Saturday, July 25, 2009

Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

We spent the last few days getting very cold and very wet. But, what a landscape! The Valley of Ten Thousands of Smokes in Katmai National Park is a visually menacing place. It dominates you from start to finish and serves as an instant reminder of our small place in nature. In 1912 Novarupta exploded some 20 cubic km of volcanic debris in the largest volcanic eruption of the 20th Century, covering the valley in 100m of ash and pumice. As the ash settled to the valley floor the existing rivers boiled and the water turned to steam. The steam found its way to the surface and gave the valley its name. Fortunately the mountains seem a little calmer these days and offer some outstanding trekking and mountaineering. I'm itching to go back!

1 comment:

Jenna said...

I love the first image! You have captured the moonscape essence of the Valley perfectly. A bleak place, but very inviting and diverse. The clouds add a perfect moody spice to the images-- the bad weather adds a lot to the story.