Multicolored Semyachik: should we caldera-rim-walk it?

Still slithering down the Kamchatka peninsula this summer… next stop for us, some 50km to the southwest of the Valley of Geysers – the Maly Semyachik volcano:

En route – lush landscapes viewed out of the helicopter’s windows, mostly to the east:

Bolshoy [Big] Semyachik. The internet claims there are geysers on its lower slopes, but I’m not so sure…

Here’s a volcanic pimple, but I didn’t catch the name:

Over there on the horizon – the Pacific Ocean:

We approach Maly [Small] Semyachik; time to get the photo-video kit all ready, because Maly Semyachik is no maly marvel!…

We rise up to peek at what’s inside the peak…

Here is comes!…

Oh my gorgeous!… ->

Now for some more detail. I’ll take the liberty of telling you what the Russian Wikipedia page says about it (since the English one has not much info at all):

“…A wonderful complement to the crater – which in and of itself is of great interest – is the volcanic lake inside it, which was given the name … Green Lake due to its rich color. Around the end of the 1960s and the early 1970s, the color of the lake changed to turquoise, and in 2008 it went a light blue/gray. The color of the lake comes from the tiny particles of sulfur emitted into the lake by underwater fumaroles. The coloring is visible only from afar. Close up it is lost. The lake is one of the most acidic in the world (pH≈1). Its water contains – besides what is normal for a volcanic lake: hydrochloric and sulfuric acid – also hydrofluoric acid, as a result of which splashes and steam from the acidic water can damage camera optics, and is extremely toxic.”

Now that is… an exclusive lake: you can swim in it just once in a lifetime! )

Regarding the color – I can confirm that it does indeed change. But not only every quarter-century or so, as Wikipedia states; the color also changes depending on what angle you look at it from! And yes: close up, there’s little color (not that we got too close – what with our cameras and all:).

Check out these varying shades: ->


April 2013:

Woah. So good you could copy it with zero editing/filtering for a travelers’ calendar!

July 2021 (see the shadow of the helicopter?:) ->

And if you look closely, the top rim of the crater doesn’t seem to be too steep – I mean, the slopes down therefrom inward and outward don’t seem to be too steep. I reckon, surely, that means it’s walkable, no?! And crater-rim walking is something we believe in and always will. // More on the crater-rim walking theme in a future post…

Super pics, eh?

If you look real close you can sometimes make out streaks of yellow on the blue/turquoise/gray surface of the lake: that’s the sulfur being emitted from the underwater fumaroles. Indeed, this volcano is alive, active, and well!

Oh yes – look at that: walkable! ->

And on the horizon…

A neighboring volcano puffing away like a chain-smoker! ->

But more about that in another post…

Thank you, dear readers, for reading as far as the final ‘thank you’!

The rest of the photos from Kamchatka-2021 are here.

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