If you’re a thrill seeker like me and are up for a bit of a challenge, then volcano chasing is just what the doctor ordered. Recently I had the opportunity to trek the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, said to be one of the world’s greatest active volcanoes. This trek took me on a 19.4km journey, 8 hours of pure torture but it leaves you with a feeling of just pure adrenaline and maybe even something more. Here are some of the top reasons why you should attempt one of these big babies:
An excuse to travel
As you may know, Australia’s mainland has no active volcanoes, just the remnants of what once was an active field. So what better way to dip into your pocket then take a trip overseas. Always wanted to take a trip to Africa? Then Kilimanjaro is for you. Or maybe you fancy a trip to Vanuatu to see the highly active Mt Yasur. But, hey if you want to travel on a budget why not try Indonesia’s Mt Bromo. Why settle for an overdone holiday?
It will convert you to geology
From craters and geothermal pools to rugged landscapes and pretty damn cool rocks, you will find your undiscovered love for geology. Volcanoes almost converted me to change my degree from enviro management to geology, but being so far along my degree I decided not to. However, I’m definitely using up my last few electives to do geology courses so I can enrich my knowledge and better read the landscape.
Test your fitness
Be prepared to feel like your legs are going to fall off or altitude sickness to kick in. I highly recommend that you have at least a moderate level of fitness when trying to conquer most volcanoes. At least half the time you will be going at pretty steep inclines, so be prepared!
Anything can happen
Volcanoes are highly unpredictable systems. One minute it can be perfect sunny weather, the next the temperature can drop to below zero with snow falling, but this is one of many thrills you should expect when trekking one of these natural systems. If you’re lucky you may get to see some pretty cool lava flow, but if you’re on a stratovolcano I highly recommend you just run if this happens.
It will leave you wanting more
Once you’ve conquered one, it will leave you hungry for more. I mean with all the risks involved, it would be a pretty cool way to go, don’t you think?