This Adventurer Descended into Vanuatu’s Lava-Filled Marum Crater and Lived to Tell the Tale

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Image: George Kourounis

Located at the highpoint of the Ambrym volcano, the crater last erupted in 1953 and still maintains eye-watering temperatures that can break 1,300 °F. For Kourounis and his team, this naturally meant the use of special equipment and protective suits. Once kitted up, the explorer together with seasoned volcano surveyor Geoff Mackley – who would accompany him to the bottom of the crater – prepared to make their descent.

George Kourounis Marum Crater
Image: George Kourounis

Before they faced the difficulties down below, however, the pair first had to negotiate the treacherous path inside Marum. “I was blown away at how big the crater was,” Kourounis tells Scribol. “It is gigantic. To get to the bottom takes a multi-stage rappel of about 1,200 feet.”

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Image: George Kourounis

Despite his experience in extreme adventuring, Kourounis admits the dizziness and apprehension soon started to take hold. “Standing at the edge looking down definitely triggers that vertigo sensation. It’s almost a straight drop down, and the rocks along the edge of the cliff are sometimes loose and unstable.”

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