Avachinskaya Sopka is an active home volcano of Kamchatka with a developed infrastructure. It got its nickname due to its proximity to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy.
Drive 20 kilometers down the public road on the corridor of the Suhaya river (Dried river) and the foot of Koryaksko-Avachinskaya volcanoes chain is there right in front of you. If you take a walk down the edge of the crater you may see various ice tongues (protruding sheets of ice) and the side of the volcano which is usually hidden from view.
Avachinskaya Sopka is a volcano for which a well- developed infrastructure has been created. There are base camps with cabins, canteens and baths, a seasonal alpine ski center and also a visitor center for the Volcanoes of Kamchatka Nature Park. The camps are open throughout the year and they have very comfortable and safe grounds for our visitors.
Avachinskiy volcano (or Sopka how we call this volcano) is 2751 meters above sea level and its nearly perfect cone attracts many climbers. Though the volcano is kindly referred to as “domestic”, it demands just as much serious attention as the other volcanoes do. Avachinskiy volcano is also one of the most accessible and intensive of the volcanoes in terms of sheer physical activity. Rapid climbing from 900 to 2751meters, the changing microclimate at different altitudes (sunny at the foot but clouds and rough wind are possible at the height of 2000 meters), a 35 degree gradient on the last climbing point (the slag cone)-overcoming all of these obstacles make a person feel like a winner, like a true mountaineer when one climbs the volcano!
At the same time you can feel a profound sense of insignificance in front of these grand volcanoes- when you stand at the top of Avachinskiy volcano you surely feel a sense of excitement and appreciation for this unimaginable world, which has been presented to us by nature. It gives us a sense of pleasure and freedom from all social constrains, if only for a brief interlude.
The answer is for its active state, of course. This volcano is related to the Somma-Vesuvian type, which means a regenerate, cone-in-cone structured volcano. Avachinskiy volcano is “hot-headed”. An ancient Paleo-Avacha volcano of 4500 meters in height which had formed, as scientists believe, 200 to 400 thousand years ago (when mammoths still inhabited the earth), it was deconstructed by a series of massive explosions. It only has the somma remaining, the circular wall that looks like a volcanic ring. Explosions continued and destroyed all of its other components.
Interestingly, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy is partly built on the products of those ancient eruptions, and a new dome which is actually nearly 700 meters in height started to grow inside of the ancient somma only about 7000 years ago. This dome is definitely a modern volcanic form named Avachinskaya Sopka, but the volcano remains alive.
Avacha produced eighteen documented eruptions over the past 280 years! The latest one happened in 1991, and that is why the edge of the crater was filled with lava. Now, the view of this black plug bordered with fumaroles on yellow sulfuric areas overwhelms everybody who makes it to the top. When you look at it you surely think about newly forming eruptions, as the entire structure is charged with a brimming sense of energy.
A fabulous view of the nearby volcanoes and Nalychevskaya valley is available from the top of Avachinskiy volcano. If you stroll down the edge of the crater you can see a lot of ice tongues and the side of the volcano, which is hidden from the view of local citizens.