Etna 04, Skylights and the lava flows into the Valle del Bove

A report from Detlef and Sylke Braunsdorf 

 

in deutsch

Hi, from the 19th to the 23rd of October we visited the volcano Etna. Best weather and ideal hiking conditions enabled us a good observation time.Starting with the bus from the Rifugio Sapienza at 9 o’clock by charging 35 EUR for each person we reached nearly the base of the South East cone. When you step out must hurry, otherwise you have to pay 7 EUR for the guide too. The mountain leader mostly is mandatory, but we heard from German tourists who moved with guides to the outlets of the recent lava stream, that loners has been referred out of the field.

 

 

 Orange lightning lava in the daylight.  From here the lava flow disappeared into a tunnel and gets again visible.

 

Anyhow we had luck and could unimpaired explore the lava stream from its beginning. On 2.650 m you discover the top outlet of the lava stream. From the fissures and cracks bluish smoke penetrated out downward about an elevation of 50 meters.

 

The rocky passage

On approx. 2,200 m the steep slopes of the Etna become flatter. Here the lava is merging in an enormous hollow and continuous flowing into the Valle del Bove. First tongues already reached the valley and build up itself to enormous block dumps. Before this hollow the lava has to pass a steep rock wall from approximately 80 to 100 m height. The rumbling of the falling lava could be heard through the whole valley. This episode persisted 2 days, and could only be observed from approx. 1 km distance.


 

'skylight'  The down flowing lavastreams to the Valle del Bove

        

By the way: It is quite possible to descend from the summit range over the flanks of the Etna into the Valle del Bove but not completely harmless, because the slopes are condemned steep and falling rocks endanger your way. But with caution and moving sticks this trip is not too hard. Especial mentionable is a beautiful skylight on approximately 2,350 m height.

 

Best regards from Sylke and Detlef,

 

Thanks for this report!

 

WEBCAM IMAGE from SEPTEMBER

 

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© photo & text by Sylke and Detlef Braunsdorf  25.10.2004