Gorely volcano in Kamchatka
You can find the volcano on a map, using the following coordinates: 53° 33’ N; 158° 02’ E
Where is Gorely volcano?
Gorely volcano in Kamchatka is an active volcano situated in the south of the peninsula, referred as to the East-Kamchatka volcanic belt and which is a part of South-Kamchatka Sanctuary. Gorely sopka is its second name of stunning nature monument. It takes about 4 hours to get there, and it is located 75 kilometers of the city (a straight route).
A road to the volcano
It is rather easy to reach Gorely volcano. Getting to there is possible by any transport. At first you need to drive the highway of P475 and then you need to walk on foot to the base of the volcano.
Feature of slopes
- Climbing takes about 3-6 hours and depends on tourists’ training;
- The height of the volcano is 1 829 meters above sea level;
- Inclination of the volcano is 25˚, ascent is prolonged but it is not very difficult;
- The height difference is 900 meters;
- The length of descent for skiing is up to 3 kilometers;
- Attraction for skiing is descent into the crater of the active volcano.
History of the volcano
About 40 thousand years ago there is a huge shield volcano called Pra-Gorely with a diameter of the foot is a little more than 30 kilometers, instead of Gorely volcano.
Over time, the top of the volcano was dropped under its weight, thus it formed a caldera with a diameter of 10-14 kilometers. The caldera is surrounded by the remains of the old volcano looking like the low mountain ridge. The eruptions had been continuing from the bottom of the caldera through the chain of the craters. The craters were overlapped with each other, and the developing cones merged. Thus, the modern elongate ridge which is covered with snow, cinder and layer of solidified lava, continues activity of more ancient volcano.
Nowadays, the terrain of the volcano covers 650 kilometers and has gentle slopes, spreading to the upper of the Paratunka river, the Zhirovaya river on north-east, and to the Vulkannaya river, and to Asacha volcano river on south.
Structure of the mountain ridge
The mountain ridge has a length of 3 kilometers and a developed chain of 11 craters. This is Gorely volcano. The full name (Gorely mountain ridge) reflects its structure as an elongate mountain ridge. The ridge formed by merging of several volcanic cones, reaches a height of 1829 meters and covers about 150 square kilometers. There are about dozen of lakes, hot gas fumaroles, as well as about fifty cinder cones on the slopes of the ridge.
The modern structure has a wide hollow with a flat bottom and steep slopes – caldera which was formed by falling of the summit, is an active part of the volcano to this day.
A few craters looking like wells, which are one of those that made historical eruptions, are filled with acid lakes. The east crater called Blue Lake has a half of kilometer’ bottom occupied with lake of blue color and surrounded by steep two hundred meters rocks and covered partially with floating ice. The feature of the crater is a change during volcanic activity. When the lake is blue it means that there is calm below the Earth. But when the volcano manifest activity the lake is boiled and changes its color, as well as its shape.
The crater called Active is the most active. The bottom of the crater is famous with acid lake of orange color, the banks of which is covered with fuming fumaroles. The Active has a shape of a hollow with a diameter of 250 meters and with a depth of 200 meters. Descent into the crater is dangerous, since the walls of the crater are crumbling with stones and the air is poisoned by sulphur dioxide emitting from fumaroles.
The West crater is located in west of Gorely ridge. The crater has a bottom covered with glacier which is a riverhead. In turn, this river flows into the northwest part of the caldera and on the way it makes a chain of a few small waterfalls.
As well, there is interesting crater called Cylinder located near the south slope of the volcano. It has a proper rounded shape with a diameter about 40 meters.
The crater called Crater nest looks like a peculiar “family”. There are two young craters on the bottom of the Crater nest, such as: Deep crater and Chink narrow crater so-called for its elongate shape.
The Bowl crater has a lake on the 75 meters depth. While sunshine, the water of the lake becomes violet. Separate lakes are formed without snow melting.
The solidified lava flows of bordeaux color which were cracked over time; the flat bottom of the caldera covered with volcanic black sand. These are all makes Gorely volcano looks like ferocious but at the same time a unique place by its beauty. The peculiar landscape, morphology, homodromic changes in the volcano’s composition makes it a unique place along with the rest of nature monuments.
Caves of Gorely volcano
About two thousand years ago the flow of enough liquid lava which was formed by active eruption, created a huge stone fields located to the north of the volcano. During flowing the upper layer of lava solidified, but the inner layers continued to spread over the territory. As a result of such natural phenomenon was formation of lava caves which are famous to this day. The cave has arched domes and icy bottom (floor).
There are 14 caves with a length which varies from 16 to 140 meters. Only 6 caves are available to get.
History of eruptions
During the last 150 years the eruptions of Gorely volcano occurred 7 times. Since the end of the last century the small eruptions were recorded a few times involving emitting of gas, ashes and sand into the air with a height of a few meters. The last activity which was occurred in summer 2010, involved lowering of water level in lakes, earth tremors, as well as emitting of steams which were visible from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city. Every 20 years Gorely volcano manifests its activity, unprecedented strength and power, erupting hot lava flows into the surface, which spread over the territory with more than 10 kilometers. The calm period of the volcanic ridge is characterized active fumarole manifestations.
Useful advice for tourists
When traveling to Gorely volcano you will have to take firewood with you in advance. Nature and landscape in the surroundings doesn’t allow you to find it there. As well, you can replace firewood by campstove.
It is necessary to choose carefully a tent which must be windproof. There are enough strong winds there.
The base of the volcano considered the area of mountain tundra. The summer lasts very short period in that area. If you are successful to see flowers in those places, this is big success. The nature is very fragile there, so it is necessary to enjoy flowers, but in no case to pick it up. The rare grass wales must not be used for a place of making campfire.
Watch our new video from the unique tour “TOP 5 places of Kamchatka”