Visit to the ongoing eruption at the North Eastern base of the South East Crater (11/01/2023)
Many of you are asking if it is possible to reach the point where the active flow emerges from November 27, 2022.
This eruption is still continuing without major changes.
The area in which the volcanic phenomenon is continuing does not present major technical problems to be reached, especially if it is the summer period.
However, several aspects must be taken into consideration, such as:
- Knowledge of the territory and the areas to be crossed. (Being one of the most impervious areas, in the upper Valle del Bove, it is not easy to intercept, if you take the wrong direction, you can easily end up inside the valley, which would greatly complicate the return).
- Consider the volcanic risk status on the date chosen for the excursion.
- Verification of safe and fast escape routes in the event of a change in volcanic activity.
- Be expert walkers and have the habit of covering distances of more than 20 km at high altitude, for more than 5 hours of walking.
- Activity suitable for hikers used to making ascents of more than 800 meters of positive difference in height.
- Ensure trust in the guide who decides to take you to a risk area, who needs to trust and be sure of the physical abilities of the person being guided.
- In the event of an absent escape route or difficult to travel the guides do not take responsibility for guiding near the active area.
- In the event of high volcanic risk levels (high risk of imminent or ongoing explosive eruption), the guides do not take the responsibility of leading near the active area.
In winter ❄️ instead we need to consider other fundamental aspects:
- The obligatory use of crampons to progress on the icy slopes.
- Have experience in using crampons and snowshoes.
- Pay attention to melting crevasses, produced by snow or ice in contact with the underlying hot cooling flows.
Departures are mainly from the southern slope. Where you can take advantage of the cable car transport from an altitude of 1900 meters to an altitude of 2500 meters. From an altitude of 2500 meters to an altitude of 3000 there are about 7 km uphill for 550 meters of positive difference in altitude. The route involves overcoming the recent lava flows produced by the South East Crater and passing across the Valle del Bove, usually covered by ice (depending on the temperatures) for the last 200 meters in altitude. After the visit to the eruptive fracture and the lava flows produced, the return is planned for about 7 km on foot up to the cable car at an altitude of 2500 metres, useful for the definitive return to the starting point (car park at an altitude of 1900 metres).
- Approximately 14 kilometers to travel (round trip)
- The duration of the excursion with ascent and descent by cable car is approximately 5/6 hours.
In the event that during the descent from an altitude of 3000 you do not arrive in time to take the cable car, for the return to the starting point, or you decide not to take it, the descent kilometers will be approximately 17 from an altitude of 3000 meters to an altitude of 1900 meters .
- The duration of the excursion with ascent by cable car and descent on foot to the car park is approximately 7/8 hours.
Please note: The cable car is active from 8:30 AM to 15:45 PM.
What is included and excluded from the cost…
Included in the price of the private Volcanological or Alpine Guide service:
- Guide Service
- Protective helmet
- Extra jackets
- Non-slip crampons (not crampons)
Excluded from the price:
- €30 per person to be paid locally, for the transport: Cable car tickets (round trip) from 1900mt to 2500mt
- €35 per person to rent ski mountaineering equipment
- Snowshoes – snowshoes rental (12 € per person)
- Bottled water
- K-way (waterproof jacket)
- Parking ticket
FURTHER ASPECT TO CONSIDER
An important thing you need to know before undertaking this ascent is that the area affected by the eruption appears to have been closed by the Prefecture of Catania to the public, for safety reasons since February 14, 2014. Following the sudden collapse that occurred on the side of the southeast crater on the morning of February 11 and the persistence of slope instability, during an ongoing eruptive phase with lava emission from the northeastern flank of the cone.
It is therefore necessary to take on a great responsibility to accompany someone there.
The guides have recently gone near the eruptive fracture, to carry out sampling for the INGV of Catania or to accompany a group of up to 4/6 people, in the form of a private Volcanological Guide service (All this to guarantee an accurate service and reduce exposure to the risks associated with the volcanic environment), therefore at a high cost, precisely because of the great responsibility that the guide has to take on, if something were to happen there is a risk of permanent consequences.
– For this reason it is preferable to pay extreme attention or better avoid.
If the lava expanded out of that area, everything would be much simpler, let’s see how the situation will evolve and we can organize without problems.
Also remember that if you decide to go on the hike in winter with a proximal fracture at 3000 metres, you need to have crampons with you, essential for passing over the ice. It is also important to have the experience of what it means to progress in the mountains (on various types of terrain) for long stretches with these conditions.
- We therefore suggest a cheaper alternative that is less exposed to risks which still allows you to see the lava flows by opting for this excursion.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE A QUOTE FOR THE EXCURSION TO THE ERUCTIVE FRACTURE, YOU CAN WRITE US TO OUR NUMBER ALSO ON WHATSAPP: +39 3455741330
- To block the Guide for “exclusive” use, an advance payment of 50% of the total amount is required, see article.
- Recommended clothing: In layers, thermal shirt, fleece/down jacket, windbreaker, winter mountaineering pants, gloves and hat.
- Compulsory equipment: trekking shoes.
- €35 to rent ski mountaineering equipment.
- €15 to rent snowshoes and trekking poles.
- We recommend that you go to the starting points of our excursions, equipped with thermal tires or chains ⛓ on board (if necessary), which are mandatory in the winter months to climb the volcano.
In the event of adverse weather conditions, we will take care of notifying you in order to communicate the cancellation or postponement of your excursion, at the earliest possible date.
- Trekking is not recommended for those who does not do physical activity regularly.
- Trekking is not recommended for those who does not do mountain hiking regularly.
- The excursion requires a good preparation on a physical level. Because of it results to be a high height path, it would be easy to experience symptoms of fatigue.
- It is required also to be careful, since it is volcanic soil, often inconsistent and unstable.
- The excursion could be subjected to variations at the discretion of the Guides, or it could be interrupted in case of changes of the environmental, climatic or volcanic conditions, so as to undermine the safety of the entire group.
- The total time of the trekking trail will depends on the general pace.
- The excursion will be carried out according to the limits laid down by the ordinance in force.
- The route is also suited for children over 12 years old.
- The route consists of the ascent and the walking along the crater edges, this may cause dizziness to susceptible individuals.
- This type of itinerary, in relation to the type, is suited to people in good physical health, not suffering from particular disease (it is strongly discouraged to those who suffer from cardio-vascular problems, breathing problems or hypertension).
- We recommend not to use contact lens, because of the exhaled volcanic gases and of ash. This last one could easily cause problems, if pushed.
- Pregnant women who have passed the third month of pregnancy are not allowed to take part to any excursion activity.
- For the success of the excursion and for its correct carrying out, it’s good to know perfectly your health conditions and, if necessary, let the Guides know about them, in order to reduce the occurrence of any problem and to avoid any risks.
©Guide Vulcanologiche Etna Nord
Name / Company name: Cooperativa Volcanological Guides Etna Nord Soc.Coop.
Recipient Code: T04ZHR3 (the second character is a zero)
VAT / CF: IT05583690879
Headquarters in: Via Viola 1 – Linguaglossa (CT) ZIP code: 95015
Tel: + 39 3455741330
© Volcanological Guides Etna Nord – Law 22 April 1941, n. 633
Protection of copyright and other rights related to its exercise.
Our group is made up of Guides belonging to the Regional College of Alpine and Volcanological Guides of Sicily, the Italian legislation provides that these professionals are the only ones authorized to lead groups in active volcanoes and throughout the island (Framework Law of 2 January 1989 No. 6 and Regional Law of April 6, 1996).