MAN DIVES INTO ERUPTING VOLCANO

Two Americans are among the first explorers to have stepped inside one of the world’s most dangerous and inaccessible volcanoes.
They described the volcano in Vanuatu in the South Pacific as being like a “window into hell.”
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Sam Cossman and George Kourounis undertook the challenge, flying from San Francisco to the island archipelago. More people have visited the moon than the lava filled crater in Vanuatu. They were helped by two guides, Geoff Mackley and Brad Ambrose, and spent four days on the volcano.

They made two descents into the fiery abyss.

Panorama shot from the top, looking down 1200 feet to the Marum lava lake. The same height as the Empire State bldg.
Panorama shot from the top, looking down 1200 feet to the Marum lava lake. The same height as the Empire State bldg.
“Going down into the crater of Marum has been a dream of mine for many years,” Kourounis exclaims. “It was exhilarating, to say the least.”

Kourounis has a passion for death defying experiences and has chased tornados and is a big fan of volcanoes. However, even he admitted that going to the Marum volcano was one of the most intense experiences he has ever had. Thankfully, he kept the public up to date with plenty of tweets and an amazing video, which he posted onto Youtube on September 4.

Extreme hiking… INSIDE an active volcano. This is George about halfway down.
Extreme hiking… INSIDE an active volcano. This is George about halfway down.

“Getting to [Marum] was kind of like a reverse climbing of Everest,” he said. “The volcano fought back at us, and we had to deal with terrible weather, tremendous heat from the lava, descending and ascending 400 meters of near vertical, loose rock face, acid rain so strong that it could have come from a car battery, and a variety of other craziness.”

lava-suitThe duo had to wear protective suits because of the extreme heat and to stop acid rain from burning them. Kourounis also says he got so close to the lava that splashes of it melted a hole in his rain jacket and also a part of one of his cameras.

“When you see that shot of me [in the video] looking like a little silver dot, next to what appears to be a waterfall of lava, that was an extremely dangerous spot to be standing,” he said. “It was a bit scary. If something were to have gone wrong. It would’ve happened quickly, and catastrophically.”

George's Volcano selfie. "When normal selfies are not extreme enough!"
George’s Volcano selfie. “When normal selfies are not extreme enough!”