National Geographic : 2001 Aug
Late last summer I spent a month in Kamchatka stalking vol canic eruptions with a team that included French explorers Franck Tessier and Irene Margaritis, German photographer Carsten Peter, and a Russian guide named Feodor Farberov. Carsten 41, blond, and buzzing with energy-has spent his life documenting volcanoes with a camera. The closer he gets, the better he likes it. Not so Feodor, a stolid, muscular, bearded mountaineer of 39. The son of two volcanologists, he was born in a village at the foot of Klyu chevskoy and grew up with the dangers and discomforts of volcano research. In the field "volcanic ash covered everything," he recalled. "Our water, our air, even our food tasted and smelled of sulfur." Hav ing seen "enough eruptions for a lifetime," Feodor likes his mountains cold, quiet, and covered with snow for skiing. Bezymianny, one of the dozen volcanoes that make up the penin sula's Klyuchevskoy group, was thought to be dormant until 1955, Gas bubbles rise from a thermal pond in Uzon caldera, where volcanism is dormant-for now. On the far shore a ranger armed with a rifle keeps watch for bears.