KAMCHATKA 1996

By Markus Adank (Toronto 1998)

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(Part of this presentation was given by Markus at the August 1998 TCG meeting. Markus is a Swiss caver who lived in Toronto for about 1 year. - webmaster)

In July 1996, a Swiss caving team with 3 people came to the Kamchatka Peninsula for survey caving in direct cooperation with the Volcanological Institute of Kamchatka in Petropavlovsk.

Because of the great work of the Russian organizers Alexey Osipenko, Alex Ozerrov and all the others in the organizational party from the Institute, the expedition was throughout a successful undertaking.

During the 1.5 month time frame, the small party mapped around 30 volcano caves in two different areas. In addition to gaining a great deal of experience in this remote and isolated area where the caves are located, we had the great opportunity to learn a lot about the deep Russian culture.

The time went by and we left this fascinating place with all the unforgettable remembrances of the fantastic landscapes and the deep impressions of the wonderful people.

... we left a dream behind with all our friends and therefore with a final, obligate vodka sore stomach and the true desire to come back again.

Drawing by Markus Adank

Map of area.


Photo by Yvo Weidmann

Start and end of the whole expedition - the notorious Kamchatka Airport.


Photo by Markus Adank

The market in Petropavlovsk is the meeting point of everybody. Our source for food and contacts to another culture. In the picture, a native woman is preparing for one more long day on the market. Her source to survive.


Photo by Yvo Weidmann

The ferry over the Kamchatka River. Our "adventurous" truck with the Russian Volcanological Team from the institute in Petropavlovsk. In the Background the snowy volcanopeak of Tolbachik.


Photo by Yvo Weidmann

Drop-off point in the Tolbachik Volcano Desert. Start for our isolated volcano-cave survey trip. Sorting food and cave equipment before the 3 hours hike through this surreal landscape down to the base camp.


Photo by Markus Adank

Prospecting of the surrounding lava fields in the Tolbackic area. Hike up to the top of the main of the many secondary craters of the area. Unbelievable deep impressions burn into the mind of all of us.


Photo by Yvo Weidmann

Catherine's Cathedral. A unique formation in the new lava flow on the Tolbachik.


Photo by Markus Adank

Characteristic Landscapes. Kamchatka's beauty in the early morning.


Photo by Yvo Weidmann

Gorgeous formation in the Gorelly lava fields underground. It is still unclear how these bulges were built during the lava flows.


Photo by Yvo Weidmann

Great big lava tube in the Gorelly area. Unreal were the colours and shapes of the frozen Basalt River. The survey was impressive in these caves.


Photo by Markus Adank

Active volcano lake probing in massive toxic surrounding. Taking samples of the lake for the Volcanological Institute of Kamchatka.


Photo by Yvo Weidmann

Taking air samples with the deadly toxic rate table in mind. Maybe quite unhealthy, but the more interesting place for taking samples for the Institute.


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