Ascent of Rock of Gibraltar on 2013-01-12

Climber: Nick Down

Date:Saturday, January 12, 2013
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rock of Gibraltar
    Elevation:426 m / 1398 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Rob Woodall's trip report sets out the dilemma of Gibraltar's summit. I approached by the Mediterranean Steps, a superb walk along and up the eastern side of the Rock, near the white cliffs visible from the south. At the top of the steps, O'Hara's Battery was closed, so I scrambled over the low northern wall and on to the highest natural point. So far, so good. Contemplating repeating Woodall's Traverse to reach the apparently higher point by the water tank along the ridge, I found the gap in the wire he used to get through the first compound had been very thoroughly closed. Given the problems of access through the small ridge-top military zones and the acceptance in generalist circles (Gibraltar publications, Wikipedia) that O'Hara Battery's is the summit, I think - though others may disagree - that it is reasonable to regard it as the summit, until a decision is made to relocate the summit, taking into account the problems of access (at which point, people like me would need to climb the relocated summit in order to have reached Gibraltar's high point).

Whatever happens, don't be deflected by such weighty considerations from spending some time watching the apes (which are really macaques) playing in the wild olive trees near St Michael's Cave. Even though one perched on my shoulders and made a determined attempt to eat my cap, I found them entrancing. The cave is a cornucopia of delicate tree-like stalagmites that is well worth visting, too.
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