The Corsican mountains continue to prove that they can be both beautiful and capricious. Readers may remember that in June last year four walkers were caught by a snowstorm on the Plateau du Cuscionu in which one died. Now an experienced mountaineer has disappeared on the famous Corsican Haute Route ski tour. The trek (GR20) is reputed to be one of the hardest in Europe.
Mont Cinto, Corsica’s Highest Mountain, lies on the GR20
Jean-Pierre Etienne, a 61 year old man from Doubs in mainland France left Vizzavona on the 8th of April accompanied only by his faithful Pyrénéan shepherd dog. Ahead of them lay a 1 week ski tour around the peaks and ridges of Asco. Mr Etienne is a very experienced ski mountaineer, he had just completed a ski tour of the Moroccan High Atlas mountains and had planned to return to his home close to the border with Switzerland by mid-April. The alert was given by his relatives.
The mountain police (PGHM) have visited all the refuges on the northern part of the GR20 which measures 210 kilometres. A helicopter was over-flying the route on Wednesday morning looking for traces of the missing skier and his dog. A spokesman for the police said “the search is difficult, the area is enormous and it has snowed since the walker vanished and other people have also traversed the route”.