Sunday, December 30, 2012


Volcano Merapi and volcano Merbabu are totally different volcanoes, Merapi is young volcano characterized by more conical summit zone and mostly steeper summit trail.According to geo history of Merapi, today Merapi is New Merapi. While Merbabu is an old volcano characterized by many peaks due to erosion effect and mostly more flat summit trail but longer than Merapi.Most people forget...Merbabu is actually active volcano but different type of classification to Merapi.Merbabu is larger volcano than Merapi.

Both volcanoes still have crater, Merapi's crater is the most active crater and visible well from crater's rim while Merbabu's craters ( Candradimuka Crater ) is visible from trail ridge section  of Helipad (flat spot on ridge)-Kukusan (camp site on knoll)-Jembatan Setan (part of hardest stony trail section on ridge of Merbabu) and could be viewed closer by walking down for several minutes.While Merapi crater is only visible from it's crater rim,and so far...walk down to crater base is strongly not recommended due to safety issue.

Merbabu offers morning fantastic volcanic sweeping view, while Merapi offers very sensational view of it's very active crater. To climb them on wet season, weather / rain factor is most important aspect to be considered, besides magmatic activity of the volcanoes it's self.

The meeting warm of magma with water of rainfall cause evaporation where accumulation of volcanic steam - gas sulpure could be higher,even causes non magmatic eruption / minor eruption / pheriatic eruption.Therefore, rainfall factor is always be top consideration in deciding summit push at Merapi,havier rainfall the less chance to summit push.


So far( date 29 Dec 2012 ) magmatic acclivity of Merapi is still on normal active level and climb to crater rim is still normally considered safe on this level or no primary volcanic hazard should be worry about too much. Loose surface of trail that most people talking about is very normal on most young volcanoes in Indonesia...that the type of volcanic trail.

The high of gas pressure may get higher any time that could effect gas coming out around crater. Technically, the climb is non technical, we need only to walk on rugged straight terrain as well as sometimes do little scrambling to keep balance while moving upward on ascent or downward on descent. While Merbabu is recently active volcano B-type,you still get smell of gas sulphure on the way, as well as could see bubbling water inside the crater.So far...climbing Merbabu is considered very safe to do.

Bad weather provides potential of secondary volcanic hazard. Rain effects to local lahar flow, locally called "Banjir Lahar". Local rain on summit zone may effects local lahar flow that covers the summit trail path,so that the path get lost and you get more difficult to get way down. Rain fall intensity around crater also effect to accumulation of gas sulphure of the crater due to evaporation.

Fog disturbs visibility distance.When you'r on exposed area, thunder light may strike you, so that you should make way down to non exposed area for better protection. The summit zone of Merapi is actually rim's of crater at around 2905 m (previously called puncak Bayangan zone before huge VEI 4 sub-Plinian type of eruption 2010) which provides narrow space for large group, the right side is more conical and strongly suggested to not climb it without properly prepared and sufficient safety gear support as it steeper down edge and slippery, while the left side one is more flat edge of the crater rim and normally most climbed spot for view point.
It will be very bad idea to be on such summit on rainy even foggy days.Timing is the most important aspect of climbing Merapi, go up for summit push in the early morning (if no rain at the time), spend little time on summit zone for sight seeing or photo break, then go down as the rolling fog normally began to move up in the morning.On November 2012, we climbed Merapi again, and the rolling fog began to move up around summit zone in the morning at that time.

Merbabu, summit of Syarif and kenteng Songo are more safe to climb on wet season. The trail is clear to follow, some of them are soft soil sections while the other are steeper stony path and rocky ridge to traversing (not via Selo). So far Merbabu  has no or very low of secondary volcanic hazard potential to worry about.

On this Dec 2012, we climb Merbabu again via Wekas - Kedakan route. Did the ascent in early dark cool morning and make the way down on the same day.We experienced the moon light along the way below Pos II (Krego) - below Pos V (Kukusan).  The rolling fog began to move up right on 06:30 am, but no rain in the morning. We arrived back at basecamp approx 11:00 am, have lunch and drive back to Yogyakarta.We experienced the rainfal on the drive and upon arrival at Yogyakarta city.

* Never forget to bring your rain gears, rain jacket and wear your trekking shoes ( breathable Gor tex fabric / material is well suggested: full for rain jacket and inside part for the shoes). Bring tent is strongly suggested just in well as your first aid kit.

* If you go independently...bring sufficient logistic (food and water) to meet calory needs of your body for the day hike - climb. Besides mineral, isotonic and nutritious water are also important to meet your body nutrition needs.

* Don't forget to be well physically prepared, do required sport activity such walking or jogging as part of your preparation for better performa and enjoyment plus more experience on trail.See our new posted stuff of Trekking Grade and related Preparation Revel.


> So far...many foreign visitor of Yogyakarta as well as some friends contacting and asking about trekking Merapi and Merbabu during wet season.Therefore...this posting is specially dedicated for them. You get benefit from our experiences.
> Above info is very subjective since it based on trekking and leading experiences on above volcanoes.Our team member suggest you to find more info to other sufficient resources.
> Above info is right on time of posting or as indicated date, and the situation may change on field on other days.

> Trekking Priode: November and December 2012
> Photo captured by Oleng Ambo Upe, on volcano  Merbabu, route Wekas-Kedakan, exactly above "Jembatan Setan" etape.