Volcano exploration - Kamchatka

Ski-tour description

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Kliutchevskaya Sopka 4850 m is the highest active volcano of Eurasia. It presents a rare type of volcano often eruptive not only at the top crater but as well through numerous lateral cones.

Kliutchevskaya Sopka is situated at the north edge of a vast volcanic chain, which really consists of 8 separate volcanic constructions. One of them - Bezymyanny (2841 m), the enormous eruption of which in March, 1956 is considered as one of the most powerful explosions of the century gone.


Ascent to Kliutchevskaya Sopka is always a sportive adventure - it is necessary to gain 3,5 km up. Conditions of snow on the slopes depend on the mean winter temperature: usually there are lots of icy parts higher than 3500 m, and crampons are necessary. Slopes lower than 3000 m are appropriated for skiing, but smooth snow is rare (except April) as the region is often very windy. Skiing from the top is possible but surely a very extreme task.

From the slopes of Kliutchevskaya Sopka lots of volcanoes are perfectly visible: extinct Kamen (4579 m) and Zimina (3080 m), the massif of Ploskaya (4080 m), and the pair of Plosky - Ostry Tolbachik (3082-3682 m) which was responsible for very long ash eruption in 1975-76. The most active volcano of Kamchatka now — Shiveluch (3307 m) is as well visible to the north.

Ascent to Bezymyanny does not imply  reaching the top which is dead dangerous because of continual gas explosions, but climbing to the rim of an old crater destroyed in 1956 (elevation gain 900 m) as far as the point of tete-a-tete observation with a minimum of danger. Just before every tour we are taking an information from the volcanological service concerning current activity to avoid a risk.

one of best way to ski kluchevskaya:



Accomo dation


day 01

Arrival at PETROPAVLOVSK,  Elizovo airport. Transfert to hotel (double rooms, natural hot geothermal water swiming pool ) at the village Paratunka.


day 02

With a bus and snowcat to the foothills of Avacha volcano. (approx.3 hours). The base camp at the tundra between Avacha and Koriakski volcano. At the height of about 850 m. Accommodation at a lodge. Short skitour to the Avacha pass 1250 m or Verblud mountain till 1500m



day 03

AVACHINSKY volcano 2741 m ascent (1800 m denivilation, 8-9 hours for the whole trip). Back to hotel with snowcat  and bus



day 04

Bus transfer to the Central Kamchatka (approx. 9 hours) as far as Kozyrevsk, old Russian village with wooden houses typical for the Siberia. Accommodation at a guesthouse (rooms for 3). Other (better) option is to take helicopter directly from Petropavlovsk)

guest house


day 05

Helicopter to the foot of Kliutchevskaya Sopka (35 min.). Accommodation in tents, a wooden hut as a mess-room available. (in case of bad weather dormitory accommodation possible).


FB at BC + selfcatering

day 06

fixing intermediate camp at  2400 m,   Tents.


FB at BC + selfcatering

day 07

acclimatization trip to a stiffed lava flow at 4100 m, skiing on the slopes.


FB at BC + selfcatering

day 08

Ascent to the top of KLYUCHEVSKAYA SOPKA.


FB at BC + selfcatering

day 09

spare day for bad weather


FB at BC + selfcatering

day 10

spare day (In a case of an earlier ascent, additional opportunity is to do ski exploration of Bezymyanny volcano (18 km one way), accommodation in tents. A wooden hut as a mess-room is available.


FB at BC + selfcatering

day 11

Helicopter back to Kozyrevsk or (better!!) directly to Petropavlovsk

guest house/ hotel


day 12

With bus back to Paratunka (approx. 9 hours), hotel. Or Viluchenskiy volcano exploration



day 13

Bus excursion in Petropavlovsk, visiting the bay of Avachinsky, to the observation point, visiting a salmon market. Evening party. (and another spare day)



day 14

Transfert. Departure.