Few of us will ever have the chance to peer down into a volcano, and fewer still would dare think of actually climbing down into the crater of one. Especially if the volcano's crater was full of bubbling and churning molten rock. However, that is just what Drew Bristol did, climbing 500 meters down into the crater to a point a mere 100 meters above the lava inside Marum volcano on Ambryn Island in Vanuatu.
Check out the video after the break!
Ambrym Island is part of the Vanuatu archipeligo, a chain of 82 islands about 400 miles from Australia. With an area of just 257 square miles, the island has a population of about 8,000 people. The islanders, however, do not climb the volcano, regarding it as a sacred place and fearing that doing so may bring misfortune to villages below. But the leader of the expedition, filmmaker Geoff Mackley, consulted with the locals before he and his team headed to the summit, carrying their equipment up by helicopter.
This is not Mackley's first attempt at filming a rappel down into the Marum volcano. In 2004 his team had set up camp on the summit when a severe storm rolled in, stranding them for nearly two days until a rescue helicopter was able to evacuate the team. They were forced to abandon much of their equipment at the time, and when they were able to return about 70% of their gear had survived, but enough had been ruined to call off the expedition.
Mackley has high resolution photos of this expedition on his website.