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Home page / Regions / Kamchatka / The Kamchatka Peninsula

The Kamchatka Peninsula

Kamchatka is a unique part of the Earth, where nature keeps itself in natural wild condition. Only here one can see the primitive landscapes and nature civilization. Kamchatka is a region of volcanoes, geysers and thermal springs. Natural resources of Kamchatka region are inimitable in its variety.

The tourists, who have visited peninsula, are surprised by the unusual combination of glaciers, volcanos, snowfields with the rich flora and fauna. It is a unique place where it is possible to meet a huge number of geysers, active volcanoes, mineral sources. Peninsula Kamchatka is divided between Kamchatka region occupying its southern part (170, 8 thousand sq. km) and Koryak autonomous region extending along the northern part of the peninsula (472, 3 thousand sq. km). Because of quite severe northern climate (the winter in the peninsula differs in its different parts: multisnow and soft at the sea-coast, frosty in the central part, severe and windy in the north; in summer the temperature reaches 10-18 . The population of the peninsula isnt numerous: in the region 349. 8 thousand people, in the district - 28, 5 thousand.


Settling Kamchatka began about 15 thousand years ago. In spite of the fact that the question about the migration of peoples in the Kamchatka peninsula isnt investigated yet, for today it is known for certain, that the first immigrants are the ancient hunters, the remote ancestors of North American Indians, small part of which going to the coasts of Northern America through Kamchatka and Chukotka, decided to settle down in the peninsula.

Then 10-11 thousand years ago the culture which belongs to the ancestors of eskimos, aleuts and itelmens, who had migrated to Alaska from Asia, formed in Kamchatka. And already at the beginning of XIX century on the north of Kamchatka Evens-reindeer-breeders migrated to the north of Kamchatka and on islands aleuts, sea hunters to the Komandorsky islands. Apparently, the representatives of these ancient peoples were attracted by the natural resources of the peninsula.

Itelmens led a settled way of life, being engaged in fishing. Koryaks and Chukchi were divided into "settled", hunting sea animals, and "nomadic" reindeer-breeders. Besides that men were occupied with manufacturing sledges, kayaks, skis, and women - with dressing of skins, sewing clothes of leather and fur, gathering grasses and roots, cooking food.

Unfortunately, not all these kinds of occupations were kept up to now. Now the representatives of these peoples are occupied only with arts and crafts: carving on bone, manufacturing products of fur and leather, original embroideries and figures, decorating national clothes and consummer goods. Reindeer-breeding is also wide-spread in the peninsula. The mountain relief of Kamchatka presented Kamchadals (the word appeared as the result of mixture of two nations and cultures: Cossacks and Itelmens) the great number of picturesque landscapes: hot springs, geysers and other manifestings volcanic and tectonic activity of the relief can be seen from the panoramas, specially arranged for tourists.

To the major recreational resources of Kamchatka concern: valleys, active (29) and extinct (about 300) volcanos; caldron-shaped hollows formed as the result of downfall of the volcano conea cone and its explosion; volcanic plateaus formed by lava-streams, the Alpine meadows, canyons; mountains and mountain ridges, available to visiting. Volcanos in Kamchatka stands from each other in the distance of 20-30 kms. The highest active volcano - Klyuchevskaya Sopka (4750 ). It is by the highest volcanic height of Eurasia.

As a rule, ascent of it is carried out in winter, and it is equivalent to ascent of the Pamirs and Tien Shan with height of 6 and 7 thousand (Lenin peak, peak of Khan Tengri): so much energy and force man spends! The volcano has a cone of the correct form. The steepness of the slope, cut up by gutters, reaches 35 degrees. The topmost crater of the volcano, the diameter of which is about 700 m, is always active and changes its form both during eruptions, and in dormant periods. The river network of Kamchatka, numbering about 14 thousand rivers and brooks, is famous for the same variety. It has mountain and flat drains, falls, glaciers, not thawing snowfields, sea and ocean coasts: now flat, juting out far into the sea (the Ohotskoe coast), now steep and cut up by bays and fiords (the coasts of the Pacific ocean and the Bering sea).There are more than 100 thousand large and small lakes, tens bogs in the peninsula.

The flora is also unique in its variety: the tundra being an integral part of the half-civilized nature, is replaced by coniferous and mixed woods, "park" birch woods, violent thrickets of alder, willow-beds, riches of meadow grasses. In the Kamchatka there are also hot and cold mineral springs of various chemical composition and temperature. Deposits of mineral waters number 274. Besides that in the region there are practically all mineral medical and table waters, known in the world.

All this creates the great opportunities for the development of wide spectrum of ecological tourism in the peninsula, sports fishing and hunting, mountain skiing and mountaneering. It is necessary to note, that tourism in Kamchatka is developed according to the certain limits of the law. For example, in the season of hunting and fishing tourists must have the licence on fishing and shooting the rare representatives of the fauna entered in " The Red book ". Fishing with the license is carried out here by the principle " caught - released", i.e. all caught fish are let off into the river alive with maximal care when releasing. Such careful attitude to the natural resources is explained by the fact, that in 90-s Kamchatka was the closed region, zone reserve of Russia. And not by chance there are two state biospheric reserves, 24 state reserves, 169 nature sanctuaries, 5 natural parks, about 30 % of the territory of the region are attributed to the category protected. Six of them are included by UNESCO in " the List of the World cultural and natural heritage ", united under the common name " Volcanos of Kamchatka ".




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