Tolbachinsky Dale is one of the most unique places of Kamchatka. Tolbachik is situated in the south-western part of the Klyuchevskaya volcanic group. This place is famous for the Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption (GTFE) which includes North and South Fissures (1975 1976). The North Fissure consists of slag cones, hardened lava fl ows, coming down the western slope, slag fi elds, which formed during the eruption and spread over the territory of more than 1000 km2. The lunar vehicle tests were operated in this area in the USSR period. The Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption (GTFE) started in summer, 1975. It was one of the greatest and most beautiful eruptions of the XXth century . The great fi ssure formed in 18 km from Plosky Tolbachik crater, magma began to gush from the fi ssure forming new cones. The eruption lasted more than 1 year. The lava fl ows covered a huge territory, volcanic bombs were scattered for many kilometers, the slag layer reached 7 meters in height. All the life was destroyed around the volcano. Even more than 35 years after that great eruption the area is still like a fantastic planat's surface. The lifeless slag fi elds, the chains of variegated slag cones, scattering in numerous directions, volcanic bombs, trunks of the "Dead forest" trees and bright northern patterns created by fl owers on the dark slag.
The last eruption in 2012-13 attracted the volcanologists and lovers of volcanic activities here. Plosky Tolbachik is the only volcano in the Kuril-Kamchatka zone which erupts in the Hawaiian type. It means that during its eruptions the extended flows of liquid lava fl ow down, the lava gushes and there is not much volcanic slag. The period of Tolbachik volcanic activity is about 35 years. The volcano has been observed since 1740. Since then 10 eruptions has been fi xed, 4 of them were rather powerful. The last eruption started on the 27th of November, 2012, at the south-western slope of Plosky Tolbachik. The lava began to gush and fl ow from the 6 km in length fi ssure. The eruption lasted for 9 months and fi nished on the 28th of August, 2013. The total volume of 2012-2013 lava at the end of the eruption was about 0,5 km3. The lava covered the area of 36 km2. The top of Plosky Tolbachik is “cut” by the caldera of 3 km in diameter. The caldera is fi lled with ice and eruption products. There is a depression in the western part of the caldera which is about 300 m in diameter and 40-50 m in depth. There are gas emissions which are accompanied by suffocating smell of sulfur. The ascending is quite easy and doesn’t require any special training, but it takes rather long time, in average about 10-12 hours (including the way back).