Skiing on the highest active volcano (3343 m) and largest (20 km radius) of Europe with a view to the sea is an experience that will remain in your memories! It will not be the usual ski touring trip !! Etna offers a number of itineraries ranging from easy alpine skiing to steep gullies of great satisfaction.
To discover its most charming and fascinating corners, trust in those who loved and visited Etna as a child in all its seasons. And above all you will be accompanied by mountain professionals, Alpine Guides who are regularly enrolled in the Alpine Guides professional register.
The climate on Etna favors a fairly compact snow and the inclination of the slopes is also suitable for medium skiers. The routes are open from February to March, and often also from April to May. Via the cable car you reach an altitude of 2500 meters in less than fifteen minutes, allowing the ski-climbers to continue on skis and seal skins and reach the summit in about three hours, being able to see the four summit craters up close to the altitude over 3300 meters.
We are in the heart of the Etna Park, the first to be established among the Sicilian parks in 1987: with its 59,000 hectares it has the task of protecting a unique natural environment and the extraordinary landscape that surrounds the highest active volcano in Europe and to promote the eco-compatible development of local populations and communities. The Mediterranean atmosphere, the mild climate, the perfumes, the warm and cheerful Sicilian hospitality, the flavors of a traditional and authentic cuisine will make our adventure in Sicily unique!
Main proposals for Etna Ski Mountaineering itineraries:
Ascent to the summit craters The ascent to the summit craters is undoubtedly the most popular ski mountaineering excursion on Etna. Arriving at the edge of the highest crater in Europe, with the smell of sulfur and a breathtaking view, even those who are used to more demanding ski mountaineers will not leave indifferent.
The summit craters can be reached either starting from Etna Sud, or starting from Etna Nord (Piano Provenzana). The ascent from Etna Sud will have as its starting point, the square of the Sapienza refuge, you can start with skis on your feet or use the Etna cable car, which in a few minutes will take us to an altitude of 2500 m. From the arrival station of the cable car, continue with ski touring to reach and visit the places affected by the last eruptive event (still today the effusive activity and paroxysms from the South-East crater is currently underway), for then continue to the summit area (3.300 m altitude).
Visit the central crater which is divided into Bocca Nuova and Voragine, South-East Crater and North-East Crater, as well as to admire a splendid panorama of much of eastern Sicily, in particular the Ionian coast, and if the clarity of the horizon allows it, up to Calabria and the Aeolian islands. After having visited the summit craters, continue in the direction of Piano delle Concazze, of the Pizzi Deneri volcanological observatory, where a brief stop will be made and where the splendid descent along the northern slope of Etna begins, at a time of tourist center of Piano Provenzana, as a point of conclusion of the itinerary.
The descent takes place along the so-called Quarantore gully.
The crossing from the southern slope to the northern slope of Etna. The itinerary starts from the square of the Sapienza Refuge on the southern slope, at an altitude of 1910 meters, from here with the help of the cable car up to an altitude of 2500 m you reach Piano del Lago, the scene of the last Etna eruptions. Once the seal skins are in place, you reach the foot of the summit craters, where the weather and volcanic conditions for the climb will be evaluated. Then we will start the descent towards Piano Provenzana, north side at an altitude of 1800 meters, passing between the Elliptical Crater and the Piano delle Concazze up to the ski lifts near Monte Conca.
Ascent height difference :: 800D+;
Descent height difference:: 1400D-;
Difficulty:: Ms (average skier);
Travel time: 6 ore
Extra activities on request:
possibility of staying at particularly favorable prices at partner B & Bs, both on the southern slope (Nicolosi), and on the northern slope (Linguaglossa). Possibility to make the excursion on the north side with "Gatto delle Nevi" and go down on skis.