Erupting Russian Volcano Attracts Thrill-seekers

Photo: Maxim Fesyunov/ @fesmaks2

An erupting 4,750m volcano in Kamtchatka, Russia is attracting tourists who may have a little too much chutzpah for their own good.

The Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano, the highest active volcano in Eurasia, has been spewing lava since late last year. Just as activity in the main cone died in February, a second eruption occurred at around 2,750m, forming a side cone. After the formation of this side cone, “adventure” tourists began to arrive.

The tourists are apparently getting extremely close to the still erupting crater. Photos on social media show them huddled around the crater rim with falling lava visible in the air.

A tad too close? Photo: @andreev_andrey

The Russian Ministry of Emergencies has impressed upon would-be thrill-seekers the danger posed by the volcano. Toxic gas emissions, mudflows, and large chunks of falling lava all pose a significant risk. Fresh eruptions are also possible, and hard to predict.

Regional travel agencies have been told to keep tourists away, but the Ministry of Emergencies is concerned that the proliferation of social media images might yet attract more Darwin Award contenders.

Get ready to duck: While red-hot volcanic bombs fall around them, tourists survey the scene. Photo: @andreev_andrey


About the Author

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a freelance writer and wildlife photographer based in Da Lat, Vietnam.

A history graduate from the University of Nottingham, Martin's career arc is something of a smörgåsbord. A largely unsuccessful basketball coach in Zimbabwe and the Indian Himalaya, a reluctant business lobbyist in London, and an interior design project manager in Saigon.

He has been fortunate enough to see some of the world. Highlights include tracking tigers on foot in Nepal, white-water rafting the Nile, bumbling his way from London to Istanbul on a bicycle, feeding wild hyenas with his face in Ethiopia, and accidentally interviewing Hezbollah in Lebanon.

His areas of expertise include adventure travel, hiking, wildlife, and half-forgotten early 2000s indie-rock bands.

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9 months ago

Kluchewskaya Sobka is 600km from Petro Pavlovsk. Then it is another 100km though taiga forest and then a serious backcountry trek to the mountain itself. Not an easy place to get to and even more difficult in the winter. So no fear, it is not a place for accidental tourists like Etna or Stromboli 🙂