Climber Stranded a Week on Highest Active Volcano in Eurasia | Falling Rocks Making Rescue a ‘Suicide Mission’

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Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Russia. Credit: Voices from Russia

A tourist has been stranded close to the crater of the highest active volcano in Eurasia for a week, with rescuers unable to reach him on foot or by helicopter.

The 35-year-old man is stranded about 650ft below the rim of the giant 15,580ft Klyuchevskaya Sopka in Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula, with rescuers claiming it would be a ‘suicide mission’ if they have to continue to avoid falling rocks in their attempts to get to him.

The falling rocks, caused by volcanic activity and a melting high-altitude glacier, are preventing the rescuers from getting close to the man. An attempt to reach him by helicopter had to be abandoned due to the toxic gases and emissions from the volcano, as well as adverse weather conditions.

Rockfall, melting ice, and adverse weather conditions are preventing rescuers from reaching the trapped climber. Credit:

Rescuers on foot got to within 200-feet of the man before they were bombarded by falling boulders and stones and were forced to turn back or face certain death.

“There are no options for us. We’re not on a suicide mission here. It will be suicide to keep going.”

– Rescuers

The stranded man was climbing with a partner when he began suffering from altitude sickness and could not continue. His fellow climber, named Filimonov, descended to the nearest village to raise the alarm but was unable to go back up to reach his friend due to snow and wind.

While it would be a miracle if the man survives, rescuers are working on the assumption that he is still alive.

The volcano, regarded as one of Russia’s most dangerous volcanoes, spewed ash clouds 20,000 ft into the air earlier this year in March. The pair did not inform any authorities of their intentions to climb the volcano.

Rescuers attempting to ascend the volcano to reach the stranded tourist. Credit:

Klyuchevskaya Sopka (Russian: Ключевская сопка; also known as Klyuchevskoi, Russian: Ключевской) is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia and the highest active volcano of Eurasia. It is the highest mountain in Siberia (Asian Russia). Its steep, symmetrical cone towers about 100 kilometers (60 mi) from the Bering Sea. The volcano is part of the natural Volcanoes of Kamchatka UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Klyuchevskaya appeared 6,000 years ago. Its first recorded eruption occurred in 1697, and it has been almost continuously active ever since, as have many of its neighboring volcanoes. It was first climbed in 1788 by Daniel Gauss and two other members of the Billings Expedition. No other ascents were recorded until 1931 when several climbers were killed by flying lava on the descent. As similar dangers still exist today, few ascents are made.

Klyuchevskaya Sopka is considered sacred by some indigenous peoples, being viewed by them as the location at which the world was created. Other volcanoes in the region are seen with similar spiritual significance, but Klyuchevskaya Sopka is the most sacred of these.

Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Russia

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One thought on “Climber Stranded a Week on Highest Active Volcano in Eurasia | Falling Rocks Making Rescue a ‘Suicide Mission’

  1. One has to choose cold weather to go up there. Show hold stones. There are two guys, who perished there and have not been found till now. That dead man was taken away from a helicopter- the next attempt, undertaken on the next day, was successful.

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