After breakfast at the camp, we set out for a full day trek up the Mutnovsky volcano. With two options for the walk depending on the group’s ability, the trek is an enjoyable adventure for everyone, with the highlight being a stroll into the active caldera.
The first trekking option covers just under 7km, with a rise of 600m. A gentle stroll soon starts to climb steadily on the bedded volcanic rock of the Mutnovsky slopes, following a stream which emerges from the caldera gorge ahead.
The second option is a long walk but with a lesser climb. A 6WD bus will take you as far as possible on a track below the hills of Skalisty and Dvugorby, two 20,000-year-old volcanoes. Beyond the track, a foot trail climbs past old bore holds spouting steam, with views of a number of peaks in the distance. The route makes a long traverse on a mix of rough tundra, lava blocks and banks of air-fall ash and pumice. It crosses three broad snowfields before a final rise to the mouth of the caldera gorge. The caldera floor is at an altitude of 1,540m, which is still 800m below the ice-capped summit of Mount Mutnovsky.
A picnic lunch will take place some distance from the active fumaroles. Afterwards, we’ll return to the campsite along the outward route. Dinner will be enjoyed back at camp.