Vilyuchinsky Volcano in Kamchatka
Vilyuchinsky volcano in Kamchatka is located to the south-west of the capital of the region, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It is situated on the watershed of rivers Vilyucha and Bolshaya Sarannaya, near the headwaters of the Paratunka River. The volcano belongs to the southern group, along with Mutnovsky and Gorely. It is one of the most interesting routes for travelers.
The giant got its name from the same-name bay, which the Itelmens called earlier Niyakshin. The bay got its modern name in 1830 thanks to the local geographers P. Ilyin and P. Skrypov. The volcano currently refers to the extinct ones. By appearance, it is a cone, the highest point of which is located at an altitude of 2,175 m. In winter, the volcano is dazzlingly white, and in summer, you can see an alternation of gray rocky edges and non-melting white snowfields.
At its northern slope, near the top, there is a small cavity, which was a crater destroyed more than 7,000 years ago. The slopes of the Sopka are heavily indented by barrancos, which indicate the remains of lava flows from the time when it was active. Some of the researchers of Vilyuchinsky volcano in Kamchatka managed to capture the gas and steam emissions at the top. Brave climbers who once visited those places speak of the smell of sulfur dioxide.
Ascending the Top
It is not difficult to ascend Vilyuchinsky volcano to a certain height. The route, as a rule, runs along the southwestern slope, along the trail. On the way, you will meet thickets of cedar dwarf, mountain streams and a waterfall. Ascent to the summit is possible only for people with climbing skills.
To the north of the volcano, you can observe slag cones and lava domes, the number of which reaches 25 pieces. Among them, on the branched slopes, you can see Lake Zelenoe, located on the northwestern side, and in 15 minutes by snowmobile, you can get to Lake Topolovoe. It offers beautiful panoramas and a perfect opportunity for ice fishing.
On the west side of the volcano, there is Vilyuchinsky Pass, the height of which reaches 1 km above sea level. It is a mountain winding road. The southern side offers a view of Mutnovsky plateau and Gorely volcano, while the eastern one — of Vilyuchinsky volcano.
On the southeastern side of the hill, at an altitude of 300 m, there is a small valley. It is surrounded by volcanoes and hidden from prying eyes on three sides. Here, the waters of the Spokoyny stream and the Vilyucha river overlook Vilyuchinskaya bay. There is an exit of thermal springs. Right in the valley, there are several houses, it is Rodnikovaya base. The road to the base is not always paved and has steep slopes, and in some places runs along the edge of the gorge. In this regard, we recommend that you go to Vilyuchinskaya Sopka with experienced guides and drivers.
Vilyuchik volcano in Winter and Summer
The slopes of Vilyuchinsky volcano are suitable not only for hiking and climbing but also have long been chosen for freeriding. Sopka is a favorite place for fans of extreme sports. Ascent is carried out by helicopter or snowmobile. There are several slopes suitable for extreme sports. The length of the longest descent is 6 km, and the steepness of the slopes ranges from 15 to 35 degrees.
The Tragedy of 1981
Typhoon Elsa was a powerful catalyst for heavy rains in Kamchatka in 1981. Such rains were in these places only once. Vilyuchinsky volcano was affected by the typhoon, as well.
The rain stream rushing along the slopes of the volcano began to erode them. Screes liquefied and this contributed to the formation of a dense stream of water, sand, and stones. When the mudflow was descending along the bed of a small river a car with three climbers returning from a volcano appeared in its way. Only the driver managed to escape, and later he told that he heard a rumble coming from the top. Miraculously, he managed to get out of the car and keep away from the mud stream while the car with passengers was carried away by the mudflow.
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