Guest Videos: Los Nevados National Park: Santa Isabel

With so much concern over Nevado del Ruiz right now, it’s nice to meet a nonthreatening volcano in the neighborhood.

According to the Global Volcanism Program, Saint Elizabeth Santa Isabel volcano has not erupted since around 850 BC.

Per this 2007 paper, Santa Isabel shows no sign of waking up any time soon.

But it is only a few miles from erupting Nevado del Ruiz, and it’s in this beautiful park with Ruiz and Tolima, so let’s take a look.

Believe it or not, this is a shield volcano made out of andesitic (sticky) lava.

In that paper linked above, they say that San Isabel mainly has effusive eruptions; in other words, I guess, it’s more a lava volcano than a blaster, although pyroclastic flows from dome collapses, etc., they say, are possible.

The lava just doesn’t get too far from the vent, so the volcano’s shape isn’t a nice smooth curve like that on Hawaiian shield volcanoes.

What does a lumpy shield volcano look like?

It’s a little hard to find out. Only mountain climbers, trekkers, and glaciologists seem to be posting videos of Santa Isabel, mostly in Spanish.

Here is one from the scientists, whose concern is ice loss up there, but it starts out with very nice drone views of dozing Santa Isabel.

And here is what you can see on Santa Isabel’s páramo during a trek (you will hear French and English and will read Spanish subtitles):

The plume rises above nearby Nevado del Ruiz.

And finally, climbing. There aren’t lots of long shots of hikers, rocks, and snowy heights in this video.

We’re just going to watch a young couple — I have no idea who they are or what they’re saying — who are enjoying life wherever they are (and that place is sometimes Nevado de Santa Isabel).

There is a nice surprise at the end. (With all the mountains, it reminds me of Chesterton’s defense of vows.)

Watching this makes me feel like I’m sitting in the warm June sun in a lovely park. ¡Gracias!

Featured image: Montoya Conde via Wikimedia, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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