Tolbachik volcano trek

August 5, 2010 

A very long and strenuous, but not technically difficult trek, to climb from 1680 to 2850 meters, gives the opportunity to see the majestic Plosky Tolbachik volcano's main crater, which is almost two kilometers wide and more than 500 meters deep, inside which a beautiful glacier falls inside. The trek requires about 6-8 hours round trip and just good legs.

Today we have a trek to Tolbachik volcano, having the purpose to climb to the summit crater. The 6WD bus brings the group to the trail head at 1680 meters above sea level. As the Tolbachik crater is located at 2850 meters, the group has to climb for about 1200 meters for a distance of about 7 kilometers. The trek to Tolbachik crater is thence a little bit strenuous because of the climb and the thin air of higher altitudes, but is not technically difficult and doesn't require nothing more than good legs and trekking sticks. Climbing Tolbachik volcano has required about 4 hours to go and 2 hours to come back. The trail head today is located HERE (click the link to open Google Earth, which must be previously installed in the computer).Also today we start to trek into a thick fog, actually caused by low clouds surrounding the Tolbachik volcano. Anyway we hope for better weather on the higher part of the volcano.

We trek over pumice and lava fields. Luckily, after passing 2000 meters, the weather starts to improve, as we are actually above the clouds.
Ostry Tolbachik volcano
Suddenly, a beautiful view over Ostry Tolbachik volcano, well 3672 meters high, opens. We are not climbing this peak, but the much easier " sister " Plosky Tolbachik peak.
View from Tolbachik
Crossing a snow field

The clouds are now well below us when the group crosses and easy and not slippery snow field.
Tolbachik volcano trek
At 2500 meters, we hike over a small plateau. In the meanwhile, breathing gets a little more difficult, due to thin air because of the altitude.
Volcano Ostry Tolbachik in Kamchatka

Other views over Ostry Tolbachik volcano, with its snow fields and glaciers.
Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka
Climbing Tolbachik volcano

The weather is getting better also at the lower altitudes, so spectacular views open to the huge plateau, dotted with many small craters, at Tolbachik volcano's foot.
Tolbachik volcano crater
After a final climb, I reach the majestic Plosky Tolbachik summit crater, at an elevation of 2850 meters. The crater is immense: it has a maximum diameter of almost two kilometers and is more than 500 meters deep. The Shmidt glacier falls inside the crater and, until year 1985, the crater has a lake of liquid lava inside.
Tolbachik volcano Plosky Tolbachik
Tourists walking along the margins of Tolbachik volcano crater.
Volcano Plosky Tolbachik
Time for some relax and to enjoy the spectacular views onto Plosky Tolbachik crater.
Who is fitted enough may climb for further 200 meters to the actual Plosky Tolbachik peak at an elevation of 3050 meters. However the wind is too strong, so I decide to turn back, as I've seen enough beautiful things for today.

Descending is always easier and shorter than climbing, however, in the meanwhile, the sky turns to gray again.
The immense panorama that can be seen from Tolbachik volcano. The day ends going back to The Moon Rovers Base for a well deserved rest.

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