19th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
La Soufriere Before 2020 Eruption

Walking up the steep mountain path with a sprained ankle and a bruised ego, I slowly ascended the path to the caldera of La Soufriere. It was September of 2019 and my classmates and I had just started medical school on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. A group of us were buzzing with excitement at hiking the volcano. I had been checking seismic activity reports for days with no new reports. As we trekked through meter high plants to the top of the caldera, I was engrossed by the clouds and blue sky that were beginning to emerge on the horizon. Stopping to give my poor ankle a break, I was able to see the clouds lift and expose the caldera below.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 09.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2021
Photo Location: Georgetown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Copyright: © Catie Eschen