Dossier of the tour "Along 53rd Parallel"

Dossier of the tour "Along 53rd Parallel"

One of the best of our programs in Kamchatka allows you to see the most attractive and interesting places of this wonderful part of the Earth, which can be reached and explored easily, without great forces and power. Just relax and enjoy.

NB: Please note below Dossier was written for one of variant of the program Along 53th Parallel. We modified previous variant, and present variant is on the page with Program itself.
Dossier described each part of the program (Climbing Mutnovskiy and Gorely Volcanos, Valley of Geysers, rafting, Climbing Avacha volcano) correctly and in full. Just in different order.

The trip begins with a Moscow city tour. Then we fly directly to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky without stops  – main city of Kamchatka. It is situated on the shore of Avacha Bay, which was discovered by the famous marine explorer Vitus Y.Bering in 1740, when he chose the Avacha Bay as a base for sailing across the Pacific Ocean to the shores of future Russian America. From that time, Petropavlovsk was the main base for all subsequent round-the-world expeditions.  Three days are devoted to the ascents of simple but unique craters of Mutnovsky and Gorely volcanoes. Changing the sort of activity we include in the program rafting by catamarans or/and rafts along simple and fun Bystraya river for 3 days in wild nature, with fishing amazing salmon. After short rest you will enjoy taking part in helicopter excursion to the famous and mysterious Valley of Geysers. And as a finishing attraction – boat trip round Avacha Bay with fishing and picnic with ukha – "fish soup". Farewell Kamchatka – we never forget you and will visit you again.

It is not included in the base program, but nobody can miss the two-days climbing so-called "domestic" volcano Avacha. And we offer this climbing as optional.

Tour finishes in Moscow after unforgettable visit Edge of the Earth.


1 day

Arrival in Moscow. Meeting with guide and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in the hotel.

2 day

After breakfast short sightseeing excursion round Moscow with guide and transfer to the airport for the flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC).

3 day

Arrival in PKC and meeting with local guide. Transfer to the hotel in PKC or to rest base in Paratunka Valley. Overnight in the hotel or in rest base.

4 day

Drive to Mutnovsky Volcano by 6WD track. Stop at Rodnikovie Hot springs, bathing. Making a camp at the foot of Mutnovsky and Gorely volcanoes. Overnight in the tents.

5 day

Climbing Mutnovsky volcano (2323m), appr 8-10 hours. Visiting crater and "Small Valley of Geysers". Overnight in the tents.

6 day

Climbing Gorely volcano (1829m), appr 8-10 hours, visiting active crater. After climbing drive to Paratunka. Overnight in the rest base.

7 day

Drive by bus to settlement Malki. Visit and bathing in Malkinsky  hot springs. Preparation to rafting and start rafting along Bystraia River, appr 1-2 hours. Overnight in the tents.

8 day

Continue rafting along Bystraia River appr 6-8 hours. Fishing. Overnight in the tents.

9 day

Finishing rafting near Ust'-Bolsheretsky bridge. Meeting with 6WD track and driving to PKC. Accommodation in the hotel.

10 day

Fascinating helicopter excursion to amazing Valley of Geysers with lunch-picnic. Return to the rest base and overnight.

11 day

Sea boat trip around Avacha Bay with fishing and picnic. Overnight in the hotel.

12 day

Transfer to airport and flight to Moscow. Arrival in Moscow and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in the hotel.

13 day

Transfer to airport for the flight home.

Two additional days for climbing Avacha Volcano:

1 day

Drive by 6WD track to Avacha Volcano appr 2 hours. Accommodation in the refuge "Avacha" on the pass between Avacha and Koriaksky volcanoes. Overnight in the refuge.

2 day

Climbing "domestic" volcano Avacha (2741m) appr 10-12 hours. After climbing drive to PKC and accommodation in  the hotel. Overnight in the hotel.



This trip is graded as B. No special technical experience is necessary. Just good physical and health conditions.

Day 1 – Moscow

German or English speaking guide-assistant meets the group in International Airport on arrival in Moscow. He assists with transfer to the hotel "Cosmos" or "Alfa". "Cosmos" hotel is 4**** hotel with 25 floors and 1723 standard rooms. There are 5 restaruants, bars, cafes, night bar with erotic show, bowling. Great hot buffet breakfast. It is 15 min from the city center by Metro. "Alfa" hotels is 3*** and situated in Izmailovo disctrict, near famous Izmailovsky Vernisazh and Park, just 10 minutes by metro to the city center..

Overnight in DBL and SGL rooms in the hotel.

Optional excursion or visits are possible with bus and guide.

Day 2 – Moscow-Pertopavlovsk-Kamchatsky

After breakfast our guide meets you in the lobby of the hotel and shows you the capital of Russia. You will see one of the main street of Moscow – Tverskaya, walk along pedestrian Old Arbat Street, visit Vorobievy Gory (Sparrow Hills) with Moscow University and Observation platform, Poklonnaya Hill Memorial. After excursion you will be transferred to the airport Sheremetievo-1 or Domodedovo for the flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PKC) by Aeroflot or Transaero Airlines. Flight takes 9 (!) hours without stops and taking in account 9 hours time difference you will be in Kamchatka in 18 hours!

Day 3 – PKC

Arriving in PKC. Local guide, who will work with your group for 10 days will meet and greet you in airport Elizovo, 30 km far from PKC. That is your mother and father for two weeks in this wild and the most distance from your home place. Local bus will transfer you to PKC for accommodation in the hotel "Edelwais" or to Paratunka valley and settlement for accommodation in rest base. "Edelwais" is 2** hotel, with very simple facility, but with hot water and shower, comfortable enough. Paratunka is remarkable place. That is valley of the river Paratunka with great amount of hot springs, flowing here and there. Near each of them some rest bases, sanatoriums, pensions were built during Soviet times for rest and recreation of soviet people. After lunch you can take a hot baths everywhere. That is great way to relax after hard fussy days. Relax and enjoy!

On the evening guide will discuss with the team plans for next days.

Day 4 – PKC – base camp Mutnovsky

After breakfast and check out we go to the South to our first base camp. Group takes the 6WD off-road track. Here one names it "Vakhtovka", as only this transport can be used for transportation workers of the shift ("vakhta") from the place of work in taiga or tundra to home in the cities without roads and traces of civilizations.

We drive to Rodnikovie hot springs via pass Viluchinsky (appr 100 km, 3 hours). Track stops after pass and we walk appr 30 min to the Rodnikovie hot springs for bathing and swimming and light lunch-picnic. After nice rest we continue driving via birch forest to the place between two volcanoes Mutnovsky and Gorely at the altitude 900m above see level. Our guide and assistants help us to make up the camp, fixing the tents. And then they prepare for the group nice tasty dinner. The country at the base camp looks Icelandic with its rocks and tundra surrounded with powerful volcanoes. There is a 80 meter waterfall running down to Danger Canyon 15 minutes walk from the base camp.

Nice evening near campfire and under the stars with talks about trips made before somewhere in the world. You are near the "gate to the Earth" and this feeling helps you to sleep quietly and with dream how you will see into the Earth tomorrow….

Day 5 – Climbing Mutnovsky Volcano

Wake up!

After breakfast we start to trek to the slopes of Mutnovsky Volcano (12 km, 3-4 hours) and then climbing the top. Actually we cannot say where is the top of the mount as Mutnovsky Volcano has some craters with very destroyed calderas. Mutnovsky is a very active volcano reaching an altitude of 2322 meters above sea level. The most interesting part of this volcano is the main crater, which consists of two craters of 1.5-2 km in diameter and 300-600m in depth. This crater is partially filled with ice. Also of interest are the volcanic mouths. The most attractive one is The Active Mouth at the joint of two craters. To get inside of the volcano, we have to go through the gorge filled with a glacier at the bottom with a river running under it. The gorge is actually a crack in the southwest slope of the volcano and the way through it is not hard. Inside the main crater there are many hot springs, sulfuric exits, mud pots and crater slops of yellow mud. To add to the unearthly beauty, there is a glacier hanging above. The view from its top is magnificent: steep walls surround the vast and deep crater cavity with glittering glaciers split by cracks and torches of fumaroles oscillating far below and drawing a translucent veil over the northern crate. Also visible is the southern crater under its armor of ice and above all this a column of vapour rising from the craggy rim of the active Funnel crater.Lunch boxes. Walk to the Active Mouth.

Return back using the same route till 18.00 appr. Dinner in the camp and overnight in the tents.

Day 6 Climbing Gorely Volcano

And again, you like this voice already, "Wake Up!".

After breakfast we "check out" from the camp, pack our tents and all equipment and things to the track and drive 1 hour to the starting point of climbing Gorely Volcano

Gorely Volcano (1829m) situated in Caldera, is another interesting sight. Gorely is what is left of a huge volcano. It has a few active craters and about 30 slag cones. The most interesting view on Gorely is the top craters with their blue, sulfuric boiling lakes

Hike from one of the numerous lava flows towards the summit of a slag cone. Explore two deep craters with acid blue boiling lakes. Lunch on the top with great view around. Hike back to the bus till appr 16.00. And drive back into civilization – to Paratunka. Accommodation in one of the rest bases and taking a hot baths for rest and recreation.

Day 7 Start Rafting

Now you used to expect this voice in the morning. Wake up! Great deals wait for you!

We leave our hospitable rest base, take all things and start driving to the settlement Malki  (120 km to the North along Kamchatsky "HighWay", 2 hours). We arrive in settlement Malki, which is famous of its hot springs and baths and of course they waited for you too. Lunch and after short preparation and instruction starting to flow by rafts or/and catamarans along Bystraya river. At the beginning it is convenient only for relaxation and enjoys!

In 1,5-2 hours – making a camp and dinner on the shore (almost beach) of this nice river.

Day 8 Continue rafting

Now you donot need to wait this unforgettable voice and wake up youself. As the wonderful nature around! And a bit freshly from the river …

After breakfast, packing the camp and continue rafting. If lucky star follows you, you can see great Kamchatka Bear, which is one of the biggest in the world. And if lucky star loves you – it will be on another bank of the river…

But even without lucky star – you will see great amount of salmon and of course can fish it and make a greatest and tasted in the world fish soup – "ukha". Our guide will teach you how to do that correctly. And it will be your lunch.

Finish rafting in 6-7 hours, making a camp in special place. Dinner and dreams about next nice day.

Day 9 Finish rafting – PKC

At last he stopped to cry these damn words. Understood that it is useless…

Finish rafting near Ust'-Bolsheretski bridge. Bus is waiting for you and after lunch drive the group to PKC (200km, 3,5 hours). Accommodation in the hotel in PKC (Edelwais). Taking a bath.

And dreaming about next nice day.

Day 10 Valley of Geysers

You did not expect it but – again! Wake Up! Nice voice…

We leave our things in the rooms and take a bus for the transfer to airport Elizovo, to heliport. The helicopter flight to the Valley of Geysers takes about 75 minutes. During flight we pass some volcanoes Zhupanovsky, Karymsky, Maly (Small) Semyachik with its spectacular crater lake of green acid water. We fly over these volcanoes to take pictures which can be the best and remarkable in your photo collection.

The helicopter lands in front of the wooden lodge that is the access point for all visitors to the trails into The Valley of Geysers, within the Kronotsky Nature Reserve. Walk out of wooden paths in the valley is not allowed, so we stay in a group.

The boardwalk leads to the lip of the valley for a fine overall view. The upper slopes of the valley expose cliffs of pumaceous tuffs, some eroded into earth pillars. The valley floor has a lush green plant cover, except where active banks of geyserite have not yet been colonized.

A branch to the left ends at the Bolshoi (Big) and Maly (Small) Geysers. An eruption of Bolshoi, on the left, throws water about 10 m high amid clouds of steam, for about 10 minutes; it erupts on a cycle of about 75 minute. Maly Geyser throws water out at 45° for about 8 m, in eruptions lasting 5 minutes on a 35-minute cycle.

The main path descends to a bridge over the Geysernaya River a little further upstream. The river reaches a temperature of 26°C with its geothermal input in the summer; winter snow-melt reduces it to about 16°C. Water from the springs and geysers varies from 35°C to 100°C. Just upstream of the bridge, the Schell (Crack) Geyser erupts briefly every 35 minutes; it was heavily eroded during a typhoon flood in 1981. The Fountain Platform is a great bank of geyserite producing copious quantities of steam from numerous vents; it is claimed as the world's greatest concentration of geysers and fumaroles. On the platform. Malachite Grotto is a nearly permanent spouter erupting from a geyserite cone; the Fountain and New Fountain are connected so that they switch their water spouts every few minutes but combine to provide almost continuous activity.

The boardwalk ends before another old bridge. Velikan (Giant) Geyser is on the far bank, inside the bend of the river; it erupts with a cascade of water to heights of about 25 m, but only for about a minute, before sending steam jets to far greater heights for another few minutes; its cycle is around 8 hours. A trail on the terrace above the valley floor provides views down onto the Fountain Platform, and also passes various hot pools, blue with suspended clay, and boiling mud pots, red with iron oxides.

Excursion lasts 2,5-3 hours. Lunch is scheduled at the Valley of Geysers lodge.

Flight back to Yelizovo and transfer to rest base in Paratunka. Overnight in rest base. Remarkable and wonderful day is finished, but not finished in memory.

!!! This excursion is helicopter excursion and depends on the weather condition. In case the weather does not allow to fly, unfortunately this excursion can be realized.

Day 11 Boat cruise on Avacha Bay

A boat trip out into the bay is a very relaxing way of gaining an alternative view of the splendid setting of Petropavlovsk and its dramatic volcanoes. Departing from a pier near the center of town, the expanse of the hilly city soon falls into perspective. Further toward the middle of the bay, both  Koryaksky and Avacha volcanoes come into view behind the city. When Avacha erupted in 1991, people living in Petropavlovsk could watch the red stream of lava coming down the slope towards the city, while hot ashes were shooting into the skies above the summit crater.

Avacha Bay is geographically as perfect a bay as a city could hope for. It is large and deep, with a narrow opening, which keeps out foul weather and ice. The harbour is open to shipping year round, and is also well protected from the dreaded tsunami waves that are created by earthquakes around the Pacific Ocean margins. The boat heads toward the mouth of the bay, allowing views of the Northwest side of Petropavlovsk and the many boats that make their home in these ports. Near the mouth of the bay, the Three Brothers are tall finger-like sea stacks, whose rock faces rise vertically out of the water. The cliffs around the bay house many colonies of seabirds in their natural habitats, and puffins are commonly seen among many other types of seabird.

Fishing is provided and the trophy is the source of the best in the world fish soup on the shore of quiet bay "Tihaya" (Quiet).

Return to the Petropavlovsk Hotel at appr 18.00 Overnight in the hotel.

Day 12 Farewell Kamchatka

Breakfast in the hotel and transfer to the airport for the flight Moscow by Aeroflot or Domodedovo Airlines.

Farewell Kamchatka. We never forget you. Tears and promises to write letters for ages.

Arrival in Moscow at the same time as departs from PKC (9 hours of the flight and 9 hours difference back).

Meeting with guide and bus and transfer to the hotel.

Day 13 Flight home

Breakfast in the hotel and transfer to the airport for the flight home.

For those, who feel the forces and power and was not tired due to a lot of activities we would offer the climbing nice and simple "domestic" volcano, which is near Petropavslovsk-Kamchatsky. This two days pack includes:

Day 1 To Avacha volcano

Check out from the hotel and departure for city excursion in PKC. Excursion in city center, observation platform, visit local museum. Lunch in the restaurant in city. And at last drive to Avachinsky Volcano.

Head out of Petropavlovsk for 18 km along the road towards Yelisovo city. Turn off right onto a track, past a small village, and on through birch woods. The route disintegrates into not much of a track up an almost dry river bed. The route climbs away from the channel, to continue up sloping tundra with alder and willow. The track ends at sprawling group of cabins, 25 km from the main road; Avacha volcano is up ahead to the right, and Koryaksky is ahead to the left. Lunch is in one of the cabins. Accommodation in the refuge "Avacha" (some wooden cabins). Sleeping bags are necessary. It is on the pass between Avacha and Koryaksky volcanoes. Dinner in the refuge. Possible acclimatization walks around. Preparation to the climbing next day.

Day 13 Climbing Avacha volcano

The volcano walk is on a single trail, where members can walk as far as they wish and then return down the same trail. People can walk at their own pace, but should avoid walking alone; in case of accidents as trivial as a sprained ankle, it is essential to be in groups of at least three. The camp is at an altitude of about 950 m, and Avacha's summit is at 2741 m. The climb to the rim of the summit crater involves a climb of nearly 1800 m. An easier option is to aim to reach the shoulder on the old crater rim, which offers a lovely stretch of scenic walking, and requires a climb of about 1100 m.

The Avacha trail crosses the stream near camp and then heads up pyroclastic slopes, where stream sections expose stratified lapilli tuffs; these become steadily steeper. There are increasingly good views back to the splendid andesite cone of Koryaksky; this rises to 3456 m and is scored by deep gullies, but its current activity is limited to a few small fumaroles.

The steep part of the trail ends where it turns onto a gently rising shoulder, which provides the delightful walk on an easier gradient. The shoulder is the rim of the early crater, formed when the main mass of the old summit slipped in a gigantic landslide down towards the coast, followed immediately by a massive lateral blast and eruption. The old has been nearly filled and obliterated by the growth of the new summit cone. It is surfaced with loose cinders which lie over partially welded pyroclastic flows; some sections of channel are filled with lava with rubbly tops to individual flows.

On the ancient crater rim, there is an old vulcanologist'. The newer summit cone rises above, and its northern slope overlaps and buries the old caldera rim, so that the easy shoulder does not continue round. Andesites on the ridge and above have 4 mm augite and 2 mm feldspar phenocrysts. There are views south to the andesite cone of Viluchinsky and beyond to the complex peaks of Mutnovsky and the rounded shield volcano of Gorely; to the north lie the old degraded cones of the Zhupanovsky volcanoes.

The trail to Avacha's summit starts up some snow fields, but then winds up the steep cinder cone. Its surface is mainly loose, red, oxidized tephra, with areas of airfall ashes, and there are some exposures of the underlying welded pyroclastics.

The summit crater yawned hundreds of meters deep until 1991, when it was filled with andesite lava. The black lava now forms a gentle dome - it is the fresh top of a classic plug dome. Steam rises through its fissured surface, and there are even more fumaroles and solfataras round its edge, at the contact with the crater walls of red pyroclastics. Walk round the rim to the left; giant crescent flow ribs mark the lava's surface where it moved sluggishly east and flowed over the lowest point on the old crater rim. It flowed for a kilometer down the volcano flank, but was so viscous that it came to rest on an angle of nearly 45°. Climbing over the blocky andesite is not easy, but a little scrambling reaches some active vents lined with sulphur crystals. The rim to the right overlooks slopes of sulphur deposits, but soon reaches the lava overflow. There are fine views of Koryaksky and all points beyond.

The descent of the summit cone is on a straight steep down-trail alongside the zigzag up-trail; it requires an element of bold scree running, with considerable care where areas of welded tephra tend to promote spectacular somersaults. Return to the camp before 5pm. After some modest refreshments, the bus heads back down to Petropavlovsk.

Accommodation in the hotel.


Along 53rd Parallel

Dossier of the tour "Along 53rd Parallel"

Glance to the Earth

Heli-Ski in Kamchatka

Klyuchevskaya Sopka Climbing