Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mount Vesuvius, A Serious Killer (5/10/11)
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Gimpilator
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Joined: 12 Oct 2006
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Gimpilator
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PostFri May 27, 2011 10:37 pm 
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WARNING: There are graphic disturbing images at the bottom of this post

The South Face
The South Face
Vesuvius Seen From Sorrento
Vesuvius Seen From Sorrento

I thought it would be cool to climb Vesuvius.  With the exception of Tambora and Krakatoa it's estimated that Vesuvius has claimed more lives than any other mountain on earth.  Thus the catchy title.    tongue.gif

Railings?
Railings?
The Tourist Trail
The Tourist Trail

Anyhow, from satellite imaging, I was able to determine that the old trail on Vesuvius makes a full circumnavigation of the crater, whilst the tourist trail (complete with cattle guards) only allows access to the western rim, which is much lower than the actual summit.   frown.gif

The Summit
The Summit
Monte Faito (1444 meters) And The Tyrrhenian Sea
Monte Faito (1444 meters) And The Tyrrhenian Sea

I cut off of the main trail when I reached the south face and ascended ash and scree directly towards the crater rim until I came to the old trail.  This I followed to the summit and beyond, making a full circumnavigation of the crater rim and eventually rejoining the tourist trail.  I jogged on the downhill hoping to rejoin the mass hordes before I was noticed.  At one point I saw a huge vent emitting a continuous cloud of gas forty feet wide and 30 feet high.  This reminded me that Vesuvius is STILL VERY ACTIVE and it is certain to erupt again, although nobody knows when.  Will the descendants of Pompeii ever learn?

Volcanic Gas (view full size and look for people on the rim top)
Volcanic Gas (view full size and look for people on the rim top)
The Deep Caldera
The Deep Caldera
The Register
The Register

It's eruptions are recorded to have happened on or around each of the following years: 79, 172, 203, 222, 303, 379, 472, 512, 536, 685, 787, 860, 900, 968, 991, 999, 1006, 1037, 1049, 1073, 1139, 1150, 1270, 1347, 1500. 1631, six times in the 18th century, eight times in the 19th century, 1906, 1929, and 1944.  Can you decipher the code?  I can't.  But I know that's an average of once every 43 years.

My grandfather was flying a plane for the allied troops during the most recent eruption and he was able to take a most historic areal photograph of the ash plume.  I'll try to find the print so I can add it later.

Crater Panorama
Crater Panorama

After making it down without any burns or singed clothing or fines for that matter, I headed north to the Dolomites, but that's another story.


Victim of the 79 AD eruption on display in the ruins of Pompeii.
Victim of the 79 AD eruption on display in the ruins of Pompeii.
The ruins of the city along with it's inhabitants were accidentally discovered in 1749.
The ruins of the city along with it's inhabitants were accidentally discovered in 1749.

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Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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Josh Lewis
Up up and away!



Joined: 01 Nov 2007
Posts: 4542 | TRs | Pics
Location: Lynnwood,WA
Josh Lewis
Up up and away!
PostSat May 28, 2011 12:08 am 
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up.gif Nice! Loved the email you sent me on this, especially the prominence dorks and volcano junkies part.  lol.gif Anyways looks like you had a cool time.

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My Websites: Personal Website PeakFun SummitPost Profile TrailTopo
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Michael Lewis
Taking a nap



Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 386 | TRs | Pics
Location: Lynnwood, WA (for now)
Michael Lewis
Taking a nap
PostSat May 28, 2011 4:15 am 
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Jogging is still groovy man cool.gif
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Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent



Joined: 23 Feb 2009
Posts: 3162 | TRs | Pics
Location: On Hiking Hiatus
Redwic
Unlisted Free Agent
PostSat May 28, 2011 5:20 am 
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Nice TR. Thanks for sharing!

Once again, you are Gimpilator: International Mountaineer of Mystery

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"Revolutions are not overnight. The heightist mindset has minimally a 100 year head start. Eventually the climbing community will embrace prominence." -Adam Helman
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostSat May 28, 2011 6:37 am 
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Good stuff!  up.gif   I'm looking forward to the Italy report.
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Snowdog
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Joined: 21 Jul 2006
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Location: on (& off) the beaten path
Snowdog
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PostSat May 28, 2011 7:23 am 
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nice! I'm a fellow volcano junkie myself. We should  compare notes  some time. cool.gif

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'we don't have time for a shortcut'
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Slugman
Slower than ever



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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Slugman
Slower than ever
PostSat May 28, 2011 10:32 am 
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To me, the graphic and disturbing images were of all the tourists. embarassedlaugh.gif

Do you mean to say you broke the rules?  suuure.gif

Great report and pics, thanks for posting.   up.gif  up.gif

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Just another tequila sunrise....
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belowfellow
Transplant



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
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belowfellow
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PostSun May 29, 2011 5:10 pm 
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up.gif  Looking forward to the rest of the reports!

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"Wilderness is bliss"
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EastKing
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Joined: 28 Mar 2007
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Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
EastKing
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PostSun May 29, 2011 6:33 pm 
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Great report!

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I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

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the Zachster
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the Zachster
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PostSun May 29, 2011 6:43 pm 
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Thanks for is great trip report!  up.gif
My father was in Italy during part of his service in WWII (Army). He told us many stories but among them was his climb up Vesuvius on a "day off" (not quite sure what that is during war...but he was quite the adventuresome one...). He didn't refer to a trail and said that by the time he got back down his boots were destroyed by the pumice and ash.
Your report reminds me that one day I need to follow in his footsteps.
What else are you doing in Italy/Europe?

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"May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am"
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EastKing
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Joined: 28 Mar 2007
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Location: 40 hours week work; 40 hours summit
EastKing
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PostMon May 30, 2011 11:21 am 
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Hmm... I wonder why this picture REALLY was taken! LOL
Hmm... I wonder why this picture REALLY was taken! LOL

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I am addicted to summits! I can't eat, drink or breath without them. Life without mountains would really suck.

http://www.myspace.com/climbandsurfmackg | http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=894
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touron
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touron
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PostMon May 30, 2011 11:36 am 
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Slugman wrote:
To me, the graphic and disturbing images were of all the tourists. embarassedlaugh.gif

And to me, those were the masterpieces, the Rembrandts, the Renoirs, the Raphaels.

In fact, I hereby nominate this photo for the 2012 calendar, month of May hmmm.gif :



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Touron is a nougat of Arabic origin made with almonds and honey or sugar, without which it would just not be Christmas in Spain.
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fzte
All in the Boots



Joined: 27 Dec 2009
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Location: Edmonds, WA
fzte
All in the Boots
PostWed Jun 01, 2011 5:04 pm 
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Very cool TR on a very unique mountain  up.gif

Edit: For those of you that are into railings...
http://www.stairporn.org (It's not what you think.)


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Climbing for Camp Erin - Zero to Everest | Facebook | Twitter
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beaudaddy
Coast To Cascades



Joined: 25 Feb 2010
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beaudaddy
Coast To Cascades
PostWed Jun 01, 2011 5:08 pm 
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Nice railings bro!!! Great trip and the weather looked amazing!

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https://instagram.com/beau.ramsey/
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Gimpilator
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Gimpilator
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PostThu Jun 02, 2011 11:21 am 
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Snowdog - It woukd be fun to compare notes. We should compile a list of all the ones we have climbed and all the ones we still want. I like lists and I haven't made one like that yet. The next one on my hit list is Damavand.

Slugman - Yes, i knowingly broke the rules. Youre supposed to hire a guide to walk to the summit. As an ex alpine guide, it's a matter of pride to not hire guides. I've only done it once and that was when there was no way around it, on Kilimanjaro.

the Zachster - The only other hike I did on this trip was a peak called Rittner Horn. This was primarily a family trip so I didn't take the time to do any challenging climbs but I wish I could have.

Thanks everyone else for sharing your thoughts!

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http://www.summitpost.org/user_page.php?user_id=25744
http://www.peakbagger.com/climber/ClimbListC.aspx?cid=2650&sort=elevft&u=ft&j=-1&y=9999

Keep climbing mountains and don't slip!
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