This is the very summit of Rotondo, second highest on Corsica at 2622 metres. It’s quite an easy trek up the south-east ridge from Petra Piana. In an 1852 travel guide to Corsica, historian Ferdinand Gregorovius wrote “The horizon that you see from Monte Rotondo is by far more awesome and beautiful than the one seen from Mont Blanc”.

I like these comparisons. Not sure I agree with this one, but I am constantly weighing up the mountain aesthetic of different areas and different countries. I don’t remember much about my cable car trip up the Mont Blanc massif; it was too long ago. I do remember a stunning view more recently across the Alps from the Schilthorn. Not with the particular shapes and summits of mountains I’m familiar with, but with the most ungraspable sense of space I’ve ever witnessed. You don’t get that feeling in the Pyrenees, certainly not in Scotland, nor too on Corsica.

That doesn’t matter. Rotondo is a beautiful mountain and beauty is what matters. Which reminds me, I’ve not climbed the modest hill called Cnicht in Snowdonia for two years. Wonderful coastal views at only 689 metres, Moel Hebog in the distance.

I sat here for thirty minutes. I had dry bread, bad cheese which I threw away, fresher cheese which was acceptable, cake from Petra Piana. Cloud spilled over in the north and I wondered if the day would end gloomily. Anything can happen but sunshine prevailed.


Photographing Corsica: Rotondo Summit

Sunday December 6, 2015