Restonica gorge is one of the major climbing centers in Corsica (besides Monte Gozzi
. You reach the gorge either from Ajaccio in the west or Bastia in the north by taking Route Nationale 193 to Corte. There turn into D623 which immediately leads into the gorge. 11km behind Corte the trailhead for Monte Renoso is at the bridge Pont de Timozzo.
Altitude gain: 1635m
Duration: 4h 15min
Difficulty: I+ (only at the summit)
Trailhead: Pont de Timozzo in Restonica Gorge
The ascent of Monte Rotondo is one of the most beautiful and impressing tours in Corsica. Due to the large altitude difference it is (one of) the most exhausting as well.
The trail starts a little west of Pont de Timozzo at a mark which directs you to Lac Oriente. At first it is a gravel road which later divides (take the right fork) and ends after some 30min where a marked path starts winding through a beautiful forest. After roughly an hour you reach the Bergerie de Timozzo, a farmhouse which still is in use.
From the bergerie head up a wide ridge and later along the right side of the Timozzo creek. Shortly before you reach a cascade the trail crosses the creek and now starts winding up large granite steps. It finally reaches Lavu del'Oriente, the Orient Lake, at 2061m. The Lake is embedded in a cirque which later serves as the ascent route to the summit.
From the lake the trail first leads up over meadows into this cirque and ascends it over ledges and boulders. It heads for a couloir which can be seen to the right of Rotondo's summit block. The couloir is often covered in snow ieven in the summer months and there is a high danger of rockfall. The couloir has some climbing patches (I) and leads to the summit ridge from where you can reach the top (again climbing I+)in some 15min.
Hiking gear and warm clothes are neccessary. Since there often is snow in the couloir, that leads to the summit ridge - even in late June - crampons might come in useful.