Close Calls and Fun On Mt. Etna, Sicily

Trip Report: Skiing Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy. (1o,992′)

“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” -Ed Viesturs

 

Our fearless leader of The Mountaineer , Vinny McClelland just returned from an amazing ski decent of  Mount Etna located on the island of Sicily. Mount Etna is a stratovolcano meaning that its highly active and built upon layers of molten activity (scary) .Etna is the tallest active Volcano in Europe as well as the highest point in the southern Alps which makes for incredible ski decent options. Read on to hear and see about how the Volcano erupted and what  an Italian ski decent means (Schnapps and all).Etna 2

Vinny, among other Competance Centers were recently invited on a little ski trip by our partners over at Dynafit! The Mountaineer is one of 8 Dynafit Competance Centers in the US and the only one in the East. A Competance Center means we are among the best ski touring specialists in the world…I guess with that being said, Dynafit like us and likes taking Vinny on ski trips! “Busy schedules, family, running a business and trying to recreate is not always an easy task” Vinny said. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have been able to join this elite group of skiers on a Volcanic Ski Decent”The trip started out of Catania, Sicily located 35KM away from the base of Mt. Etna (1 hour drive).  A large city and metropolitan area located on the Ionian Sea littered with food markets and shops.market CatalinaRifugioSleeping quarters and walking distance from the watering hole
Etna 1

 A quick drive to the parking lot of the Mount Etna Ski Resort gave easy access to the snowfields and the tour began. After about 4.5 hours of moderate skinning with ski crampons the group reached the ridge of the volcano (pictured above) along with sulfuric steam.Snow Field

 Good looking skiing on expansive snow fields en route to the summit!!
Ski Party

 

 

Part way up the Schnapps comes out in proper Italian fashion. Who skis without Schnapps?

 

 

 

Etna 3

 

 

 

Mountaineer Bandana Summit shot!Dont have a bandana, yet?! Buy one here

 

 

All in all the trip was a great success! Lots of skiing, cultural eating, exploring and just a few days after Vinny was on top of Mt Etna it ERUPTED in a molten explosion! See below…