Monte San Petrone

  • Monte San Petrone
  • 1767 m
  • Primary factor 1208 m
  • Location: North 42:23.776, East 009:19.608 (GPS at the summit)
  • Corsica
  • Saddle: Collo di San Quilico, 559 m
  • Saddle location: 5 km NNE of Corte
  • Difficulty: YDS class 1
  • Climbed July 12, 2005


How to get there: The trailhead is at the Col de Prato. First locate Ponte Leccia north of Corte. This is where Hwy. N197 from I'lle-Rousse merges with Hwy. N193 from Bastia to Corte. In the traffic circle, take the road across the bridge towards Morosaglia. This is road D71. Drive through Morosaglia, keep left (where D639 forks right) and continue on D71 to Col de Prato, this is 17.7 kilometer from Ponte Leccia. A few meter after you pass the sign for the Col, you may turn right between some buildings, then park. This is the trailhead, elevation 994 m, location N42:25.639, E009:19.903.
Route description: This route is mainly a nice walk on a good path in the forest. Only at the very end, the trail emerges into the open, thus providing a rewarding view from the second most prominent summit of Corsica.
From the trailhead, the path turns right and runs more or less horiziontally for the first stretch. The path is wide as a small dirt road. There is a sign for Monte San Petrone in a place where the path forks, gradually the path heads uphill, but still traversing the hill in a south-west direction. After about 2.5 km, the wide path reaches a small col and continues downhill on the other side. The route to Monte San Petrone forks left here. There is a sign, the path turns into a normal trail and heads more distinctly uphill. The trail continues now more to the south, while steadily climbing. Eventually, the trail emerges from the forest into a more open grassy area with good views south. Another trail from the south merges here and there is a trail sign with arrows pointing in the relevant directions. The summit trail turns more towards the north, shortly the slope is somewhat steeper as the trail zig-zags uphill. This is followed by a short more gentle section before the final cliffs appear in front of you. The trail follows an easy slope up on top of the short summit ridge. There is a cross at the south end, however the highest point is opposite at the north end. To get there requires a short section of off trail walking, YDS class 2, but never difficult or exposed. The view from this summit is outstanding, as you see a very large part of the island including good views of Monte Renoso, Monte Rotondo, Paglia Orba, Monte Cinto, Monte Asto and the northern part of Corsica.
Comments: I did this hike with my son Pål Jørgen, age 16. We left our hotel in Piana (close to Porto on the west coast) at 0600 and started hiking at 0830. We reached the summit after 1:40 at 1010, enjoyed a very good view of Corsica and some lunch until 1040. The return hike took 1:10, arriving back at the car at 11:50. We stopped for a nice lunch in Calacuccia (wild bore) and made it back to our "base camp" (Hotel Capo Rossa) around 1545.

The M5 trip continued two days later with ascent of La Marmora, the Sardinia HP.