The first rumble. Difficult to know the exact cause through a wool hat, two hoods and with the wind as it was. Perhaps a plane? Minutes later came the second, closer and much louder. Thunder. We’d skinned just 400m in the pouring rain and we were now going to have to about turn and quickly. We were totally soaked and I think everyone was secretly relieved! We reached the safety of the tiny café at the base of the pistes just in time to watch an impressive electrical storm which amongst other damage, killed seven horses. The roads on the way back to Nicolosi were literally rivers.
Day 2. After donning still damp clothing we set off back up the mountain in better weather but in a ‘stiff breeze’ which stiffened as we climbed. We finally lost visibility so we called it a day at the observatory at Piz Deneri enjoying a surprisingly good 1000m run back to the vans.
Day 3. We tried from the south but the weather was so bad we didn’t get more than a few yards from the top cable car station. It was back down in the lift with damp tails between our legs. We never did get to see the red hot lava flows close up, only a view from the airport in the dark of the morning as we departed. Unfinished business.