Walking Grades and Fitness
Grading is a somewhat difficult topic as much depends on the individuals own perception of his or her abilities. The following is intended as a general guide to our grading system. The levels of difficulty are divided into categories B/C/D. Although the trekking is not at great altitude, it occasionally traverses rough terrain and involves some long days and steep climbs.
Grade B walks (Moderate)
: are for those of any fitness level who are able to traverse moderately hilly terrain. Walking is limited to day excursions from a central location to which you will be transported. These day hikes are normally no more than 6 hours in duration and all walking may be done with no backpack or with a light day pack.
Grade C walks (Strenuous): are for the more serious hill walker and a higher level of physical fitness is required. However, no special physical preparations should be needed. Walking days are normally 6-8 hrs and may involve up to 900m of ascent and descent. You should be prepared for several consecutive days of walking, sometimes at higher altitudes, so stamina is important. However, occasionally rest days in the course of the trek will be included.
Grade D walks (Tough): require that you are very fit and previous trekking experience is strongly recommended. Grade D includes long walks with steep uphill and downhill gradients. There will be some hiking at high altitudes (up to 4000m) and corresponding cold weather conditions. These treks will also involve several long days (up to 8-9 hours) of trekking continuously without a rest day.
New generation. In camp of reindeer herders.#401. Kamchatka in late summer (bears, volcanoes, native people, reindeer herders, autumn colours (on stardard departure)).

SEASON: July 1st - September 15th
Departures 2018:

August 3rd (summer version)
August 24th (standard version)

GRADE B/C.
Group size - up to 16 pax. Click here to find out more pictures of these trips or read the article about #401 tour

This expedition to Kamchatka will take place in late August. Climatically this is one of the best times to travel and appreciate the spectacular scenery with the first signs of the brilliant autumn colours. In order to experience the richness of the region's flora, fauna and geology we plan to visit as many habitats as possible, including the central valley with the Kamchatka River, Tolbachik, Ksudach, Mutnovsky and Gorely volcanoes, and Kurilskoye Lake and the hot Khodutka River in the southern tundra. Kurilskoye Lake is part of a Nature Reserve and one of the best places in the peninsula to see Brown Bears and Steller's Sea Eagles. To reach it we shall fly by helicopter via the crater of the Ksudach volcano to a comfortable lodge where we shall spend a few days watching the bears feeding on the berries and the spawning salmon. We plan to swim in the hot Khodutka River and land - weather permitting - in the crater of the Mutnovsky volcano with its geysers, fumaroles, mud pools, spectacular rock formations and vivid colours.  Further north we explore the Tolbachik volcano with its new lava cones and fields, bathe in hot pools, gather berries and enjoy the delicious fresh local food. We spend some time in the small settlement of Esso where we shall meet the local people and then stay overnight with nomadic reindeer herders in their summer camp in the mountains. The ancient volcano, Mutnovsky, is scenically one of the most beautiful places in Kamchatka. There will be plenty of time to savour the atmosphere of Kamchatka and follow our own interests whether they are ornithology, botany, geology, Volcanology, photography or walking. We shall visit Petropavlovsk and learn about its fascinating history and, from our Russian guides, we shall be able to learn about life in Kamchatka today and experience their kindness and hospitality. The pace will be leisurely. The walks are not difficult and are entirely at the discretion of the individual.

18 DAY ITINERARY

 

A bear on Kurilskoe LakeDay 1. Arrival in Petropavlovsk. Transfer from airport to hotel. Prepare for the trip.
Day 2. Flight by MI-8 helicopter to Ksudach Volcano (1hr). If weather permits (if bad weather, we will try to landing in Ksudach on Day 5th), we will make an excursion to the crater lake of Schtubelya (situated inside Ksudach Volcano) and visit a lovely waterfall (from air) where water cascades out of the crater. Or visit hot springs that create a "hot beach" on the lake's shore. Short flight to Kamchatka's famed Kurilskoye Lake. Accommodation in a small cozy wooden lodge on Grassy Point. The lodge is two stories with 2 bunk rooms of 8 people each on the second floor. A dining room and shower/WC are situated on the first floor. A "wrap around" deck affords a gorgeous view of Kurilskoye Lake and surrounding mountains. Often it is possible to watch bears fishing along the lakeshore without even leaving the territory of the lodge. Make an excursions along the lake's pumice rock beach. In-camp instruction. Electricity and hot shower available in lodge from 7PM till 11PM daily.
Days 3-4. View Kamchatka brown bears, Steller sea eagles, salmon spawning places from a motor boat and take walking excursions with local wardens to a nearby bear view platform (800 meters from the lodge) that is located at the mouth of the many rivers that drain into Kurilskoye Lake. Here you'll have a good chance of taking great, close-up shots of bears fishing for migrating salmon. The salmon pause briefly in the lake and then make their way from the lake into the streams where they spawn. Take longer walking excursions to a large meadow where bears feed on wild berries and visit other spawning streams farther from the lodge. Along these streams you'll see spawning salmon and many signs of the large number of bears in the area. There's a good chance you'll see bears fishing just a few yards away as you walk along the banks of streams (high rubber boots are must).
Day 5. Take walking excursions with local wardens to a nearby bear view platform (800 meters from the lodge). Evening helicopter MI-8 flight to back Petropavlovsk. Stop for a bathe in the thermal hot water of the Khodutka River. This is the largest wild hot springs on Kamchatka. The water bubbles out on a section of tundra located just under Khodutka Volcano and forms a small stream. Farther from the source the water slowly cools and you can find the location where the temperature is right for you to take a swim. Then we fly over caldera of Mutnovsky active Volcano for taking pictures. Return to Petropavlovsk. Hotel.
Day 6. Optional helicopter flight to the Valley of the Geysers. Or free day in town. Hotel.
Day 7. Drive by 6WD truck-bus to the north and stay in cabins in Kozyrevsk settlement (500 km).
Day 8. Continue further north to a camp on the slopes of Tolbachik volcano (70 km over forest road). Tent camp.
Days 9-10. Visit the new craters of Tolbachik (eruptions of 1975 and 2013 years), hardened lava flows formed in 2013, the dead forest and other volcanic sites. Camp.
Day 11. Drive west from Tolbachik to the hotel in the village of Esso. Enjoy a performance from the local dancing group.
Day 12. Visit the museum. Explore the area around Esso. Fly by helicopter to the camp of Evens Reindeer Herders. The number of reindeer in a herd is from 500 to 2500 heads. You will stay in the old Medium Volcanic Range of Kamchatka, surrounded by ancient glacier altered volcanoes and beautiful alpine tundra. Stay overnight in tents.
Day 13. Return to Esso (nicknamed Kamchatka Switzerland) by helicopter. Overnight in the same hotel.
Day 14. Return back to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Hotel.
Day 15. Optional excursion around Avacha bay by boat with fishing and Ukha (fish soup). Visit Starichkov Island to view sea birds and mammals (5-6 hours in total). This tour is a unique opportunity to see the fascinating surroundings of Petropavlovsk from the sea, to explore the shores of the Avachinskaya bay, and to watch colonies of seabirds in their natural habitats. Drive to Mutnovsky and Gorely Volcano plateau by 6WD bus. Bathing in Verkhne-Paratunskie thermal springs (optional). Drive along Viluchinsky Volcano and pass Viluchinsky waterfall. Further drive to Mutnovsky volcano plateau (1 hour). Distance between PKC and Mutnovsky is 150 km. Overnight in tents.
Day 16. Day trip to the active crater of Mutnovsky Volcano. Snack lunch in the crater. Moving along the narrow canyon to the crater. Steep walls surround the vast and deep crater cavity with its glittering glaciers split by cracks and torches of fumaroles. The outing lasts 6-7 hours. This does require a climb up to the crater. Overnight in tents.
Day 17. Optional day trip to ascend Gorely Volcano (1829m).  A chain of 11 craters across it's peak make for a unique sight. Drive to Petropavlovsk. Visit a local farmer Sasha Yastrebov at the evening for a folk concert in a Yurt. A party sampling various seafood dishes and drinking Russian vodka and homemade balsam. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 18. Depart Petropavlovsk.

Cost EUR 4750 per person.

Price includes:

  • Full board (all meals)
  • Kurilskoye Lake fees and photography fees
  • Twin bedded accommodation in hotels in city and Paratunka resort
  • Accommodation in lodge, cabins and VauDe tents
  • English-speaking rep at the arrival and departure in the PKC airport
  • Transfers by coach, 6WD truck-bus, helicopters MI-8
  • Evens folk concert in Esso
  • City tour and museums fees
  • Guides, interpreter and cook services
  • Invitation letter and visa registration
  • Permits
 

Questions? Interested in booking a trip? See here for answers to frequently asked questions and here for more Kamchatka pictures, click here for booking details or ask your questions here.


Herder.#402.Visiting indigenous Reindeer Herders by snowmobiles

SEASON: February 15th - April 15th
Departure 2018: Upon request
Group size - up to 6 pax.

Click here to find out more pictures of this trip.This is an opportunity to visit and spend some time with Even reindeer herders and get acquainted with the lifestyle and customs of Kamchatka's native people.  You will spend two nights in a Yurta, a kind of Even teepee, and try out their national food.  Snowmobiles will take you through a snow-white tundra in beautiful volcanic surroundings while you enjoy the early spring sun and genuine Russian wilderness. After that you will drive to the Even fishing camp at Kopylje Lake where you will experience the exciting fishing for  char together with Even fishermen.

12 DAY ITINERARY

ROUTE PLAN

Day 1. Arrival in PKC. Transfer to Petropavlovsk Hotel. Free time. Welcome dinner in the restaurant.
Day 2. Drive to Esso. Meet the guides. Accommodation in private apartments. Prepare for the trip.
Day 3. Drive by snowmobiles along the Bystraya River to the Babav River near Ichinsky Volcano (80km). Snack lunch.
Day 4. Drive by snowmobiles to the reindeer herds located at the foot of Ichinsky Volcano (20km). Meet our Even hosts, listen to their stories over campfire supper and sleep in a Yurta (the Even teepee).
Day 5. Stay at the reindeer herders camp, experiencing Even life. Excursion by snowmobiles around this area.
Day 6. Drive by snowmobiles to Aginsky settlement (80km). Accommodation in cabin. Visit the local gold mine.
Day 7. Fish for char at Kopylje Lake (8km). Return to the cabin.
Day 8. Drive back by snowmobiles to Babav River (60km). Snack lunch.
Day 9. Reserve day in case of bad weather.
Day 10. Return to Esso (80km). Accommodation in private flats. Visit to the local Even museum. Bath in hot thermal pool.
Day 11. Return to PKC. Transfer to hotel. Dinner in a restaurant.
Day 12. City tour with a visit to the museum. Shopping. Departure.

Fishermen camp.Cost EUR 00.00 per person.

Price includes:

  • Full board
  • Double accommodation in hotel in city
  • Accommodation in lodges, cabins and Yurta
  • English-speaking rep at the arrival and departure in the PKC airport
  • Transfers by coach and 6WD bus
  • Snowmobiles
  • City tour and museums fees
  • Guides, interpreter and cook services
  • Visa invitation and visa registration
  • Permits
  •  

    What to wear?

    Questions? Interested in booking a trip? See here for answers to frequently asked questions and here for more Kamchatka pictures, click here for booking details or ask your questions here.


    #403. Kamchatka nature and culture (the short version of the #401 tour).

    SEASON: July 1st - September 15th
    Departures 2018: August 15th
    GRADE B.
    Group size - up to 16 pax.

    Click here to find out more pictures of these trips.

    This expedition to Kamchatka will take place in the middle of August. In order to experience the richness of the region's flora, fauna and geology we plan to visit as many habitats as possible, including the central valley with the Kamchatka River, Tolbachik, Ksudach, Mutnovsky volcanoes, Kurilskoye Lake and the hot Khodutka River in the southern tundra. Kurilskoye Lake is part of a Nature Reserve and one of the best places in the peninsula to see Brown Bears and Steller's Sea Eagles. To reach it we shall fly by helicopter via the crater of the Ksudach volcano to a comfortable lodge where we shall spend a few days watching the bears feeding on the berries and the spawning salmon. We plan to swim in the hot Khodutka River and land - weather permitting - in the crater of the Mutnovsky volcano with its geysers, fumaroles, mud pools, spectacular rock formations and vivid colours.  Further north we explore the Tolbachik volcano with its new lava cones and fields, bathe in hot pools, gather berries and enjoy the delicious fresh local food. We spend some time in the small settlement of Esso where we shall meet the local people and then stay overnight with nomadic reindeer herders in their summer camp in the mountains. There will be plenty of time to savour the atmosphere of Kamchatka and follow our own interests whether they are ornithology, botany, geology, Volcanology, photography or walking. We shall visit Petropavlovsk and learn about its fascinating history and, from our Russian guides, we shall be able to learn about life in Kamchatka today and experience their kindness and hospitality.

     

    15 DAY ITINERARY

    A bear on Kurilskoe LakeDay 1. Arrival to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Meet and assistance and transfer to Hotel Petropavlovsk. City tour in the afternoon. Welcome dinner, overnight in the Hotel.
    Day 2. Flight by MI-8 helicopter to Ksudach Volcano (1hr). If weather permits (if bad weather, we will try to landing in Ksudach on Day 5th), we will make an excursion to the crater lake of Schtubelya (situated inside Ksudach Volcano) and visit a lovely waterfall (from air) where water cascades out of the crater. Or visit hot springs that create a "hot beach" on the lake's shore. Short flight to Kamchatka's famed Kurilskoye Lake. Accommodation in a small cozy wooden lodge on Grassy Point. The lodge is two stories with 2 bunk rooms of 8 people each on the second floor. A dining room and shower/WC are situated on the first floor. A "wrap around" deck affords a gorgeous view of Kurilskoye Lake and surrounding mountains. Often it is possible to watch bears fishing along the lakeshore without even leaving the territory of the lodge. Make an excursions along the lake's pumice rock beach. In-camp instruction. Electricity and hot shower available in lodge from 7PM till 11PM daily.
    Days 3-4.
    View Kamchatka brown bears, Stellar sea eagles, salmon spawning places from a motor boat and take walking excursions with local wardens to a nearby bear view platform (800 meters from the lodge) that is located at the mouth of the many rivers that drain into Kurilskoye Lake. Here you'll have a good chance of taking great, close-up shots of bears fishing for migrating salmon. The salmon pause briefly in the lake and then make their way from the lake into the streams where they spawn. Take longer walking excursions to a large meadow where bears feed on wild berries and visit other spawning streams farther from the lodge. Along these streams you'll see spawning salmon and many signs of the large number of bears in the area. There's a good chance you'll see bears fishing just a few yards away as you walk along the banks of streams.
    Day 5.
    Take walking excursions with local wardens to a nearby bear view platform (800 meters from the lodge). Evening helicopter MI-8 flight to back Petropavlovsk. Stop for a bathe in the thermal hot water of the Khodutka River. This is the largest wild hot springs on Kamchatka. The water bubbles out on a section of tundra located just under Khodutka Volcano and forms a small stream. Farther from the source the water slowly cools and you can find the location where the temperature is right for you to take a swim. Then fly over the crater of Mutnovsky active Volcano for taking pictures. Return to Petropavlovsk. Hotel.
    Day 6.
    Optional helicopter flight to the Valley of the Geysers and Uzon Volcano caldera. Hotel.
    Day 7.
    Drive by 4 or 6WD bus to the old Cossack settlement of Milkovo (306 km). Here lunch will be prepared in a local restaurant and there will be a chance to stroll around the village to get a feel for Russian rural life. Continue driving north of Milkovo and camp out in the wilderness in a mixed evergreen and deciduous forest along the banks of the Kamchatka River (Kamchatka's largest river which runs northward through the central valley of the peninsula).
    Inside of Koryak Yurta.Day 8.
    Drive to the volcanic plateau of Tolbachik volcano (60km) base camp (this will be base for the next 2 nights) in tents. This place, reminiscent of  the Moon, is famous because it was here that the first Soviet "Lunar roving vehicle-1", was tested.
    Day 9.
    Visit the new craters of Tolbachik formed in 20th century and monument of nature Dead Forest that was a result of eruption of 1975, newly formed lava tubes, watch new hardened lavas of 2013 eruption and other volcanic sites. Camp.
    Day 10.
    Drive west from Tolbachik to the hotel in the village of Esso, biggest Evens people settlement in Kamchatka in the biggest Bystrinskiy Natural Park. Enjoy a performance from the local dancing group, the participants of which are people of different Kamchatka indigenous tribes, the Koryak, the Even, the Itelmen.
    Day 11.
    Explore the area around Esso. Fly by helicopter to the camp of Evens Reindeer Herders. The number of reindeer in a herd is from 500 to 2500 heads. You will stay in the old Medium Volcanic Range of Kamchatka, surrounded by ancient glacier altered volcanoes and beautiful alpine tundra. Stay overnight in tents.
    Day 12.
    Return to Esso by helicopter. Overnight in hotel.
    Day 13.
    Drive back to Petropavlovsk, stay for lunch in Milkovo settlement. Overnight in a hotel.
    Day 14. Optional excursion around Avacha bay by boat with fishing and Ukha (fish soup). Visit Starichkov Island to view sea birds and mammals (6 hours in total). This tour is a unique opportunity to see the fascinating surroundings of Petropavlovsk from the sea, to explore the shores of the Avachinskaya Bay, and to watch colonies of seabirds in their natural habitats.Visit a local farmer Sasha Yastrebov at the evening for a folk concert in a Yurt. A party sampling various seafood dishes and drinking Russian vodka and homemade balsam. Overnight in a hotel.
    Day 15. Depart Petropavlovsk.

    Cost EUR 4500 per person.

    Price includes:

    • Full board
    • Kurilskoye Lake fees and photography fees
    • Twin-bedded accommodation in hotels
    • Accommodation in lodge, Yurta and tents
    • English-speaking rep at the arrival and departure in the PKC airport
    • Transfers by coach, 6WD truck-bus, helicopters MI-8
    • Evens folk concert in Esso
    • City tour and museums fees
    • Guides, interpreter and cook services
    • Invitation letter and visa registration
    • Permits

     

     

    Questions? Interested in booking a trip? See here for answers to frequently asked questions and here for more Kamchatka pictures, click here for booking details or ask your questions here.


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