August 01, 1996

Kamchatka: Where the River Runs Hot

Past a snow field and through a canyon of jagged, red-rock walls, lies a freakish world of fire and ice in the Russian Far East.

It is called Mutnovskaya volcano, and its living heart is a towering, blue-rimmed glacier, surrounded by howling fumaroles (or steam vents), boiling mud pots and various-sized rocks colored yellow from the earth’s intense hydrothermal activity.

Hikers often wander amongst this super-natural landscape. Yet there is always danger when exploring the inner heart of an active volcano – one wrong step could spell disaster.

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