From base camp on the edge of the main caldera, we hiked across the black ash plain to the cone containing the Marum crater and lava lake. The ash plain is essentially a caldera filled with more recent cinder eruptions from the two cones in the center, both of which now contain active lava lakes. As we started to ascend the cones, we could see and smell evidence of fumarolic activity, and at one point we all had to don our gas masks. After a couple hour walk, we climbed the side of the cone and the view before me made my stomach drop - there were tiny, distant orange tents across a gaping maw that dropped, via a sheer cliff, 300 m down to a gushing, roiling, boiling and hot lake of lava! Pepe and I arrived together and both yelled at the sight of it. Like nothing on this Earth!
Walking with the crunch of the ash plain
Gases emerge at the base of Marum cone
All pics are below.