Looking down the final couloir from the top
The Plateau d'Alzo
between Gorges de la Restonica
and Gorges de Tavignano
has been used for cattle and sheep grazing for ages. There are several shepherd's huts together with corrals, which hug the granite rocks which are the foundation of the plateau. En route to the summit of Le Forcelle
you come across one of the largest ones, Bergeries de Cappellaccia
. The shepherds have maintained a wonderful route to get to bergeries and plateau, which nowadays is used as a hiking trail to reach the summit of Le Forcelle.
Up to the plateau the trail is well kept, almost paved and switches back and forth the south slopes of the plateau. But once you passed the Bergeries de Cappellaccia it turns into a steep scramble through a broad couloir, which heads up between the dome-like summits which make up Le Forcelle
. The final section is overgrown and steep while the last steps require some easy climbing moves.
Gorges de la Restonica
The trailhead is at Pont de Frasseta
in Gorges de la Restonica
. You reach it from Corte by RD623
and it is located some 10km from the town. There are parking spaces to both sides of the road and the trail is marked by a big signboard.
- Start altitude: 960m
- Summit altitude: 1765m
- Prevailing exposure: South, south-west
- Type: Hike and scramble
- Protection: None
- Effort: 1 - Elevation gain: 900m
- Power: 2 - Steep in the final sections
- Psyche: 2 - The couloir is a bit tricky
- Difficulty: 2 - Easy
- Orientation: 2 - Marked paths up to the Bergeries, later only cairns
From the parking space at Pont de Frasseta
a well kept trailheads out in westerly direction, following the direction of the road. It gains elevation by multiple switchbacks until it reaches an intersection. The left hand trail follows Gorges de la Restonica
to Bergeries de Grotelle
at the end. We, however, follow the right hand trail, which now quickly gains elevation.
There is a first good view of the northern tower of Monte Leonardo
in the south-east but soon the path drops into a forest of Larico Pines. After a long traverse the pines are left behind and views to Pic Lombarducci
o and Monte Rotondo
gradually develop. After crossing a creek the path turns right, now heading directly for the granite domes of Le Forcelle
The slope traverse is long and ends some 100m beneath the saddle which leads to Plateau d'Alzo
. Now the path zig-zags towards the saddle in many switchbacks. Here on the plateau you see two bergeries, Bergerie d'Alzo
and Bergerie de Colletta
at both of which you might be able to get some of the famous Corsican cheese. Instead turn east and pass the many huts of Bergeries de Cappellaccia
on their northern side, also passing the granite tower to the right, underneath which most of the huts have been constructed.
After the tower, cross over to the southern side of the ridge, where you find yourself right between the many summit domes of Le Forcelle
. Turn left and hike up the steep couloir between the ridge and the most massive domes. It leads to a saddle, where a bit of a bushwhack awaits you. Turn left through the bushes, then head up a steep, scree covered slope between the two main summits of Le Forcelle
. Again, a saddle is reached, this time directly to the south of the main summit. Scramble across the granite blocks to the top (several possible options, all easy climbing).
Hiking gear is sufficient.