In summer 1993, I made a discovery journey to Kamchatka*, which consisted mainly of river rafting with an Aeroflot life-raft and volcano trekking. One volcano, which we tried to climb, was Mutnovsky in the South of the peninsula. Two vachtovkas** brought us in a seven hour ride to the base of the volcano. Early on the next morning, we made our first attempt for the crater. Unfortunately, we did not succeed due to various reasons:
- we were surrounded by fog
- we did not have any maps nor navigation means
- our local guide was big-mouth but did not strike at all
- the other guides insisted on cooking a soup for lunch with fire wood they brought along (this takes at least 2.5 hours at that altitude)
First, the offer was out of question for all of us. But right in then, the fog disappeared and the volcano showed its true beauty. Within an hour everyone gave in.
Both the rides up and down took about 1.5 hours and it felt like being trapped in a blender. Luckily, I don't get motion sickness, but this also restricted me from the only hatch. It was a ride in darkness.
But It was worth both trouble and embarrassment. The crater is magnificent. See the pictures of another party.
* A brief summary for all those who had a place next to the window in geography: Kamchatka Peninsula is a 1,250-kilometer-long peninsula in the Russian Far East, with an area of 472,300 km². It lies between the Pacific Ocean (to the east) and the Sea of Okhotsk (to the west). The central valley and the Kamchatka River are flanked by large volcanic ranges, containing around 160 volcanoes, 29 of them still active.
** six-wheel-drive truck with passenger cabin (picture).