Russia : Kamchatka : #4 Mutnovsky Plateau

Our itinerary for 21st August included a climb up to the rim of the Mutnovsky Volcano. To get there, we would need to cross the icy, rocky tracks of the Mutnovsky Plateau.  But first it was time to wash in the freezing cold water from the stream and have our breakfast, camp style.

P1110191  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110191 © DY of jtdytravels

We set off over formed road for about 6-8km before heading off into the wilderness.  We were soon above the tree line where only prostrate plants grow.  There was nothing over about 15 cm in height.  Many of these we had already seen, such as the rhododendron and willowherb.  But there were other herbaceous plants to be found like this lovely purple Campanula lasiocarpa commonly known as Mountain Harebell.


P1110211  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110211 © DY of jtdytravels

Spirea-leaved Goldenrod is a cheerful yellow daisy;  Solidago spiraeifolia.


P1110224  ©  DY of jtdytravels

P1110224 © DY of jtdytravels

One of the most beautiful flowers we found in this area was Delphinium brachycentrum, Short-spur Larkspur.


P1110288  ©  DY  of jtdytravels

P1110288 © DY of jtdytravels

The ‘track’ took us across ice and snow drifts, up braided rivers and through low hills.

Much of our journey was at slower than walking pace.


P1110291  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110291 © DY of jtdytravels

Much of the scenery was in stark black and white.


P1110299  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110299 © DY of jtdytravels

A touch of ice cold, green melt-water in the somber landscape.


P1110422  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110422 © DY of jtdytravels

We were travelling in tandem with another tour group’s bus.


P1110305  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110305 © DY of jtdytravels

This turned out to be a good idea as our bus/truck broke through the ice in one place.  We were inextricably stuck.


P1110306  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110306 © DY of jtdytravels

But hitched up to the other truck, our truck was gradually pulled out.


P1110301  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110301 © DY of jtdytravels

While waiting for that to happen, I, of course, went in search of plants.  There were many.


P1110304  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110304 © DY of jtdytravels

One that caught my eye was this delightful small  Anemone sp.


P1110296  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110296 © DY of jtdytravels

We drove passed two or three other trucks buried up to the axels and abandoned.  These would, presumably, be retrieved later as they are worth between USD60-70,000.  What happened to their tour group and crew, I don’t know.   Mission aborted, no doubt.


P1110312  ©  DY  of  jtdytravels

P1110312 © DY of jtdytravels

After three hours of driving, we finally reached the road head.  From here we had to walk.  Ahead of us lay amazing rock formations and the fumaroles in the Mutnovsky volcano.  And I’ll take you there in my next post.


All Photography copyright ©  David Young  of jtdytravels

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