trip duration TRIP DURATION
3 days
mountain range MOUNTAIN RANGE
-
max people per fuide MAX PEOPLE PER GUIDE
6 people
trip level TRIP LEVEL
Intermediate
best period OFFER PERIOD
Jan, Feb, Mar
type of trip TYPE OF TRIP
Not specified

Description

Join me in this unique adventure in Mount Etna, in Sicily, Italy. Mount Etna rises to 3350 meters. In fact, it’s the highest active volcano in Europe!

A different experience from the one you can have at the classic ski touring destinations. A grandiose panorama of white slopes that contrast with black lava and the blue sea below. Dedicated to those who want to live an unforgettable weekend in an unusual environment. All while enjoying the scents and flavours of the superb island.

The descent of this singular mount skiing is an amazing experience. The snow is very special: in fact, it’s sometimes covered by a thin layer of ash. Moreover, the views of the deep blue sea in the distance are amazing. The snow slopes alternate with black lava rocks creating striking contrasts.

Indeed, thanks to its unique conical shape, Etna offers numerous ski touring alternatives on all sides.

We can reach the 4 summit craters of the volcano (over 3300 m) using skins and crampons in about 3 hours. Of course, this is if the weather and volcanic conditions are favorable. Besides, we can use the cable car up to 2500 m if we want to reduce the ascent time.

In general, the ascents ski touring don’t have particular technical difficulties. Only a few brief parts may require using crampons or knives. The alternative itinerary on day 2 including the south-north crossing is a bit more challenging.

Did you find this tour in Mount Etna tempting? Then please contact me so we can set a date and leave together. I would love guiding you ski touring in this unique volcano. Italy is a great ski destination. Another trip that I really like is Backcountry skiing in the Aosta valley.

Itinerary

Day 1

Montagnola

From Milan, Turin, Verona or another airport you can fly to Catania.
We meet at the airport and transfer to Nicolosi, on the south side of the volcano, where we go to the B&B or refuge (mini van for 7-9 people).
Depending on the arrival time or the flights and the weather conditions, we can do a short excursion to Montagnola (2700 m), starting from Rifugio Sapienza (1910 m) and visit the famous Crateri Silvestri (south side).
After stopping at the Rifugio Monte Scavo, we return to the B&B or refuge for dinner and overnight.
D +250m
Duration: 2hs (using the lifts)

Day 2

Piano del Lago - Torre del Filosofo

Starting from Rifugio Sapienza (1910 m), we go up the lava slopes next to the ski slopes using the cable car, up to the mountain station (2504 m).
We continue to the right leaving the new craters of 2001 and 2002 (the area called the Piano del Lago). Passing by the Torre del Filosofo, we reach the edge of the southeast crater (3250 m). From there it’s a short climb to the saddle between the central and northeastern crater (3350 m).
We use the same route to descend and return to the accommodation.
D +850m
Duration 5hs

Alternative plan: great crossing of Etna from South to North 
(Altitude change 1400m, duration 7hs)
After reaching the northeast crater, we go down along the cresta della Valle del Leone/Bove. We can enjoy the wonderful panorama, Taormina on the Peloritani mountains and the Strait of Messina. We descend towards the Volcanological Observatory.

Day 3

Pizzi Deneri - Piano delle Concazze, Gorges della Quarantore

We transfer to Linguaglossa on the north side of the volcano. A beautiful scenic trip along the southeastern shoulder of Pizzi Deneri (2847 m), an excellent vantage point over the Valle del Leone / Bove  and the craters of the summit.
From Piano Provenzana – Monte Conca we go to the craters, then go to the Piano delle Concazze towards the Volcanological Observatory. From there we can admire the magnificent panorama over eastern Sicily, the Ionian Sea and even Calabria.
Descent to the fantastic gorge della Quarantore and return from the ski resort to Piano Provenzana.
Transfer to Catania airport.
D +1000m
Duration 6hs

Alternative plan: visit to the Grotta del Gelo
(Altitude change 1200m, duration 6hs)
We climb to Monte Pizzillo (1400 m), where you can visit the “hornitos”, mini craters from 1947. Through several lava flows we reach the Grotta del Gelo: a lava cave located at 2100 m on the northern slope of Etna, famous for having the southernmost glacier in Europe. The best time to visit is spring, when the outside snow melts, allowing access to the cave and the stunning ice structures whithin it.

Price per person

1 Person900EUR
Group of 2450EUR
Group of 3300EUR
Group of 4240EUR
Group of 5200EUR
Group of 6170EUR

Price includes

  • Guiding fee

Other details

Meeting point

At the airport in Catania.

Accommodation

B&B or refuge.

More info

Equipment: AVD, shovel, probe, personal hygiene kit, energy bars or dried fruit, 1l water bottle or thermos, sunscreen and lip balm with sun protection, first aid kit, headlamp (with spare batteries), camera, duct tape, sealskins, axe, ski knives, crampons with anti-balling, alpine ski boots, touring skis and poles, 30/40l backpack.

Clothing: wool cap or hat, buff, 2 pairs ski socks, fiber turtleneck, waterproof jacket, ski gloves, light gloves, windstopper, ski mask, sunglasses for glacier-high mountain, ski pants, duvet (optional), waterproof pants, underpants or tights, breathable tshirts.

Not included, here is an estimation : Price for each, ski equipment rental, 150 € for 3 days, 2 nights in b&b 80/120€, car rent 100/200€, my extra fees (transfer and accommodation) 350/500€.

Disclaimer

The program can be changed according to the conditions of the volcano snow and weather conditions, as well as depending on the technical capabilities of the participants.

Gallery