Day by day description
День 1. Arrival in Petropavlovsk
Arrival in Petropavlovsk. After landing (either at 8.45 or 11.00am) a bus takes us to a health resort called Paratunka (1.5hr). Accommodation in a hotel. Double rooms, shower, thermal water pool. Hotel.
День 2. Move to
After breakfast we board an expedition truck and go south, over the Vilyuchinsky pass, towards Gorely volcano (3hr). We put our tents in a treeless valley at about 1000m (drier ground in August will allow to come much closer to under the volcano). Camp.
День 3. Ascent of Gorely volcano
Ascent of Gorely volcano (1829m), one of the most active of the southern part. It has several craters, one of which is filled by a green-blue tarn. Koryaksky and Avachinsky volcanoes are seen to the north and the sea of lower mountain ranges to the south. Having descended, we strike camp, leave in an expedition truck and go for an hour to under the Mutnovsky volcano. Camp.
10 august - 21 august 2016
21 august - 01 september 2016
Included in the price
“Ever got tired of going to Alaska?” a friend once asked me.
“It is not possible”, I replied.
Jim DuFresne, the author of “Alaska”, Lonely Planet guidebook, page 6.
They still exist, dangerous, open spaces of freedom on our Earth, and it is impossible to forget them…They call it nostalgia, the urge that drives you back again and again: to walk up from the soft light birch forest to the stark volcanic desert encircled by the menacing thrilling horizons, where the thin earth’s crust only makes believe it is solid and safe…
Geographers call it a “peninsula”, people living there know they are islanders, living on the biggest and farthest island of Russia.
The only way to get to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky from the mainland is by plane or ship. And the only place to where you can walk out from Kamchatka (across the wild and empty Koryaksky mountains) is Chukotka, which is even more remote and lonely than Kamchatka itself.
It is an island, for during all the Soviet decades it was walled by a more strict iron curtain than the whole USSR was. Even Russian citizens had to get a special permit issued by KGB offices to come there. The military were “occupying” Kamchatka since the arms race started, kept there (and still keep) their nuclear submarines and used some spots on its territory as a target places for inter-continental missiles.
That military wall fell only in the early nineties and the discovery of Kamchatka by the western adventure traveling public has been going on ever since…
Superlatives do not work in this over-advertising world. Yet, when it comes to Kamchatka, these words are just a helpless attempt to express something which is beyond our scope...
There is an innumerable number of mountains on earth. All the volcanoes are known to scientists and counted. Some are active and you can go and take in that grand sight. The names of the beautiful few, high and snow-clad, are well known to lay public - Fujiyama, Ararat, Kilimanjaro and some others. Still, with all their irresistible aesthetic appeal, each of them is one and only feature of the landscape. In this respect Kamchatka Peninsula is a unique place. The volcanoes here, high, snow-clad and from time to time erupting, are put into exceptionally scenic mounting: lower mountain ranges with wide green valleys dividing them, taiga, high tundra, fast and clear rivers, ocean coasts. The famous Uzon Crater and Geyser Valley which, taken apart, could easily make the tourist industry of a small country, are just two of many places of interest here. With slightly over 400000 of population for such a large territory (1200km long, 450km wide), about 250000 of them living in the town of Petropavlovsk, the region is really wild. Nonetheless, the peninsula has been a Mecca for Russian tourists for quite a long time, so the approach routes to all key points are fairly developed. Converted four-wheel drive heavy buses are normally used for that. Helicopter is faster but much more expensive.
Many outdoor activities can be practised in Kamchatka: climbing, walking, rafting, full of thrills hunting and fishing, sk-touring and heli-skiing. The latter, even though really expensive, is absolutely fantastic in Kamchatka!
Making a perfect scene for the adventures of his characters Robert Louis Stevenson created the Treasure Island., which provided them all the needs of all the heroes of the novel. Making Kamchatka, Nature (obviously arranging with the kinky Russian history) seemed to be preoccupied with creating a perfect terrain for dramatic, exciting treks... At the beginning of the 21st century not many places on earth can boast so high potential for scenic and varied treks as does Kamchatka.
From south to north along Kamchatka
The first part is a very scenic, exciting and varied trek, not strenuous, in more populated area not far from the town of Petropavlovsk.
It includes ascents of three southern volcanoes of medium height. The caldera of Mutnovsky volcano is rich in manifestations of the cosmic powers churning under the thin crust of earth. It is considered to be a minor (and less groomed) replica of the Geysers Valley.
The top of Avachinsky volcano affords a fantastic bird’s eye view of the blue Pasific, far away volcanoes, green taiga and tundra, and toy buildings of Petropavlovsk far down.
The second part is in the much more remote and wild center of Kamchatka. We climb to the rim of the huge crater of Mutnovsky volcano and see the new craters born during the great Tolbachik Eruption of 1975-76.
At all times while in Russia you should have the following documents: valid passport with Russian visa, immigration card and Voucher (part of our two invitation papers).
For land transfers we use comfortable private minivans and 4WD trucks with a cabin and seats. Boat for the sea excursion is comfortable, with cabin and seats.
Meals are the usual European type. Lunch-packets for outings are chocolate bars, apples, juice, nuts etc.
We will change the menu on demand and for vegetarians of course. If you personally want something special we will see to it.
Meals when in hotel are not included in the price. There is a lot of cafes around where you can choose from wide menues. The prices are pretty low (from 350 to 500 roubles for a good lunch=7-10USD).
Staff: Two English speaking guides, cook
Health-care on the trip is limited to the first-aid kit the guide carries. In the town, in case of serious health problems, the local hospital and your medical insurance policy are to take over. We do not provide any insurance!
Take enough of your personal medicines if you know you might need them.
The best time for trekking in Kamchatka is late July, August and the best part of September: the weather is good and stable and, last but not least, much less mosquitoes at that.
In Petropavlovsk you may need about 10000rouble for meals in hotels and/or cafe. The fish bazaar is very rich in the town and souvenir shops are not bad.Safety and responsibility.
Safety is of the highest priority for us. All the serious ourdoor activities, especially climbing volcanoes, imply a certain amount of danger. The guides who will work with you in Kamchatka are fully responsible for your safety, so their authority in the safety measures during the climbing is indisputable. Their decisions when climbing will be the last and decisive.
The guides will have all the necessary climbing gear, GPS navigators and radioes, mobile phones (where they do work) and first-aid kits.