NOTA BENE

Notes, comment and buzz from Eugene Kaspersky – Official Blog

September 23, 2012

Kamchatka-2012: Tolbachik and the Northern Fissure.

Day 16 (2). Tolbachiking it!

Hardy tourists are attracted to Tolbachik in high season like… like office workers to social networks during office hours! But this year there were even more tourists than usual – maybe too many. The Leningrad Base we were staying at was filled with more than a hundred tourists from different countries – with groups from Poland and Germany among others. But this is quite understandable really, since there’s so much to see here. Besides the black-red desert and hills of the Northern Fissure there’s also Ploskiy (Flat) Tolbachik to check out – a must.

Tolbachik Mountain

Aerial View Tobalchik Mountain

Viewing Deck Tobalchik Mountain

There’s no need to climb to the very top (3140m) – there’s a viewing deck not too far below (3080m). Getting there is real straightforward – on a well-worn path from which it’s pretty hard to stray by mistake. But despite the convenience and familiarity of a path, ascending more than 1000m for your average untrained office worker is a real test of physical strength and endurance. But the uphill hike is still definitely worth it – you won’t regret it. From the viewing deck the spectacle of the fairly fresh crater that stretches two kilometers across and 500m deep is stupefying.

Mountain Landscape

Mountain Hiking

Snow-Capped Mountain Landscape

Mountain Scaling

Mountain Valleys

What a view!

There’s only one problem when it comes to actually being able to get such views: the weather on Kamchatka is incredibly unpredictable. In the morning it may be clear and bright with not a single cloud in the sky, but come the afternoon a volcano can be shrouded in an impenetrable damp fog bringing visibility down to meters, not kilometers!

I’d already suffered at the capricious hand of Tolbachiksky weather twice before. All the same, I tried it a third time. And boy am I glad. Third time lucky – I saw the Tolbachik crater in normal weather conditions! All of it, in its elegant, enormous entirety! It’s just a shame the full breadth of the view wouldn’t fit in my camera’s viewfinder. And I went and forgot all about the panoramic regime on it! Ah well. That just means I’ll have to come back another three times to get another chance of shooting it right.

Along the way various strange animal-resembling volcanisms were to be found:

Volcanic turtle?

Volcanized Turtle

Vulncanized birdie?

Volcanized Bird

Volcanic platypus, minus limbs?

Volcanized Animal

Mountain Top View

Volcanized Landscape

Day 17 (3). Lost world.

The Northern Fissure. A fantastical place. A red-black world. You really start imagining what it must be like to walk on another planet. Black slag desert with peaks and troughs of nano-volcanoes scattered here and there.

Northern Fissure

Rocks Northern Fissure

Rock Clusters

Northern Fissures View

High View Northern Fissures

Rock Colors

Mountain Top Hiking

Northern Fissure Rock Climbing

Musts:

  • To climb up three or four of the red hills. The views are spectacular, even though you don’t get all that high up. On several hills the ground underneath you at the summits is still hot. So hot that if you put a branch from a tree (admittedly – brought with you; no trees here!) into one of the cracks in the ground – the branch will burn up! And the colors up here – oooh the colors.
  • To crawl along the Zvyozdichka volcano. It’s only 80 meters high, but the views are amazing.
  • Drive through the “dead wood”, which was scorched to death with slag and ash nearly 50 years ago. Eerie.
  • If you have time, then try also make it to the South Fissure (three or four hours are needed; we didn’t have the time).

Dead Woods

Tree Trunk

Dead Wood Mountains

Volcanic Rugs

The hills, the multicolored “volcanic rugs” and other stuff all look completely different depending on the weather – sunny or rainy. I personally think the scenery’s at its best when it’s rainy – the colors of the wet rocks are brighter and even more bedazzling than when it’s dry.

And that’s about it! All that remains now is to tell you about rafting and fishing, and then this year’s tales from the Kamchatka Peninsula will all be finished – until next time :).

Mountain Road

Volcanic Crater

Hiking Path

comments 0 Leave a note
Trackbacks 1

Kamchatka-2012: Fishes, Not Phishes! | Nota Bene

Leave a note
July 31, 2015

Icelandic Waterfallism.

Iceland‘s a very wet country in the cool time of year, and very snowy in winter. (There isn’t a warm season here to speak of – unless you submerge yourself in hot springs for three months.) So, in terms of H2O here – there’s plenty. And since there are a great many volcanoes in the […]

July 29, 2015

Icelandic tectonic.

Everyone’s got a basic idea of how this planet of ours is constructed, even primary school kids. It goes something like this: in the middle of the planet is the core – the nucleus; then there’s the mantle, and on the outside there’s the hard crust, upon which you’re reading this blog. But the earth’s […]

July 28, 2015

Iceland: Niceland.

I’d long dreamed of one day getting to the very volcanic island of Iceland for a spot of sightseeing, trekking and leisurely driving. I’d heard great things from friends and colleagues, seen some awesome pics of the scenery there, and heard some of the island’s music, but only recently did I finally find myself spending […]

July 24, 2015

Your car controlled remotely by hackers: it’s arrived.

Every now and again (once every several years or so), a high-profile unpleasantness occurs in the cyberworld – some unexpected new maliciousness that fairly bowls the world over. For most ‘civilians’ it’s just the latest in a constant stream of seemingly inevitable troublesome cyber-surprises. As for my colleagues and me, we normally nod, wink, grimace, […]

July 23, 2015

The tiniest biggest country in the world.

Hi folks! This here post is the last in my mini-series from St. Petersburg. It continues the ‘places to visit‘ theme, but with a difference; for the place it describes resembles a museum, but it isn’t a museum really, I think. Or maybe it is. It claims to be one… Hmmm, whatever it is, it’s […]

July 21, 2015

Railroad feats in St. Pete.

There are different kinds of museums. There are real museums (in the classic understanding of the word), there are expositions, exhibitions, installations… What other words are there for describing such events? Graffiti! Btw, good quality graffiti done in good taste – is it an exposition or installation or hooliganism? The latter I cross out since […]

More