Mount Etna is the highest volcano in Europe and is also one of the most active in the world. It can be visited all year round. But no matter when you visit, its unique atmosphere and the surrounding landscape guarantee that Etna is always fascinating. To get there, and especially to get the most out of the place, it is important to be well prepared.
This includes appropriate clothing to wear during your ascent of the volcano. Conditions such as the temperature, pressure, oxygen level, and wind strength can change considerably during the climb. So, how should you dress to visit Etna ? And what else do you need to do to get the most out of your visit?
Climbing Etna : what to wear ?
The outfit you need to wear for climbing Etna depends on the time of year you go there. If you go in the winter, it is essential that you wear warm clothes : a sweatshirt and a rugged jacket are required.
During the winter season, there is frequently a temperature difference of more than 20°C, compared with the temperature in Catania. If there is snow on the ground, trekking poles and snowshoes will be very useful.
Take care, your jacket must be sturdy enough to protect you from the icy wind. If you are going in the summer, you should dress in layers. Even during the summer months, you may still feel cold.
In fact, the temperature can vary between 5 and 10°C with every 1,000 m. To give you a clearer idea of what awaits you, when the sea temperature is 30°, the temperature at 2,000 m will be between 10 and 20°, and at the top, it will be between zero and 10°.
As for shoes, models designed for trekking (with high tops) will be fine, no matter what kind of tour of Etna you want to undertake.
What else can you expect when you climb Etna?
The ascent of Etna is not an easy undertaking. In addition to clothing suitable for the relatively extreme conditions in the area, there are other things to consider: You may very well be hungry during the climb.
Which is why you should always take a bottle of water and some snacks in your backpack. If you do not take any, you can always buy them at Rifugio Sapienza or Rifugio Citelli; It is very sunny, so don’t forget your sunscreen.
At the summit of Etna, in addition to the cold, you will be more exposed to UV rays. By the way, always be sure you have up-to-date information about the weather.
It will not be very pleasant if you are caught in heavy rain or a hailstorm during your ascent. It can even become extremely dangerous; If you plan to climb to the top of the volcano, from 2500 m above sea level, you must be accompanied by a guide.
You must follow your guide’s instructions to the letter, to limit the risk of accidents; If you are not a great fan of trekking, you can visit Etna by helicopter. The latter option promises an unforgettable experience.