Mount Etna European Ski Mountaineering Championship
This year, the European Championship of Ski Mountaineering will take place from 22nd to 24th February 2018 on the volcanic snow of Mount Etna.
Six years after the last experience with the World Championship at Nicolosi, in the province of Catania, the international Ski Mountaineering will be back with the European Championship of 22-24th February. All the categories Senior, Espoir, Junior and Cadet will compete the Sprint, Vertical and Individual race.
After the experience of the Alpago-Piancavallo 2017 World Championship, once again the Italian Ski Mountaineering offers, under Fisi supervision, its professionalism to arrange a sporting event in Sicily, which will attract athletes and skimo lovers from all over Europe. 150 athletes representing 12 different nations are expected at the starting line.
If Nicolosi is the headquarter of the championship, Refuge Sapienza and the Silvestri Craters, at the bottom of the Sicilian volcano, will be the background of the competitions that will assign the European titles.
The first nations are already expected in Nicolosi on Tuesday 20th February and athletes and coaches will be training on the volcano snow few days before the grand opening of the championship. Wednesday 21st February late afternoon the National teams will parade around the main streets of Nicolosi. The day after, the skimo snow show will climb uphill for the first race on the agenda, the Sprint race, a thrilling mix of speed and technical skills, kick turns, hiking uphill carrying the skis on the back pack, breathtaking downhills.
The second day, Friday 23th will showcase the Vertical race. It’s uphill all the way from the Refuge Sapienza to the arrival at Montagnola Crater.
Saturday morning, the last day of races: the spectacular Individual race, the essence of modern Ski Mountaineering, will be on. Racers will fight higher up, through the most beautiful scenarios of the volcano, down to Bove Valley and up again to the arrival, at the feet of the Silvestri Craters.
The Organising Committee is supported by the public Authorities: the Region of Sicily and the Councillor for Tourism, Sport and Events, Mr Sandro Pappalardo as well as the support of the Police, Rangers and many other volunteers.
Besides the competitive aspect, the Organising Committee wants to raise the attention towards issues such as violence against women and environmental sustainability. For this purpose, all the competitors will have a special pectoral bearing the symbol of the fight against violence on women. Particular attention has been also drawn to reduce the environmental impact of the event and the Committee will use biodegradable and recyclable materials, a clear message of respect to the Volcano, Unesco’s world heritage site.
Moreover a project aimed at involving the schools of Nicolosi and in the surroundings of Catania has been planned to bring sport closer to children and favour better integration of cultures.