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Ascent to Vesuvius-Crater rim on 2016-06-08

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Others in Party:Geri Stewart <10673>
Paul Scott
Date:Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Vesuvius - Crater rim
    Location:Italy
    Elevation:2900 ft / 883 m
    Remaining Elevation:1303 ft / 398 m (100% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

For anyone with the same hope, like me, of bagging Vesuvius, I hate to bring you this bad news, but this is the latest information as of June 8, 2016. Reaching the summit of Vesuvius is NOT allowed. There are NO touring guides or companies that will take you there no matter what they advertise. Using the regular tourist trail that circumnavigates about 1/3 of the crater rim, I was able to get to within 1/3 mile of the summit and about 300 feet in elevation below it. The trail continues beyond where I was not allowed to go, but that trail is used by climbers who pay for a guide service in Pompeii. They ascend in 4-wheel drive vehicles then hike the rest of the way, eventually intersecting the same trail I was on, but they do not go to the actual summit. In fact, the only person on this webpage who has actual evidence of reaching the highest point is Adam Walker. On May 10, 2011 he did a stealth ascent from the same trail I was on by leaving the trail when no one was watching and rejoining a large group of tourists later after doing a complete circumnavigation of the crater rim. All I can say is either the guards were not present then or Mr. Walker is an extremely bold climber. I honestly can't see how you could get away with such an attempt now and if you do try to replicate what Mr. Walker did here is a word of caution. The summit marker or instrument that is visible in Mr. Walker's summit photo can be easily seen from the regular tourist trail. If anyone attempts to tag that spot and take a victory photo, they are going to be easily seen by the guards around the rim. I have no idea what would happen to someone who is caught, but I didn't want to find out, so I had settle for crater rim success and not the actual summit. This is not to say that my climb was not worth it. The regular tourist trail allows stunning views of the very deep crater and even steam vents can be seen, plus the view to the west of the ocean and the enormous population centers is outstanding. You just don't get the satisfaction of actually reaching the summit, but you do get fairly close; probably within 15 minutes if you are a strong climber. My climb began at the lowest parking area (2665 feet). I arrived early (9:00 AM) and was the first car there. If you arrive later in the day you will have a bit of a walk from where you must park your car because it is only parallel parking and each vehicle has to park farther and farther away. The cost here for parking was 5 Euros. There are shuttle buses here waiting to take you up higher, but I did not check out those prices. I hiked about 1.25 miles to the ticket office where I had to pay another 10 Euros to continue. The guy selling the tickets there told me I could reach the highest point by making reservations for a climb on the other side of the volcano with a tour service. I later found out this is NOT true. From the ticket office it was about a one mile climb to the end of the tourist trail that followed the crater rim for a fair distance with good views. The highest elevation of about 3900 feet was achieved at the end of the regular tourist trail. Here a chained gate and guard prevent any more progress toward the summit. Good luck if you decide to attempt a try at bagging this peak. I promise I'm not going to be back for an attempt! Adam Walker may be the only individual on this website who has truly bagged Vesuvius as of June 8, 2016.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail



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