OverviewThis is a beautiful partly symmetric inactive (just small furmarole activity) volcano at Kamchatka-peninsula. Viljuchinskij is located on the south of the Kamchatka's "capital" Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskij over the Avacha bay. This area is well-known for the best snow condition on the whole Kamchatka. There is quite high risk of huge avalanches after heavy snow fall and in late spring. Thus, an avalanche gun is prepared on the bottom of the vulcano.
The peak is ideal for ski-alpinism and snowboarding, as there is altitutde difference 2070 meters from the start point to the summit and you need just about 4-6 hours to reach the summit.The couloirs starting from the summit (2173 m) are quite steep - 47-54 degrees, at altitude around 1800 the inclination decrease to 40, 30, even less degrees, so that long turns in high speed are used.
Getting ThereA flight to Elizovo (the only one international airport at Kamchatka-peninsula), that is about 30 km away from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskij. Here, you can order a taxi to take you via Paratunka and Termalnyj to the valley of river Paratunka. Taxi can take you to the base called "Nadezda" that is about 15 km from Termalnyj. Then, there are other 14 km to the bottom of the volcano that are usually done on skis. By the way, a helicopter from Elizovo is another possibility how to get to the Viljuchinskij area (especially if you want to stay at the base "Rodnikova", altitude around 1000 m/3000 ft).
Red TapeYou need to be registered at OVIR (it is necessary for all foreigners) - USD 20, you need a valid Russian visa, and permission for the border zone. All can be managed through any Kamchatka's travel agent.
When To ClimbViljuchinskij is accessible over the whole year.
CampingThere is a mountain base "Rodnikova" (made of wooden chalets) with hot-springs, that is on the south slopes of Viljuchinskij volcano. On the other hand, there are also a lot of convenient places, where a camp of tents can be set up.
Mountain ConditionsThere is a lot of different routes to the Viljuchinskij volcano. Most of them are of the walk-up difficulty in the lower part when the route goes through the snow valleys. In the middle part you can choose between the snow couloirs or rock ridges enclosing them. The difficulties are only in the last 200-300 altitude meters, and they are connected with the raising stepness of the slopes (max. around 54 degrees). Moreover, there are several frozen waterfalls in the bottom.
Several maps of Kamchatka are accessible at: http://mapy.mk.cvut.cz/index_e.html
Info about ski-alpinism at Kamchatka's volcanos is at:
Other photos are at:
EquipmentFix-heel or telemark skis, skins, crampoons, and ice-axe. Only in case you are interested in ice-climbing on frozen waterffalls you need all necessary equipment.
BooksSpravocnik turista, published by RIO-KOT, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskij 1994, ISBN 5-85857-013-5
- Expert information about mountains of the former soviet union
Vladimir Kopylov's company now concentrates fully on a varied program of expeditions in the caucasus, but he remains a great specialist on all the mountains of the former Soviet Union.
- Kamchatka ski expedition 2002