Ukulele – a 4 teenagers documentary movie about GR20 in Corsica

Hello Henry, could you please introduce yourself ?

Morgan Goodsmith and I are UK filmmakers currently studying film production in Leeds and London universities.

Ukulele documentary - GR20
Ukulele documentary – GR20

Concerning about hiking in your country, could you advise some hikes to our readers ?

We’ve grown up hiking and climbing in the Peak District where we gained our love for the outdoors.

The big though hike in the UK is the Pennine attracting people from all around the world.

Before hiking the GR20 we travelled to north Wales where we hiked the Welsh 3000’s. From there travelled north too Scotland, hiking up the famous Ben Nevis and Ben Macdui and though the Lairig Ghru.

You are the director of a documentary movie, following 4 teenagers hiking the GR20, aren’t ? Could you let us know about this project please ?

I made this film alongside my fellow filmmaker Morgan Goodsmith. We both directed and edited the film. We were in a team with two other hikers, Etienne Soubes-Goldman and Fin Hatton.

Ukulele poster documentary
Ukulele poster documentary

After finishing school in May 2016 we wanted do something different and go on an adventure. After some research and being inspired Morgan’s grandma (who features in the film) we decided to hike from the north of the island to the south.

Starting at the end of June we flew to Nice, got a ferry across to Calvi and hiked to Calenzana where we started the route. We hiked for 9 days to Vizavona where we took a rest day and got the train to Corte. From there we hiked for a further 6 days where we finished in Conca.

Summit corsican mountains
Summit corsican mountains

How did you prepare with these 4 teenagers for this target ?

In preparation some of the team (myself and Morgan) bought some lighter hiking equipment to make carrying the pack easier. We also bought freeze dried meals from Mountain House.

Morgan was the only one of the team who attempted and training which he found not to be enough.

What equipment did you bring ?

The Backpacks we used ranged in quality. Morgan used the Exped 55L bag, I used the Osprey Exos 58, Etienne used a Lowe Alpine 60L and Fin used a Bag he found in their house to save money. The weighs of the bags were: Etienne’s 16kg, Fin’s 20kg, Henry’s 15kg and Morgan’s was 14kg.

We all took about 2-3L of water with us each day and used disposable plastic water bottles due too them being so light.

We all took 2 sets of clothing apart from Morgan who only took what he was wearing to save weight.

One more victory - GR20
One more victory – GR20

For breakfast we would hike until sunrise where we would take a break and cook pre-made sachets of porridge miked with dried fruit, sugar and milk powder. For Lunch we all had a breakfast bar and a bag of trail mix containing raisins, nuts and sweets. For dinner we had either noodles or dehydrated meals by Mountain House, the meals were very nice and only 100g for around 600 calories.

The clothing I used was mainly north face synthetic t shirts, Rab synthetic underwear and Quetcha zip off hiking shorts/trousers. We all prefer hiking in shoes, the cheaper the better we found on the trail. I had North face fell running shoes and Fin had La Sportive fell running shoes, we both paid about £120 but Morgan and Etienne both had cheaper shoes from Decathlon and Innovate which were around £50. Even though myself and Fin paid almost triple the price for he others, our shoes fell apart allot quicker proving that the price for hiking equipment doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better quality.

We did decide too take tents. It’s possible to do it without tents just bivvying and sleeping in tents provided and refuges but we took our own to cut down the costs. The main tent we took was the MSR Hubba Hubba NX, a popular lightweight 2 man tent we found many others also had on the trail.

Lac de Nino - GR20
Lac de Nino – GR20

Your positive feedback ?

The views are spectacular.

Quietude after hiking the mountain
Quietude after hiking the mountain

A negative one ?

Its bloody hard work. Incredibly steep with the worst terrain I’ve ever seen.

Which was your favorite stage, and your favorite shelter ?

Refuge de Paliri was my favorite stage, just because of the amazing views and the atmosphere.

Ukulele in Corsica
Ukulele in Corsica

I can’t remember what number these stages are but my favourite two are walking along the ridge after refuge de Petra Piana heading towards Vizzavona and other favorite is walking along the grassy plains heading towards refuge de Manganu.

GR20's mountain shelter
GR20’s mountain shelter

If you should do again this hike, what would you change?

Firstly I would take ALLOT less stuff. Carrying my bag was the hardest thing about the trip. I would take 1 set of clothes, not 2, I wouldn’t take a tent, just a tarpoling to bivvy because it’s warm enough and dry enough to do so.

Cloud and mountains - Corsica
Cloud and mountains – Corsica

I would also take walking poles, some of my team took them and they do really help take some of the strain of your legs over time.

Time to picture - GR20 hike
Time to picture – GR20 hike

Thanks a lot Henry !

To discover this documentary, please visit Ukulele teaser, and then download it from Amazon-Ukulele-movie.

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