Tolbachik at dusk

Tolbachik at Twilight

At dusk the fresh lava was easy to find

In the morning we set out from our camp near Tolbachik volcano on a recce to locate where the fresh lava was emerging from the rubble. The volcano had erupted in November of 2012 and most of the violence of the eruption had dissipated but lava continued to flow months after the initial eruption. The lava field consisted of  a huge expanse of land covered with crushed black rock and boulders; sharp to touch and very loose to walk on.

We had to wear gloves because if you slipped and put your hand down, the fresh lava would lacerate your skin.  My new trekking boots were cut to shreds and the hems of my trousers were torn by the shards of lava. After a few hours of stumbling around we were able to locate the lava. In the distance we could see the air shimmering with heat. I made an entry in my GPS and after spending a little while taking photographs and toasting marshmallows, we headed back to camp.

Later that evening, guided by my GPS waypoint we hiked back to the location and were able to watch the lava in all it beauty. We were able to get very close to the lava and stand right next to, albeit for a few seconds. How close were we able to get? Have a look at the photographs below.

Andrey in his element.

Apparently happiness is warm lava. Andrey in his element.


Amar by the lava

I could only bear to stand there for a few seconds


Hugh and Andrey

Hugh and Andrey trying to look composed as the lava approached




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