Christmas Day Mystery Volcano Photo

Here is your Christmas Day MVP … points for identifying both of the volcanoes in the photo and why is this a good Christmas Day shot.

Current MVP Standings:
The Bobs – 3
Don Crain – 2
gijs – 2
Boris Behncke – 2
volcanista – 1
Lockwood – 1
Elizabeth – 1
Ralph – 1
Anne – 1
Cam – 1
gg – 1
Damon Hynes – 1
Marco – 1
Doug C. – 1

Good luck!



  1. #1 Don Crain
    December 25, 2009

    cIxtacihuatl in the foreground and Popocatepetl in the background.

  2. #2 Don Crain
    December 25, 2009

    Lets try this again:

    Ixtaccihuatl in the foreground and Popocatepetl in the background.

  3. #3 VolcanoMan
    December 25, 2009

    Lonquimay in the foreground, Tolhuaca in the background…Lonquimay erupted 20 years ago on Christmas…

    I dunno, I figure it’s a pretty good guess :p

  4. #4 Boris Behncke
    December 25, 2009

    No doubt Don is right … the profile of Popocat├ępetl in the background is typical, you’ll find it dozens of times if you type “Ixtaccihuatl Popocatepetl” as Google image search terms …

    Lonquimay actually erupted 21 years ago (25 December 1988), but of course much of the eruption was in 1989, continuing even into 1990. Me being “picky” again …

    and, finally Merry Christmas to everybody!

  5. #5 Diane
    December 25, 2009

    Good Christmas shot? SNOW! And maybe Santa shot it?! LOL A beautiful picture. I think I can see the one in the distance as Popo. So who was up there to take it?

  6. #6 Mount Baker Man
    December 25, 2009

    Yep, gotta be the summit of Ixta, with Popo in the back.
    Looks like when I was there back in the 80s, except Popo was not erupting then. But, why is it appropriate for Christmas?
    This is a popular time for gringos to go south and join many Mexicans on the mountains…is that it?

  7. #7 Chance Metz
    December 25, 2009

    that sure is a different shoot of Popo if that is the case,I thought the volcano next to it was dormat.

  8. #8 Lynn David
    December 26, 2009

    The only possible connection with Christmas I can think of is that Ixtaccihuatl is called the “White Lady” which might be construed as Mary. But I always thought it was discriptive of some Native American woman from the local legends.

  9. #9 Don Crain
    December 26, 2009

    As for the Christmas thing… it must be that the two volcanoes in the picture are the southernmost snowy peaks in North America, which gives Santa and the reindeer a cool spot to rest because they won’t see another snowy peak on their way south until the get to Colombia. ­čÖé Yeah… that’s gotta be it!

  10. #10 mike don
    December 26, 2009

    I defer to the experts on identification..but if a Christmas connection was a clue, I’d have said Chile’s Lonquimay would have been a good bet, its last eruption started on December 25 1988…which would have made the eroded peak in the foreground Tolhuaca (sp?)

  11. #11 Diane
    December 26, 2009

    “Then one foggy Christmas day”

  12. #12 Diane
    December 26, 2009

    Make that “Christmas Eve”

  13. #13 Brisbane Jack
    December 27, 2009

    Well, the Christmas clue makes little or no sense unless it’s the Navidad crater on the side of Lonquimay (so the cone in background would be Lonquimay itself, or just possibly Llaima) – but it must have been taken after a snowstorm because there ain’t that much snow in most pics of Navidad.

  14. #14 VolcanoMan
    December 27, 2009

    I am assuming that the lack of a response from Erik means that nobody’s right yet…so I will guess again:

    Sabancaya (foreground)
    Nevado Ampato (background)

    And it’s Christmassy because Sabancaya awoke from dormancy in December of 1986. It’s a stretch, a lot less Christmassy than the Lonquimay eruption, but it’s the best I’ve got.

  15. #15 George
    December 27, 2009

    McLoughlin and Shasta?

  16. #16 Guillermo
    December 27, 2009

    Idon’t know the answer, but sure is not Lonquimay and Tolhuaca. The first is a very conical volcano, and it don┬┤t look at this (and the most important, I’m from Chile and a I know the shapes of the volcanoes [if it is I have to meditate 5 years in the Himalaya]).

    I will guess about why is relationated to Christmas: Erik (or another person) took the photo on Christmas and pat the day there.

  17. #17 mike don
    December 28, 2009

    The rugged surface of the foreground peak might be the top of a dome, which would offer several possible ‘pairs’, eg St Helens (photographed from the caldera rim) and Hood or Rainier, but I can’t think of a Christmas connection

  18. #18 Cam
    December 28, 2009

    I’m going to guess that this shot is from the rim of Redoubt above the lava dome, looking towards Iliamna. Can’t figure out what the Christmas angle might be, though.

  19. #19 Diane
    December 28, 2009

    I am going to take a wild guess…a real loooong shot.

    Lassen and Shasta?

  20. #20 Erik Klemetti
    December 28, 2009

    I’ve posted the answers and scoring this this MVP over on my post-Xmas update:

  21. #21 osmanl─▒ iksiri
    December 29, 2009

    This is a popular time for gringos to go south and join many Mexicans on the mountains…is that it?

  22. #22 Tony Eschen
    December 1, 2010

    wouldn’t that be righteous?

  23. #23 Dong Latsha
    December 11, 2010

    Great article. I am going to require some time to entertain this job=D

  24. #24 Shantel Holmes
    December 14, 2010

    Fantastic post. I am going to want a decent amount of time to ponder this points.

  25. #25 Timothy Alsdon
    December 16, 2010

    Ausf├╝hrlich Pfosten k├╝mmern Sie um wenn i in Italienisch f├╝r unser Bloge Teilnehmer? Wenn das annehmbar ist was Best├Ątigung fordern Sie?

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