Brave volcano explorers dare to camp above lava lake

CAMPING ON VOLCANO

From the red hot lava to ginormous craters these extraordinary photos by a Lancashire man, look as though they belong on Mars.

Christopher Horsley, 24, from Ormskirk, Lancs, captured his camping trip to Marum, an active lava lake of Ambrym, Vanuatu with expedition founder, Geoff Mackley.

Christopher said: “As climbers/filmmakers specialising in accessing Volcanoes, the purpose of the mission was to acquire access to the crater floor spending a night inside and to capture images using drone photography for documenting purposes.

 PIC BY CHRIS HORSLEY/ CATERS NEWS - Marum, East ash plain with the campsite in view.

PIC BY CHRIS HORSLEY/ CATERS NEWS – Marum, East ash plain with the campsite in view.

“As the expedition guide it was my job to lead the climb and to maintain the safety of fellow climbers Nik Halik and Kevin Keator.

“As a secondary role I was also photographer and drone pilot.

“To set up camp in such an extreme location completely blows the mind, being surrounded by 450 metre rock faces on all sides really makes you feel helpless, also the 70m wide roaring lava lakes helps with that too.

PIC BY CHRIS HORSLEY/ CATERS NEWS - Chris Horsley sat by the volcano eating.

PIC BY CHRIS HORSLEY/ CATERS NEWS – Chris Horsley sat by the volcano eating.

“Sleeping at the bottom of the crater was actually a world’s first but after one night down there you are ready to get out.

“This was my third expedition to Ambrym totalling nearly four months on the volcano, and about 14 descents into Marum itself.

PIC BY CHRIS HORSLEY/ CATERS NEWS - Down by the lava in Manum.

PIC BY CHRIS HORSLEY/ CATERS NEWS – Down by the lava in Manum.

“To descend to the crater floor of Marum, guiding two people would take me anywhere from two to two and a half hours, depending on the competence of people I’m taking, and to ascend about the same.

“That said, things can change very quickly on the ropes in such an extreme place, a problem can escalate very quickly.”