Great thanks to Evgeny Androssov, our guide who made this trip a reality for us! It was a pleasure (again) to share this experience with my long-time trekking buddy David.
In August of 2019, we traveled to explore the volcanic landscapes of Kamchatka in Eastern Russia. Volcanoes are not the only reason to go to Kamchatka. Many people go there for fishing and hunting as well. It is also known for its hot springs and senatoria.
Kamchatka is quite remote and it was closed to all tourists until 1992 due to militarily sensitive areas. The landscapes of this peninsula are very unique not only in Russia but the world. Volcanoes are Kamchatka’s biggest attraction and you can see them even before you land in Petropawlowsk-Kamchatsky, the capital city of the region. Since the region has only one main road, getting to some of the remote volcanoes requires planning and can get quite expensive.
Our primary goal was to explore the large Kluchewskaya Cluster National Park. The Park is located 600 km from Petropawlowsk-Kamchatsky and it takes around 10 hours of non-stop driving on progressively deteriorating roads to get there. The final stretch from the main road to the park is on old Soviet logging tracks (one of the primary industries of the region back in the USSR days). The experience of the driver and the quality of the 4x4 are very important as getting stuck in this remote region could basically put an end to the trip. Thanks to Evgeny, our industrious guide, we engaged the help of Sergey, a former hydrologist who worked in the region and knows the forest tracks very well.
Another minor annoyance are the mosquitos and very unpredictable weather (prolonged periods of rain and strong tent-damaging winds). One needs luck to be able to see the beautiful views that Kamchatka has to offer. We were very lucky indeed.