Xavier De Le Rue’s Volatile Kuril Islands Trip

Crashing 20 metres to your head anywhere is scary, but when you are on the volcanic island of Kharimkotam, 700km from civilisation with only a boat to get help, things quickly become overwhelming, welcome to part two of Xavier De Le Rue’s DIY Mission Kuril


Travelling south through the Kuril archipelago, passing the skeletons of cold war bases, rotting buildings and rusting weapons the team struggled to keep the sense of isolation at bay. Stopping at Ushishir Island, at only 5km2 and 401m high with constant underground volcanic activity the team weren’t able to snowboard but they were able to lift their spirits making a bath from the boiling ground water and interacting with some local wildlife…

Chirpoy island was the crews last stop, consisting of three overlapping volcanoes, Vulcan, Cherny and Snow, with Snow erupting continuously since 2012, far south in the archipelago the snow had virtually disappeared, but gullies formed from lava flow held on to the last of the snow enabling Xavier to ride to the very end.

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