Stage 2: To Refuge de Carozzu

  • Ascent: 650 meter
  • Descent: 900 meter
  • Time: 7hr

This is a hard stage. Although it is only 8 kilometers long, hikers usually take 7-8 hours to complete this stage. There is definitely more ascent and descent involved than sources indicate and the terrain is unrelenting. For a large portion of the day, you will be down on all four, scrambling. The reward consists of epic views, sore knees and a rocky campsite at Refuge the Carozzu. Again, an early start is adviced to beat the heat and possible thunderstorms.

My friends and I on the Bocca Piccaia.

The day has a false start as you climb before dropping steeply down to cross a stream. You then start ascending up to the Bocca Piccaia while scrambling through a large boulderfield. After reaching Bocca Piccaia you start the hardest stretch of the entire hike as you scramble up and down a rocky rollercoaster across an amazing maze of knife-edge ridges and sheer drops. It will take several hours before you reach Bocca Carozzu where you finally start the steep, knee crunching descent to Refuge de Carozzu. This is the first of many big descents of the hike and the inexperienced will be shocked by how hard descending is. Trekking poles are really adviced for this section.

The Refuge de Carozzu is blessed with normal toilets and a terrace overlooking the sunset. Good campsites however are limited so whoever comes first has the best pick!

View down from Bocca Carozzu. Notice the cloud build-up, often leading to dangerous thunderstorms in the afternoon.

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