VALLEY OF GEYSERS
SUPERB ECO HOLIDAYS
After breakfast we pack our overnight bags, sleeping bags, and put them all in the vehicle before setting out for the day's walk. Again the volcano walk is on a single trail there and back, where members can walk as far as they wish and then return down the same trail. Our 6WD bus heads north to the track round the edge of the large lake that lies in the unfilled eastern crescent of the Gorely caldera. Walking distance is 5 km, ascend of 750 m. We pass tundra with very low dwarf willow and bare stripes of lava and ascend between the two low summits.
Higher up, long gently graded snow-fields provide the easiest route up (and certainly the best way to come back down). Head through the saddle and then round to the right, along the far rim of the main crater complex. The first large crater contains a cold lake; its surface has ice floes from a small glacier on its internal slope. The walls of all the craters expose profiles through thick sequences of lava flows with a limited component of interbedded pyroclastics. Continue beyond it to a broad shelf that extends inside the very large old central crater. Picnic lunch. Next, there is a sudden,vertical descent into the active crater. Over 100 m down, a hot acidic lake has active fumaroles and solfataras around its margin and beneath the surface. Return to our bus and drive to a hotel in the Paratunka Valley. Rest and swim in pool with thermal hot water.