right.

4 – A few kilometres, punctuated by a slight descent and ascent, will separate you from the Bocca di Stagnu, at an altitude of 2,010 metres: this is the summit of the stage. If you look carefully, you’ll see two remarkable points to the south: the Bocca Culaghia and the Punta Culaghia.

5 – After crossing the Col, you’ll begin a steep descent to the east, with more than 500 metres of negative gradient over 1.5km. You’ll arrive at the Asco station at an altitude of 1,420 metres, overlooking the Haut Asco ski resort and the Stagnu plateau. Another stage completed!

Report on stage 3 with analysis of IGN maps and photos

This is a fairly short stage (5 km), which gets off to a thrilling start as you cross the Spasimata footbridge just a few minutes after leaving the Carrozzu refuge. At the refuge, there’s a path to the right and one to the left.

Spasimata footbridge, stormy passage

The path on the right is a link to Bonifatu, through the Bonifatu cirque. Be careful to head left, due south towards the Spasimata footbridge. This is the shortest stage of the GR20 (a very small IGN map), but don’t think it’s the easiest. As you’ll see from the profile, it consists of a dry climb and a very steep descent to the resort.

IGN map with the spasimata footbridge

Head due south towards the Spasimata footbridge, then start climbing towards Lac de la Muvrella (1860m). Will you see any moufflons? There’s more to come, as today’s stage will take you past 2000m twice, once at Bocca di A Muvrella and then at Bocca di Stagnu. Once over this pass, it’s a very steep descent that takes you to the Asco station (1420m)

Warning: the GR20 is a trail with high mountain sections, so don’t take this hike lightly: use appropriate hiking equipment for the GR20, be at least reasonably trained and don’t set off without IGN maps or the Topoguide

Some photos of stage 3 between Carrozzu and Asco :

Ascent after the spasimata footbridge
Technical passage of the GR20
Still view of the sea after 3 days of walking
Last descent to Asco

Videos of the terrain between Carrozzu and Ascu Stagnu :

This video sums up the stage from Carrozzu to Asco Stagnu perfectly, enjoy the beautiful images put online by “GR20 I had a dream”.

You can also read Julien’s summary and full story here

Stage 14 of the GR20 South > North | Ascu Stagnu > Carrozzu

Here’s the profile of the stage between Ascu and the Carrozzu station : just one bump and a serious descent!

Profile of stage 14 between Ascu Stagnu and Carozzu

Printable summary of the topo for stage 14 of the GR20 South North

1 – Start your stage 14 of the GR20 heading north-west from Asco station at an altitude of 1,420 metres. After a steep climb of 1.5 km with more than 500 metres of difference in altitude, you will reach the Bocca di Stagnu, the summit of the stage at 2,010 metres above sea level. Look around and you’ll see two remarkable points to the south: the Bocca Culaghia and the Punta Culaghia.

2 – Follow the path for a few kilometres, descending slightly and then climbing again to reach the Bocca di a Muvrella at an altitude of almost 2,000 metres. You’ll also seea Muvrella on your right and if you look a little to the north, you’ll see Capu di a Marcia.

3 – Head north-west on a long, gradual descent with a difference in altitude of over 700 metres. You’ll pass the Bonifatu cirque and Lac de la Muvrella.

4 – Finally, head north to finish at the Carrozzu refuge. For the last few kilometres, you’ll have Punta Petrinaccia on your left and Punta di Spasimata on your right. The last stop before reaching Carrozzu is the Spasimata hanging footbridge. Just 15 minutes more of walking and you’ll know you’ve reached your destination when you see the Spasimata Fountain. And there you have it, another stage completed at an altitude of around 1,270 metres.

IGN map between Carrozzu and Ascu Stagnu

Here is the IGN map of stage 3 of the GR20 between Carrozzu and Ascu Stagnu, which corresponds to stage 14 of the GR20 South > North. Go to this page to download all the IGN maps of the GR20.

IGN map of stage 3 between Carrozzu and Asco station on the GR20

This stage begins with the descent to the Spasimata suspension bridge. After fifteen minutes, you can finally cross the river on the suspension bridge and climb back up on the left bank. Handrails will help you through the tricky sections, which are very slippery when it rains. Once you reach an altitude of around 1,460 m, the trail heads south, through ancient glacial valleys where patches of snow persist well into the season.

After a 2 hour 45 minute walk from the footbridge (mostly uphill) you will reach Lake Muvrella at an altitude of 1860 metres. After a steep, stony couloir (see photo above) you then reach the Col de Muvrella , heading west to bypass the summit.

Bocca di Stagnu is reached after a 1h10m walk from Lac de Muvrella. From here it is possible to take the old GR20 route to the right on the ridge to avoid the descent to Ascu, but this is a ridge path which is no longer really waymarked and which in any case would take you on the old GR20 path for stage 4 when the passage was via the cirque de la solitude. So don’t go down to the resort of Asco!

From there, even if you can see the resort below, it’s another 1h30 walk to Ascu, down through the rocks and laricio pines that are typical of the GR20 flora. Be careful on this descent, which in June can still be snow-covered and is anything but relaxing, even in the middle of summer!

Book in a GR20 refuge

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