Mt. Etna, Day 1

by Sistaweotch July. 04, 2007 5216 views

Arriving at Mt. Etna via bus, cable car, and jeep-bus. Visiting the tourist craters, starting our hike.

One of my first views of Etna.

Nice, but hopefully not my future.

Fred, Salvu, and Joseph through the very scratched plastic of the cable car.

One of the only shots I managed to get that gives an idea of the steepness of the volcanic slopes.

Joseph, who sensibly decided to ride up the last portion with me in a jeep-bus.

Tiramisu, Etna-style.

Tourist area craters. Joseph and I passed a fellow carrying out a rather large sized lava rock. I laughed and he gave me a dirty look. I think maybe I found the European equivalent of the Log Lady. He was quite protective of his rock.

Steaming crater.

Moi, next to said steaming crater.

Seen from the tourist area. So beautiful and dramatic.

Our trail ended here. Our map was from 2001. It showed nothing of this 2002 lava flow, which obliterated this portion of the trail. *scratches head* What sort of omen is this?

Looking uphill at the origins of the 2002 flow while crossing it.

Summit previously viewed from the tourist area. I guess we'd come further than I thought by this point. No wonder I was tired. Well, that and the fact that we were at just over 3100 meters (10, 170 feet).

The secondary summit. If you look very closely in the middle on the left, you can see two crazy people climbing it. Those two people are Fred and Salvu. Well, “people” could be a misnomer. This is when we began to suspect Fred was a robot. Salvu is merely crazy. Of course, the fact that I was even there to take the picture could indicate this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black…

From whence we came. See how much smaller the tourist area crater is now? The distance from the lava is deceptive – it was all sand from the lava flow, uphill, and into the wind. I wanted to die, especially since I had to climb it twice, after giving up once while waiting for Fred and Saviour.

Fred the Robot, carrying my pack, overlooking our area of descent. We opted not to go all the way around to the north side, but instead head down the west flank. He's probably communicating by satellite with his robot overlords, asking if this will still fit into their nefarious plans.

Etna sunset. :)

Saviour and Joseph, coming down the hill behind me. This was one of the easiest parts of the descent, as we kept hitting sandy patches through which we could slide-ski: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPVGdF7WiyI [youtube.com]

One of the last pictures of the evening. Soon after this we were done with the sliding and started crawling by hand down an even steeper slope. We mostly stayed between two tongues of lava, the 1999 flow we think. We stuck to dirt when possible, but there was plenty of lava to scramble over anyway. Fred wanted to keep going, all the way to the greenery you see on the lower slopes, but we had to start using headlamps and flashlights, and were moving very slowly. He was outvoted and we stopped for the evening. We opted to sleep on the side of the volcano in what was later dubbed, “Camp Jackass.”
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Nancy94 11 years, 7 months ago

It's very beautiful :) Thank u for these photots :*

11 years, 7 months ago Edited
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