Walking Grades and Fitness
Grading is a somewhat difficult topic as much depends on the
individuals own perception of his or her abilities. The following
is intended as a general guide to our grading system. The levels
of difficulty are divided into categories B/C/D. Although the
trekking is not at great altitude, it occasionally traverses
rough terrain and involves some long days and steep climbs.
Grade B walks (Moderate): are for those of any fitness
level who are able to traverse moderately hilly terrain. Walking
is limited to day excursions from a central location to which
you will be transported. These day hikes are normally no more
than 6 hours in duration and all walking may be done with no
backpack or with a light day pack.
Grade C walks (Strenuous): are for the more serious hill
walker and a higher level of physical fitness is required. However,
no special physical preparations should be needed. Walking days
are normally 6-8 hrs and may involve up to 900m of ascent and
descent. You should be prepared for several consecutive days
of walking, sometimes at higher altitudes, so stamina is important.
However, occasionally rest days in the course of the trek will
Grade D walks (Tough): require that you are very fit
and previous trekking experience is strongly recommended. Grade
D includes long walks with steep uphill and downhill gradients.
There will be some hiking at high altitudes (up to 4000m) and
corresponding cold weather conditions. These treks will also
involve several long days (up to 8-9 hours) of trekking continuously
without a rest day.
#105.Viewing sea mammals and birds on the Komandorsky
are some of Russias most exotic islands, and the first of the
Aleutians. Home to the naturally unafraid Blue Fox, who will try his
best to steal your lunch. Covered with mushrooms and berries and teeming
with colonies of sea lions, seals, sea otters and hovering seabirds,
this is a truly memorable trip.
Commander Islands is a vague Foggy Albion of the Far East of Russia. It’s a place where puffins and seals are much more numerous than the people in the only village of Nikolskoye. It’s an enchanted nook at the very edge of the world where treeless tundra, rough winds and mists rule the roost and capricious weather entirely guides the plans and routes of those who by chance or fortune has found themselves so far away from human civilization. There is only one question left: what on Earth are we doing here? We come to see how blue foxes with funny cunning yellow-eyed faces prowl about looking for foodstuffs between harems of the northern fur seals; to listen how the clamour of bird colonies, where kittiwakes and sterns, cormorants and guillemots, horned and tufted puffins are endlessly talking and talking over, may certainly compete with murmur or roar of incoming waves. We come to enjoy the beauty of the northern waterfalls, acclivous emerald hills, eternal laida twined all over with ivy-like sea cabbage, darkening cliffs, shoals of sockeye and humpback salmon which the first and last time in their lives hurry up the curving rivers of the island.
10 DAY ITINERARY
Day 1. Arrival in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Transfer from the airport to a hotel. Prepare for the trip. Welcome dinner in a restaurant.
Day 2. Flight by MI-8 helicopter to south-eastern coast of the Bering Island to Tolstiy Cape (Part of the Commander Preserve) (3hr). The excursion to bird colonies. The walk is not that easy as it can seem at first glance. We will track over laida usually covered by extremely slippery laminaria twining water-worn round stones under our feet. After the excursion short flight to Nikolskoye settlement. Accommodate in the Hotel. Rest and dinner. (If weather conditions do not permit us to land at Tostiy Cape, we will fly directly to Nikolskoye settlement and try to land there on the final day on the flight back to Kamchatka Peninsula).
3. Breakfast in the hotel. The excursion in all-terrain vehicle to the Nothern and North-western Rookeries. The Northern Rookery is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the structure of northern fur-seal harems at close range as we will watch them from the wooden overpass with windowed walls. In this way we do not disturb the animals by our presence. In summer the rookery may have up to 30 thousand adult animals and 26 thousand cubs. It is also a good chance to see the silver foxes. The North-western Rookery in summer may have up to 26 thousand adult animals and 20 thousand cubs. We will watch them from viewing platforms. (Duration of the excursion is 7-8 hours, lunch boxes and hot tea and coffee will be provided by the company). Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 4. Breakfast in the hotel. Boat excursion to the Islands “Toporkov” and “Ariy Kamen” with the ranger of Commander Preserve. This is a perfect opportunity to see huge bird colonies (tufted puffins, guillemots, cormorants, different types of sea gulls). Duration of the excursion to Toporkov Island is app. 2 hours; duration of the excursion to Ariy Kamen Island is app. 2 hours as well. Lunch in the Hotel. After lunch we will walk to the Visit Center of Commander Preserve, where the research assistance will tell us about the Preserve and their scientific projects. If there is time before dinner, it will be possible to walk in Nikolskoye settlement. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 5. Breakfast in the hotel. Today we will drive in all-terrain vehicle to the biggest fresh-water lake in Commander Islands – Sarannoye. Being a big spawning ground for pacific salmon, it becomes one of the best places where you can observe the process of net-fishing. You will have an opportunity to watch the fish manufacturing and try fresh salmon fish soup. Duration of the excursion is app. 5-6 hours, fish soup and hot tea and coffee will be provided by the company. When we are back to the Hotel, we will take a walk to the Ethnographic Museum of Nikolskoye settlement to learn about the culture of Aleuts and the story how the Islands were discovered, and also visit a private museum of Sergey Pasenyuk (sailor, explorer, painter.) His dwelling is a garage, a warehouse and a museum under one roof. There are lots of his own paintings on the walls in ink and pencil, photos taken during the trips, skulls of sea otters and jaws of The Steller's sea cow. There are many interesting things he has found on Commander Islands - a real wooden steering wheel, a boiler from an English ship (still in working condition), compasses and many other marine instruments. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 6. Breakfast in the hotel. Optional boat excursion with the rangers of Commander Preserve to the water area to the south from Nikolskoye for whale watching (weather depend). On route you can also observe the unique natural monument “the Steller’s Arc” Rock. Duration of the excursion is app. 6 hours. The excursion is possible only in fine weather. Lunch in the Hotel. After lunch we will drive in all-terrain vehicle to the south from Nikolskoye to visit two lovely waterfalls. Duration of the excursion is app. 4 hours, hot tea and coffee will be provided by the company. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 7. Breakfast in the hotel. Flight by MI-8 helicopter back to Kamchatka Peninsula. On the way back if weather permits we will fly over or land on Medniy (Copper) Island – the second largest of Commander Islands, completely uninhabited nowadays. If on the 2nd day the excursion to Tolstiy Cape has not been fulfilled, we will try to manage it on this day as well. Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Please note: all components of the program are interchangeable and can be swapped due to weather conditions.
Day 8. Reserve day in case of inability to fly to Commander Islands due to bad weather conditions. City Tour. Visit of Vulcanarium Museum (deals with Volcanic Activity in Kamchatka Peninsula). Dinner and overnight in the Hotel.
Day 9. Optional one-day excurions. Hotel.
Day 10.City tour. Departure.
Cost EUR 9200 per person.
- Twin/Double accommodation in hotels
- English-speaking rep at the arrival and departure in the PKC airport
- Transfers by coach, ATV and helicopters MI-8 TV
- City tour and museum entrance
- Guide, interpreter and cook services
- Komandorsky Reserve fees
- Visa invitation and visa registration
Questions? Interested in booking a trip? See here for answers to frequently asked questions and here for more Kamchatka pictures, click here for booking details or ask your questions here.
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