The southern part around Krenitsyn Volcano

About 7,000 years ago at the southern end of Onekotan a big caldera was formed, the Tao-Rusyr. It is about 6 kilometers wide and completely filled with the Koltsevoe Lake (Ring Lake). The lake level is slightly more than 400 m above see. View to the south.

Krenitsyn in Tao Rusyr Caldera

Mt Krenitsyn forms an island in the northwestern part of the lake. The structure remembers Crater Lake in Oregon (USA), although this volcano is somewhat bigger with 1,324 m than its counterpart Wizard Island.

Krenitsyn Krenitsyn in the morning


The only historical activity of Krenitsyn was a moderate explosive eruption on the northeastern foot followed by formation of this dome in November 1952. For me it is hard to believe that this has taken place just half a century ago, since no other traces of this event could be seen. Even a moderate explosive eruption should have led to violent phreatomagmatic explosions in the presence of the lake.

In the caldera

It was a hard task to descent to the lake and we were lucky to find a place near the shortest distance between shore and the volcano. Our dog Chara didn't mind to follow us. The water in the Kolzevoe Lake is absolutely neutral and tasteful, but doesn't seem to host neither fishes nor plants.
Dome In caldera


This young red fox was silly enough to come as close as three meters to examine the strangers on this wild island. The foxes are the biggest mammals here and feel themselves save at the end of the food chain.


A view to the west from Mt Krishanovsky (551 m). We did not enjoy a day completely without fog. Here the Okhotsk Sea is hidden under thick fog.
Young fox View from Krishanovsky Mountain


The sunny days are limited on the Kuriles. We were granted with two beautiful days in three weeks and two hair-raising storms. This nice evening was the happy end of a nasty day, on which we made a long hike with heavy load in windy, wet and cold weather.

Evening over Onekotan Sundown


We made our ascent without real problems, however, it wasn't easy due to the rockfall. We made our escape out of the dense clouds below and enjoyed a view as if we were flying in an airplane. The crater of Mt Krenitsyn has ceased its volcanic activity already a long time ago.

The summit

To our dismay we weren't able to see the caldera below due to the clouds. Other participants of our expedition told us later that they had been in dense and wet fog for the whole day.
Crater of Krenitsyn On top of Krenitsyn

View to the north

The small pond in the foreground served us as water supply. It is located directly on the caldera's rim. It's kind of a luxury to walk just a few steps to see the impressive picture of Krenitsyn. To our surprise the place prooved itself to be a good campground with lower wind speeds than expected. At the horizon Nemo Peak is visible.

Evening - view to the north