Lopevi is a big stratovolcano, reaching 1400 m elevation and the highest mountain in central Vanuatu. The local name for Lopevi Island is Mulveah ('Mool-vay-ah').
Lopevi is one of the most active volcanoes in Vanuatu. There have been explosions, ash plumes, pyroclastic flows and lava flows post-2000. The island was evacuated following major eruptions in the 1960s. A few people have recently resettled.
Lopevi can be visited by speedboat from Paama (closest) or Epi (further away) islands. The best plan is to stay overnight, camping on the beach. You will need to bring water, food and camping gear. There is a 1500 Vatu kastom fee for tourists. Exchange
Climbing Lopevi is only for fit and sure-footed people. The upper slopes are steep and there is little traction on the gravel and sand surface. Very few people have climbed Lopevi and most guides do not know the best routes. Women are not allowed to climb the volcano (confirmation required).
Climbing to the crater at 1200 m takes about 4 to 5 hours. Your guides will have to dig footholes on the steepest slopes. Ask them to cut walking/digging sticks in the bush on the lower slopes.
Descending from Lopevi takes only 2 to 3 hours. Be prepared to slide and maybe fall down. Long trousers and hand gloves are recommended. Cheap, disposable cotton gardening gloves are sufficient.
updated: Feb 2015 by Stephen.