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Skiing Mount Etna in Sicily

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Back from a few days on Mount Etna volcano, in March, 2019.

Here's what you need to know...

* Ski resort = Mount Etna.
* Location = Northeast Sicily, southern Italy.
* Fly to = Catania airport (CTA).
* Airlines = Alitalia, Eurowings, Easyjet, etc.
* Car rental = 100% essential (do NOT use "Sicily by Car") (Google it).
* Sicilian car drivers = mad.
* Sleep = Taormina (medium town, 1hr from the slopes, great views of the volcano).
* Etna Sud = a handful of lifts, catches the sun, shorter season.
* Etna Nord = a handful of lifts, less sun, longer season.
* Skis = rent if early or late in season (black ash on white trails).
* Skiing height = around 1800m to 2600m / 6000 to 9000ft.
* Lifts = five.
* Resort size = roughly 10km across the 2 stations.
* Difficulty = all blues (50%) and reds (50%).
* Offpiste = yes, 20-50cm snowfalls are not uncommon.
* Season = late-Dec to early-Apr (Jan and Feb are best).
* Mafia = yes, they run the carparks.
* Best for = long weekends.
* Novelty value = as good as it gets.



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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Interesting thanks. I was there last summer and wondered what it might be like.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Summer skiing as well.


http://youtube.com/v/YDUi6gakbOg
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@Whitegold, Noice. What were conditions like when you were there? Any tips on food/drink on the mountain?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Bodeswell wrote:
Any tips on food/drink on the mountain?
Nothing on the hill, cafe at the base station on the south side and I think similar on the north side.
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What did you make of it @rob@rar, is it worth a detour? Always fancied Sicily, never been.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Great shot
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Bodeswell wrote:
What did you make of it @rob@rar, is it worth a detour? Always fancied Sicily, never been.
Back in the day I used to be a geology student and did many months of undergraduate and postgraduate research on Etna. The volcano, and Sicily generally, is amazing, and well worth visiting. If you're lucky enough to be there when it's erupting it's an astonishing experience. Generally the food, the scenery, the coastal towns and villages are all lovely, Taormina is great, a visit inland to Agrigento is well worth doing.

Technically I've skied there, but only for a couple of hours one morning in a rare visit during April when I had a little free time. It's not very big and needs a lot of depth for off-piste skiing as the terrain is incredibly rough and needs plenty of snow to cover it. But it certainly has novelty value.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Whitegold wrote:
Back from a few days on Mount Etna volcano, in March, 2019.

Here's what you need to know...


* Mafia = yes, they run the carparks.


Do they make you an offer you can't refuse? Toofy Grin
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Alastair Pink, The car parks on the North Side, where the most skilifts are, are free (or they were 2 years ago). If the mafia run them then they are making a good job for me Laughing
I had a great couple of days there, stayed in Lingualossa (?) which is closest town to North Side. Rented an appartment off bookingotcom or something similar, the owner seemed to know everybody / everything, got me a discounted skipass and restaurant meals.Maybe he was a closet mafioso Laughing Was there when the BBC got bombed by the volcano, did a report on here somewhere. Would go again, on that occasion I had someone that I did business with to meet so it fitted in well. Long way to go otherwise for a small amount of skiing but there was a place in Lingualossa that did guided ski touring up to the crater etc.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I love Sicily. What a fun thing to do.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
skitow wrote:
If the mafia run them then they are making a good job for me Laughing
I had a great couple of days there, stayed in Lingualossa (?)
Linguaglossa. Nice village, and a good base to explore the north side of the volcano. Home of my favourite pizzeria anywhere, the Gatto Blu.

I'm was less familiar with operations on the north side of the volcano, but the main tourist operation on the south side was definitely run by a local 'family'. The head of the family was a chap called Orazio who had a deformed little finger which looked like it had been snapped sideways. Very friendly chap, at least to the students and researchers working in Etna, who would occasionally join us for a beer at one of the lovely bars around the piazza of his village. On those evenings the bar would refuse to take on money from us for the drinks we'd ordered. Nothing was said, they'd just wave us away even though Orazio had long since moved on. All very odd for us, all completely normal for them.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Went there about 10 years ago. Cracking trip!
Swam in the Med in the morning. Skied on Etna in the afternoon.
Amazing views of the volcanic craters and out to see.
Really keen to return...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Bodeswell wrote:
@Whitegold, Noice. What were conditions like when you were there? Any tips on food/drink on the mountain?


It was typical "end of season" snow. Thin and soft.

Best to go in Jan or Feb, and book lastminute, for optimal snow.

Small bars and restaurants at the base of both stations.

Ski and boot rental available at the base of both stations.

Mountain restaurant (very basic) at Etna Sud (South).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Alastair Pink wrote:
Whitegold wrote:
Back from a few days on Mount Etna volcano, in March, 2019.

Here's what you need to know...


* Mafia = yes, they run the carparks.


Do they make you an offer you can't refuse? Toofy Grin


A fat dood waddled over and demanded "donation"...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Neil Neige wrote:
Went there about 10 years ago. Cracking trip!
Swam in the Med in the morning. Skied on Etna in the afternoon.
Amazing views of the volcanic craters and out to see.
Really keen to return...


Yup, the views from the summit out to sea on a sunny day are epic.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
rob@rar wrote:
Bodeswell wrote:
What did you make of it @rob@rar, is it worth a detour? Always fancied Sicily, never been.
Back in the day I used to be a geology student and did many months of undergraduate and postgraduate research on Etna. The volcano, and Sicily generally, is amazing, and well worth visiting. If you're lucky enough to be there when it's erupting it's an astonishing experience. Generally the food, the scenery, the coastal towns and villages are all lovely, Taormina is great, a visit inland to Agrigento is well worth doing.

Technically I've skied there, but only for a couple of hours one morning in a rare visit during April when I had a little free time. It's not very big and needs a lot of depth for off-piste skiing as the terrain is incredibly rough and needs plenty of snow to cover it. But it certainly has novelty value.


Yup, the pre-Roman Greek temples at Agrigento, in the south, are pretty cool.

Southern half of the island is richer and nicer than the (crumbling) North... but you don't get the Etna view... It's like Zermatt vs. Cervinia for a view of the Matterhorn... one is good, one is cr*p.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Etna is blowing her top this week.

Hop on a flight and see the fireworks.

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Stromboli has gone bang this week.

A lot of volcano activity in southern Italy right now.

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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
That’s a big explosion for Stromboli, one fatality I believe. Typically you get small, relatively isolated explosions, called Strombolian activity, which mean you can get relatively close without too much risk. Spending the night near the summit crater, seeing the stars above, ships on the Med below and occasional thuds as the volcano explodes was a magical experience when I did it many years ago. No skiing though. But all volcanos reserve the right to suddenly change behaviour, as this current incident shows.
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Interesting. Had pencilled this in (v lightly) for next winter for a ski touring adventure. I can't really do last minute though as kids and their schedules means I need to have it in the calendar. After Morocco earlier this year, I'd rather go somewhere more reliable for snow and save this
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
iainm wrote:
Interesting. Had pencilled this in (v lightly) for next winter for a ski touring adventure. I can't really do last minute though as kids and their schedules means I need to have it in the calendar. After Morocco earlier this year, I'd rather go somewhere more reliable for snow and save this
I think Sally Bartlett (of the Ski Bartlett shop in Uxbridge) did some ski touring on Etna in the last year to two. If you are thinking about doing the same it might be worth contacting her, or I can ask get in touch if you don't know her.
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