Ski Kamchatka Klyutchevskoy Sopka Expedition 2013

Expedition to climb & snowboard down Klyutchevskoy Sopka, Kamchatka

In April 2013, Richard Hartley and Kiersten Rowland of Spanish Highs Mountain Guides joined a team led by British snowboarder/mountaineer Julia Pickering attempting to become the first people to climb and snowboard down the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, Kamchatka in far eastern Russia.

The team's main sponsor was outdoor clothing and equipment manufacturer, Berghaus.

Read: "A land far, far away with fire breathing mountains waiting to be skied"

Expedition Reports, Photos and Videos

Trip summary by Spanish Highs from team photographer Martin Hartley

Expedition Reports from Kiersten Rowland

Getting there

Leaving Klyuchi and emergency camp

Weather window at base camp

Deteriorating Weather

The escape and a long bus ride

Last few days in Russia

Trailer - "In the Beginning"

The Expedition

Klyutchevskoy Sopka 4750m is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain on the Kamchatka peninsula and the highest active volcano in Eurasia and one of the largest volcanoes in the world.

If the weather allows the team will also attempt snowboard descents of other nearby volcanos such as Ushkovsy. We fly to Petropavlovsk via Moscow and take 10 hour 6WD bus journey to Klyutchi. A Russian military base, Klyutchi was only opened up to foreigners in 2010. The following day we will travel by snowmobile to the northern foothills of Klyutchevskoy as far as the volcanologists hut at 1650m. Our biggest challenges are the weather and the volcanic activity.

Current activity state of the volcanoes? See Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team