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Punta Culaghia
Mountain/Rock

Punta Culaghia

 
Punta Culaghia

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Corsica / Corse, France, Europe

Lat/Lon: 42.40165°N / 8.90894°E

Object Title: Punta Culaghia

Activities: Hiking, Scrambling

Season: Summer, Fall

Elevation: 6673 ft / 2034 m

 

Page By: Gangolf Haub

Created/Edited: May 12, 2013 / May 12, 2013

Object ID: 849282

Hits: 772 

Page Score: 80.49%  - 12 Votes 

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Overview

 
Punta Culaghia and Punta Stranciacone
Punta Culaghia and Punta Stranciacone - Punta Minuta to the far left

Corsica is well known for its roundabout 50 2000ers, which can be found on the S-shaped backbone of the island, which stretches from the north of the island but gradually diminishes as it heads southwards. The highest mountains can be found in the north on the ridge between the highpoint Monte Cinto and the impressive granite dome of Pagla Orba. In its shadows underneath the north faces Coriscans created a ski area, complete with tourist village, Haut Asco, but the few days of good snow conditions made the venture unprofitable so that nowadays the ski lifts have fallen into disrepair. Still, Haut Asco survived, thanks to the fact that it lies in the way of Corsica's reknowned trekking trail GR20, offering one of the few places where a trekker can get food, shower or even a bed.

Some years back GR20, however, would pass by the village by negotiating a ridge to the north of it, a traverse starting at Bocca di Stagnu and ending at Brèche di Missoghiu. Though this meant little elevation loss for the trekkers, most still descended to Haut Asco for the comfort they found there, so that today the official GR20 route follows this direction. Still, the old trail is still there, fallen a bit into disrepair like the ski lifts down below. Trail markers have vanished or are barely visible and the path is as solitary as you can expect, being so close to the GR20 brouhaha. Thus the traverse has turned into one of the little known highlights on the island, mainly thanks to the omnipresent view towards the massif of Monte Cinto in the south. The highpoint of the traverse is Punta Culaghia, one of the lower 2000ers of the island.
 
Punta Culaghia
 
 
Punta Culaghia and Punta Stranciacone
 
 
A Muvrella and Punta Culaghia
 

Punta Culaghia itself is not a sight to behold - a round-topped summit, covered in dwarf pines and other brushwork. The ascent, however, turns out to be surprisingly difficult. First there are the two possible ascents to either of the two saddles, which are long and very steep. Then there is the climbing section beneath Punta Stranciacone and last the scree slope ascent to the summit proper. The whole tour can be done in a loop trail as a day tour with about 1000m of elevation gain. Punta Culagia's main claim to fame, however, is the view across the Haut Asco Basin towards the Cinto Massif as well as the close-up view of the black granite towers of Punta Stranciacone. Also the whole north-coast of Corsica lies at your feet.

2 x 180° summit panorama


180°summit panorama south and west



180° summit panorama north and east

Getting There

Punta Culaghia (2034m), a Muvrella (2148m), Cap u a u Carrozzu (2139m), Capu Larciose (1678m)
Punta Culaghia, A Muvrella, Capu a u Carrozzu, Capu Larciose

The closest village and trailhead is the former ski station of Haut-Asco
, right underneath A Muvrella. Since it is also one of the few places GR20-trekkers can get a hot shower and something to eat it is a veritable trekkers' base. Lots of tents, a hostel, two hotels and everywhere heavily laden people either preparing for or resting after the hardest of the trek's stages through Cirque de la Solitude.
  • From the airport Bastia Poretta:
    • Take N193 south, direction Corte
    • At Ponte Leccia switch to 197 north, direction L'Ile Rousse.
    • After a few km turn left onto D47, later D147, direction Asco and Haut-Asco.

  • From the airport Ajaccio
    • Take N193 north all the way across Col de Vizzavona and through Corte to Ponte Leccia
    • Here switch to 197 north, direction L'Ile Rousse.
    • After a few km turn left onto D47, later D147, direction Asco and Haut-Asco.

Route Overview

Looking across the ridge to Punta Culaghia and Punta Stranciacone
Looking across the ascent (traverse) ridge during the ascent of A Muvrella

There are two ascent routes to the summit of Punta Culaghia, which are quite often connected into a loop trail which starts at Haut Asco (see attached route page). On the other hand the two routes are part of an old branch of the GR20 trekking trail, which leads right across the summit.
  • Bocca de Stagnu
    Steep ascent through a couloir to Bocca de Stagnu. The trail is ambiguous but well travelled by the GR20 trekkers. From the saddle follow the ridge south-westward towards Punta Culaghia and Punta Stranciacone. The final ascent is a scree scramble through dwarf pines.
  • Brèche di Misoghiu
    Follows the GR20 trekking trail from Haut Asco south-westwards. Between Punta Missoghiu and Punta Stranciacone heads up to the Brèche through a couloir (ledges). Short climbing sections on the north side of Punta Stranciacone, then follows the ridge towards Punta Culaghia.

Red Tape

In 1971 the Parque Naturel de la Corse was established. It comprises 2500 square km, mainly in the centre of the island. Punta Culaghia is located within the park boundaries. Camping is not allowed in the park and apart from that the usual restrictions apply.

Accommodation

Accommodation has changed a lot during the last ten years. Today it is possible to book holiday homes, hotel rooms or apartments from any travel office. Also, there are a number of sites on the internet dedicated to Corsica accommodation. You can get apartments and holiday homes in any of the villages along the coasts.

Since Punta Culaghia is located far away from almost all habitation there is only one possible overnight location (if you don't have a car) which is the former ski station of Haut-Asco. However, during the trekking season, you'll have trouble ggetting accommodation there. You might try Asco (still a good 10 km away) or a campground in Val d'Asco.

Weather Conditions



Maps & Books

Maps


  • Corte / Monte Cinto
    1 : 25.000
    Carte de Randonnée 4250 OT
    ISBN: 978-2114250038


Books


There are quite naturally quite a number of guidebooks, most of them in French. I found the following as good as could be expected:
  • Corsica (Corse / Korsika)
    Klaus Wolfsperger
    Rother Verlag
    ISBN: 978-3-7633-4819-0 (English)
    ISBN: 978-3-7633-4907-4 (French)
    ISBN: 978-3-7633-4280-8 (German)

Images

Looking across the ridge to Punta Culaghia and Punta StranciaconeA Muvrella and Punta CulaghiaPunta CulaghiaPunta Culaghia and Punta StranciaconePunta Culaghia and Punta Stranciacone180° summit panorama Punta Culaghia towards the south and west180° summit panorama Punta Culaghia towards the north and east
Punta CulaghiaPunta Culaghia (2034m), a Muvrella (2148m), Cap u a u Carrozzu (2139m), Capu Larciose (1678m)