Reaching Etna Vulcano summit by kite
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Air, Water and Fire… Those Elements along with Passion and Energy mixed together give life to one of the greatest emotions in life : The Natural High…and where better to experience it than Volcano Etna mt 3339 meters of pure Power!
Sapienza Resort, 31th January 2009
We often forget that one of the most beautiful and fascinating games of our childhoods was making a coloured kite to fly on the beach moved by the sea breeze, or building up a volcano of sand so big that you needed to put your arm inside to dig out the crater! Then dad would arrive and show us how to make it smoke with some paper and a lighter.. how wonderful!
Today those kites and the smoking volcanos echo back in our memories and while I’m reliving those feelings and I am also dreaming of the snow fields which hug the “Fire Giant” of Volcano Etna. I went there some years ago and fell in love with the place but the desire and enthusiasm of going there with friends is the reasons why I organized the “Volcano Etna Chasta days ‘09″. The dream came true on the 24th of January till the 30th thanks to a number of elements coming together at last. After this experience I now understand that all natural elements: water, fire, earth and air have mixed together to create the most beautiful picture; one of friends gathering from around the world. Etna is a majestic giant that gives you energy and draws people to her!
Our Ozone Kites were the other important element and of course people’s common passion for snowkiting all came together at the legendary Sicilian mountain. We’ll never forget what happened at Chasta Days on Etna snowkiting at 3330 mts watching the sea and touching the smoke, totally unreal. We were up to speed on the kiting area after a few days but we needed only a couple of minutes to understand that snowkiting has no rivals and no limits! It’s a constant emotion that envelops you leaving you breathless. In my mind Chasta Days will remain a meeting of cultures, women and men, skiers and boarders alike. I will never forget Pascal and Chasta, Riccardo and Maria, and the Ozone Italia Team, without them nothing would have been possible. Likewise my Sicilian friends Luca and Giovanni, Cristina and Alessia, Saro and Giuseppe and the special helpfulness of the Sapienza resort and the Etna cableway are equally memorable.
The most intense feelings belonged to the people who shared the experience in the central crater. It was the 29th of January and there was electricity in the air. We went up with the first cable-car hurrying to reach the launch site with our kites. Wind was whipped up and constant from the NW and drove us to visit the N-NW side of the volcano. Forthwith Chasta, Pascal and I covered a diagonal of about 3 km. At 1800 mts we opened our Ozone Kites among the cedars and extinct craters trying to impress in our minds the lasting emotions provoked by the pastel colours of the mediterranean sun reflecting on the volcano.
We kept going down for about an hour while Pascal took wonderful pictures of the greatest rider ever: CHASTA! Then we headed up to reach the peak of the volcano. The weather started changing, humid drafts from the NW formed fog banks that moved quickly towards the mountain. We had to rise up and gain altitude in order to get above the fog. Pascal and Chasta with Ozone MANTA II 12 mts climbed out immediately but me, I was forced to change my kite size because I was using a Frenzy FYX 7 mt which was too small for the weaker conditions. I quickly pulled out my MANTA II 12 and kited straight up right above the fog. More altitude means much more wind, so after meeting Alessandro, Lido and Andrea with Frenzy 7 mts I decided to change my kite yet again. It is lucky that they are so easy to just pack away and pull out again…no time wasted pumping! The final target was the peak. The mere minutes we needed to reach it made this experience a total dream.
I will always remember the touching emotions that everyone felt enjoying the smokes of Volcano Etna from the peak with kites flying high and spirits even higher. Nothing could ever remove this memory and maybe we have already seen the evergreen gardens of paradise in those peaks covered by snow above the clouds in front of sea. By 1:30 p.m. we had arrived at the roof of this part of the world! The dreams of our childhoods were fulfilled!
Enjoy the pictures and come with us next year!