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Ascent of Rocher de Monaco on 2018-10-30

Climber: Peter Stone

Others in Party:Jill Stone
Patrick Stone
Date:Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rocher de Monaco
    Location:Monaco
    Elevation:207 ft / 63 m

Ascent Trip Report

Monaco is a fascinating place to visit, although one day is probably sufficient unless you’re there for a special event, you love gambling or you’re taking advantage of its tax-free status (“a sunny place for shady people”). It’s also an ostentatious place to moor your yacht but there are more impressive boats in Antibes. Access to the Principality is easy enough either by train or bus from adjacent Riviera towns or by car along the corniches or A8 autoroute and making use of the capacious set-price municipal underground car parks.

The country is so small that ascents of the Monaco highpoint (Chemin des Révoires) and its most prominent summit (Rocher de Monaco) are readily achieved on foot as part of a general exploration.

We deliberately arrived in the historic centre of Monaco-Ville before 11:55 in order to witness the quaint Changing of the Guard – the Carabiniers du Prince in the Place du Palais outside the Prince’s Palace. Following some lunch and a visit to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée (with the time-honoured tradition of filing past the resting places of the Grimaldi clan) we criss-crossed the old town to make sure we’d “done” the top. We then headed off the “Rock”, back down the Rampe-Major, past the statue of Prince Rainier III, walked across town and then up the steep slopes of this strangely hemmed in city-state to the start of the Chemin des Révoires (a little difficult to find despite GPS). This paved path weaves its way up the hill between an architecturally diverse range of tower blocks towards the Monegasque-French border. You know when you’ve eventually arrived because that’s where the high-rise buildings stop and from recognition of the helpful location photos posted on this website.

True peakbagging satisfaction is curtailed by the fact that the border isn’t clearly marked, the highpoint is a zero prominence slope feature and one is standing on either artificial surfaces or at best if you seek out earth to touch or stand on then its highly modified geography! Nevertheless the glimpsed views between the buildings improve as one gets higher (although not from the high point itself and from the summit of Mont Agel would be even better I assume).

The remainder of our day included visits to the harbour and marina, Monte Carlo and it’s Opera House and Casino, the route of the Monaco Grand Prix, the Jardin Japonais and the Stade Louis II. Legs weary from all that up and down on hard surfaces but all in all a great day out!
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