Tuesday, April 7, 2015


VOLCANO: MERAPI,Yogyakarta - Central Java,Indonesia
PREVIOUS ROUTES: Selo,Deles,Kinahredjo,and Babadan.
RECENTLY GENERAL ROUTE: Selo (Samiran & Plalangan Lencoh)
TREKKING BASECAMP SELO: 1550 m-1680 m-1750 m.

Merapi is Indonesian most active volcano at Java Island, administratively located in two provinces of Indonesia: Yogyakarta special region and Central Java.Prior to eruption 2010, the summit route is accessible by hiking-trekking-climbing from any directions: Kinaredjo at southern flank,Deles at Eastern flank,Selo at Northern Flank,and Babadan at Western flank.

Those starting point connected on certain points: Kinaredjo - Selo route connected on crater rim of Kawah Mati (Photo 2: Kawah Mati condition 1998 indicated by left side photo) or what Indonesian climbers called as Puncak Bayangan prio to higest summit Puncak Garuda,while other routes connected at Pasar Bubrah area then head for Puncak Bayangan prior to summit Puncak Garuda.On pasca eruption 2010, most recommended climbing route by local authority is via village of Selo on northern flank of volcano Merapi.

After eruption 2010,the real summit it self was a cute cone (Summit cone indicated by photo 1) on elevation 2,930 meters (GPS 2011) on right side of previous Puncak Bayangan.Today,hikers trekkers climbers are recommended only to finalized the climb until crater rim approx 2905 m for safety reason (steep slippery). The crater rim it self offers a sensational view down crater (Indicated by photo 5) approx 423 x 374 in size and approx 140 m in depth.

Below some shared relevant info of Merapi Trekking Route that may benefited for other : Those don't want to go with our team but need relevant info.The info is provided as it is...

Trekking starting points of Merapi northern flank: Samiran or Plalangan Lencoh or last base New Selo are accessible 2 - 2,5 drive from Yogyakarta, the second tourist destination in Indonesia, or approx 1 - 1,5 hour drive from closest town Magelang or the famous tourist attraction Borobudur.Some broken road heading for Selo has been reconstructed already, and getting better today (last survey February 2015)


Mei - October are normally clean weather at Merapi, considered best season for Merapi trek climb,but also normally dusty, so don't forget to bring masker.December - March are normally dominated by rainfall,heavy rainfall, strong wind to storm.

On this year (2015),trekking climbing route of Merapi was closed for hikers climber by officer Merapi National Park from January 16, 2015 to March 16,2015,indicating trekking - climbing at Merapi is not allowed to be done whole season. Therefore Regarding update trekking climbing policy at Merapi,please contact the relevant authority (Merapi National Park).

As most active volcano in Indonesia, alert level of Merapi may change any time due to increase of it's magmatic activity.Merapi is intensively monitored and it's activities are evaluated weekly by relevant authorized officer,relevant contact to know updated alert level of Merapi prior to go climbing is officer of BPPTKG.

There are at laest 3 regular even at Merapi:New year,17 August,and 1 Muharam.During theses season, there always many Indonesian climbing Merapi, approx 700 person.Due to too crowded to climb to summit zone, the climb is normally restricted until Pasar Bubrah for safety reason of climbers.


Permit is required for hiking trekking climbing Merapi volcano via northern flank,obtainable at two places at Selo:Office Resort of Merapi National Park or at trekking basecamp Barameru.Permit included registration,and entrance ticket plus local insurance.

Recently,on January 2015 (as noted at tickets),entrance group ticket fee for non Indonesia nationality was IDR 150.000,-plus IDR 5000,-for local insurance fee ( Based on Entrance Ticket per 6 Jan 2015). The ticket is valid per person per day entrance.Entrance ticket fee may increased on long weekend, check to relevant authority for more appropriate validity updated.Report to authorized officer should be done either on pra of pasca trekking.

According to Prosedur Pendakian Gunung Merapi ( Trekking Prosedure at Merapi), the trek - climb should be done by minimum 3 person per group.If you group less than 3 person,you then should join another group or hire service of guide.The climb is restricted in to maximum 2 days/1 nights,and hiring guide is mandatory for foreign hikers trekkers climbers.

Hikers climbers aged less than 17 year should bring permit letter from his/her parent plus copy page of valid identity card of his/her parent.Make summit zone should be done prior to 9 am, since white fog often cover the descending path from Summit zone to Pasar Bubrah area over 9 am.Camping site only at Pos II and Pasar Bubra.Rubish should be brought down.Do hike trek climb on available track/route or do not make new track/route.


New full color Merapi Trekking Map is available in topography format by scale 1:15.000 issued by Merapi national park.While another older topography map is wide published and accessible on line.


Samiran approx +- 1550 m
Plalagan Lencoh +- 1680 m
New Selo +- 1750 m
Entrance Gate & Shelter I +- 1985 m
Joining point main track - alternative +- 2115 m
Selter II of Pos I +-2,150m
Pos II +-2430 m
Memorium Pasar Bubrah +-2680 m
crater rim +-2905 m
Summit Cone +-2930 m


Although setting tent for overnight camp at Pasar Bubrah is allowed but we used to have camp on trip 2d/1n around Pos II (Ref to pasca eruption 2010 route survey) for overnight camp since it considered safer recently.Indonesian mostly do overnight rest for midnight trekking at trekking Basecamp sub village Lencoh around 1680 m or lower "new arrival Basecamp" at village Samiran around 1550 m.Some Homestay are widely available.


The real starting point for climbing is from the large sign "New Selo", a view point mostly visited by domestic visitors to enjoy terrific views of Volcano Merbabu across the highland pass as well as over Selo and the surrounding fertile local farming area.This area is accessible either by transport or by walking either from national park resort office of Merapi locating at village Samiran or from higher sub village Lencoh, a village used to be functioned as trekking basecamp by Indonesian Nationality.On this year 2015,a part of initial track New Selo - Entrant Gate was reconstructed in to new one,while another part is still on original path as previously was. The path can be very dusty during the dry season,and slippery on wet season, but still offers  grip on the ascent.


For the first several minutes after NEW SELO the track follows through large local farming ecosystem with a steep drop to your left.As you arrive at entrance gate,shelter I is seen on right side of the gate while in front you is mountain forest of Merapi. Higher from entrance gate is Joining point main track - alternative track approx on elevation 2115 m (Measured by altimeter): the narrow and more vegetated straight one is alternative track going to Pos I, while wider track up hill surrounded by woods is the main track going to Pos I too.The main track is rather steeper, some time demand you to use hand more often to facilitate moving upward effectively.

The area of Pos I provides shelter II,a narrow path beside the shelter leads to behind of a large boulder offering protection from the often night strong wind blow.in the morning,if you's lucky you see eagle flying or local small monkey hanging around tree around this area.

Next...the path mostly dominated rock,some of them are loose rock through up hill of sub alpin ecosystem. On the way up, there is alternative path on right side that's typically down the valley the gradually up going to Pos II, but most climbers prefer to go trough the main track since it more clear to follow up to Pos II.Pos II is indicated by boulder on left side.


Further from pos II is last vegetated up hill ridge where the real of volcanic track and view of Watu Gadja is well visible.The path on this etape is dominated by volcanic material: gravel,some sand,and rock.Rather flat at beginning before ascending steeply to memorial monument.On windy situation, we used to follow the right steep track heading for Watu Gadja then follow flat path to memorial monument.From this point, view of volcanoes Sumbing Sindoro is visible on right side,while on left side is a minor shaped knoll (Eastern flank route down the volcano going to Deles).

Below memorial monument is popular Pasar Bubra, actually the old crater of Merapi.This area is also joining point of wind blowing from different directions.There are some boulder for protection from the wind.From this point, real summit cone of volcano Merapi is well visible (Indication by photo 3).In past... prior to eruption 2010, we used to camp here but today we considered setting up tent at Pasar Bubra is not a good idea since avalanche can reach this area as well as "local lahar flood" specially on rainy season,dust rain also reach this area when non magmatic/minor/Pheriatic eruption occurred.


From Pasar Bubrah to crater rim or summit cone of Merapi is the crux of track,mostly sandy section,some solid rock,loose rock making the ground unstable and need to watch up to avoid rocks sent down by the person in front of you.This is the most 45 minutes tiring section of the track where the shoes may also fill up with volcanic sand even small stone if you forget to wear your gaiters, but still is a not normal thing to give up to finalize the track when you'r on this point already.

As you get higher,the view becomes more splendid.Below is Pasar Bubrah landscape,in front is volcano Merbabu towering above cloud.Before arriving to crater rim,pass through warmer volcanic ground where several vents piping steam is blowing out.From this area, the crater rim is already over you,and it take normally 15 minutes to get there.From the crater rim, sensational view of the new crater is clearly visible, but smell of sulphur can be overwhelming here.When sulphure was highly accumulated,there always be nothing to see but white smoke around the crater covering the base level of the crater itself (Indicated by photo 6).

To get more view, most climbers go to further left side of the crater rim where some spaces are available, while on right side is the cone of real summit of Merapi.There is no need to stay long on this point,extra care absolutely needed,and always be aware of volcanic activity is essential.


To go down,should follow the same track at beginning then rather to right side,closer to the right wall down to sandy section until Pasar Bubrah.We have tried the left side one, going further down between solid rock and unstable sandy section heading to the end of sandy track (when on ascent).The track is shorter but more volcanic material pushed down due to steeper ground and more extra concentration is required to not passed away the initial sandy track (end sandy track on way ascending) on left side heading to Pasar Bubrah.


Some accidents experienced by Indonesians,as well as non Indonesia Nationality climbing Merapi,caused by either subjective or objective dangers:Less trekking logistical support,over fatigue, Hypothermia,got lost the hiking track,slide- falldown and squeezed by rock due to avalanche, hit by avalanche volcanic material included rock.Period of several accidents: April 2012,January 2014,March 2014,August 2015.We also recorded new comer climbing midnight experienced AMS around 2500 m (the climb stooped and survivor escorted down).Previous widely published and well known accident experienced by non Indonesia Nationality climbing via Babadan was recorded on July 2001.


In case of emergency, and self rescue could not overcome the emergency situation, then contact available SAR (rescue team) for group rescue is the only available last option.Office SAR of Central Java - Yogyakarta is available at Semarang,while it's closer Pos SAR available at Yogyakarta and Surakarta/Solo.Relevant other SAR team is available at Boyolali, while closest local Sar Potention is available  at Lencoh,a volunteer SAR. So far...at Merapi,rescue via northern flank route is normally sooner done by volunteer of SAR Potention of Basecamp Barameru ( 15.876.0 ),while  SAR Boyolali at ( 14.650.0 ).Hospital available at closest town Boyolali and Magelang.

Detailed Google Hybrid Map of Mount Merapi
Detailed Terrain Map of Mount Merapi

"Photo note composition to follow: up - down"
Photos Contributor: By Olenk Ambo Upe
Stuff Contributor: By Olenk Ambo Upe
Map : "Detailed Google Map Of Mountain Merapi