ON SNOW EXPERIENCE
This trip includes four full days off piste with local IFMGA Mountain Guides. You’ll be skinning up the flanks of the volcano and descending towards and through the treeline each day (depending on conditions). This trip is aimed at Intermediate (Silver) and Advanced (Purple) off piste skiers with good ski touring experience. If you are unsure of your ski level, please see the Ski Club’s comprehensive guide on the Ski Profile Page.
You’ll be staying in a variety of accommodation, but will first based at the Hotel Sapienza at 1,920m on the volcano’s northern flank. This comfortable hotel offers incredible access to the slopes of the volcano and acts as a great base. Two nights will be spent at the Rifugio Citelli after our big descent down from the summit and you’ll spend the final night at the Habitat Hotel in Catania.
You’ll need to book your own flights, but we will be on hand to meet you at Catania Airport upon your arrival. We are aiming to meet you at 18:00 hours on the arrival day - the fixed time shared transfer from the airport to the Hotel Sapienza is included. All internal transfers in the guide’s minibus are also included, however bus and taxis are not included. On the final day you will make your own way from the Habitat Hotel in Catania to the airport, public transport and taxis are readily available for this short transfer. Please contact the New Horizons team on 020 8410 3449 if you need assistance with booking your flights.
Although there is a shop for rental in Catania, the quality of their kit is not as high as you’d find in the Alps or elsewhere. We’d therefore recommend bringing your own gear, including a full touring setup and a large backpack as you’ll be overnighting in a mountain refuge. For this trip you should have a ski touring set up, boots, skis with touring bindings, skins and couteaux. You will also need a harness, ice axe and boot crampons – all of which can be hired from our guides if arranged in advance, call us on 020 8410 3449.
Day 1: Arrival
We plan to meet at the airport at Catania and travel by road the short distance to the Hotel Sapienza in a shared transfer. The hotel is located at 1920m on Mt. Etna and right next to the Etna cable car. It has spacious rooms a large dining room serving excellent food.
Day 2: Ski warm up
Our first ski day we will ski the southern slopes of Mt. Etna and can include routes such as Canalone degli Svizzeri and Montagnola. From the hotel, we will take the lifts of the ski area and then ski tour for a short distance and have a choice between the 2 ski routes. We stay back in the hotel for the night.
Day 3: Southeast traverse
From the hotel, we will ski tour to the craters of Mt. Etna at around 3323m, a long but enjoyable climb. This will give us a big descent on the north aspect of Pizzo Deneri (2847m) down to the Rifugio Citelli at 1741m. We stay overnight in the Rifugio Citelli mountain hut.
Day 4: East-North traverse
We re-ascend on our skins towards the Pizzo Deneri at 2874m and descend to the Refuge Piano Provenzana at 1800m. From there we reach our mountain hut by a short bus or taxi ride.
Day 5: West-Southeast Traverse
We have a short transfer by taxi or bus to the Piano Provenza. We will use the lifts to get to Anfiteatro at 2340m and from here we ski tour to the Nort-East crater. We can enjoy a long and amazing ski down to the Torre del Filosofo and the Valle del Bove until we reach the Rifugio Manza. From here we traverse to Col Lapide Malerba and ski down to Piano dei Pompieri. Our guide will drop you back to Catania where you’ll get the chance to explore the historic city, taste some fantastic local cuisine and enjoy stunning views of Mount Etna.
Day 6: Catania
Take the opportunity to explore the city some more and sneak in one last Italian espresso, before you make your own way to the airport.
Please note that this is an example itinerary. The on snow programme and the mountain hut that you stay in may change depending on conditions. This flexibility enables you to make the most of your trip.