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Old 10-11-2015, 05:42 PM   #1
Chiliana Jones
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The Expedition to Mount Semeru, Indonesia

Hey gang!

Here's a short story from another trip i did to Indonesia (i believe this is my 4th time there) that i did this summer. Stayed there for almost 3 weeks (July 17th to august 5th). Met my old friend Øystein and his family and his newborn child in Jakarta and then i went through some other shenanigans around the island of Java.

But those are some other stories wich i won't bring up now. The story i will bring up is something me and my friend Øystein had been talking about doing for about a year, and that was climbing the active volcano SEMERU, wich also is the highest point on the island of Java.

I'll keep the story short but with photos.

Well here goes.


After been around Java, me and Øystein headed off to Surabaya to meet up with the two other guys who were going to join us on this little adventure. From there we had hired a driver (who actually came with a minibus. A minibus for 4 persons? Sweet!) who took us to Bromo where we were going to meet up with our guide who will drive us to a small village where we were going to spend the first night.

Bromo:


In the village. We stayed at a small guesthouse. Locals were hanging around and made a fire right there on the livingroom floor to keep warm:


Early the next morning we left the village by foot and we started trekking through the jungle:


It was really hot, dry and dusty:


After some hours we came to a lake where we had lunch (many locals who are doing the Mount Semeru trip usually camp by the lake for one night but we continued right after we had filled up on fuel):


On this photo you can see a forest. We had to go through there..and oh my that was no kittenplay. It was only uphill and at the same time you had the burning sun over you. Hiding behing a tree for some shadow was something we did a few times:


We made it. Mount Semeru right behind me. We are close to the camp where we will eat, rest and get some sleep before we start climbing the mountain at midnight. (we start at midnight so that we can see the sunrise from the top of Semeru. It takes about 3 hours to get there):


MIDNIGHT. We are ready for the hard part: The climbing.
First we have to go through the forest. Luckily a guide will join us. There are many people who have died at Semeru. Some have been hit by falling rocks from the volcano and others have been lost in the woods and have never been found again. There is no water around these parts so if you get lost...well..you might be screwed:


Walking through the tight forest (i started to understand why it is easy to get lost there. It's like a creepy maze). It might look like it's snowing in the photo but it is actually ash from the volcano:


Suddenly, in the dark, through all the dust and ash, as i turned i noticed something on the ground (thanks to my head-flashlight on my hat). It was a memory plaque for someone who got lost there:


Hours after we got out from the forest and after that dreadful climbing through loose stones, sand and dust (every step you took you'd slide half a step back, or even more!) we finally reached the top....but we were too EARLY. It was still about an hour and a half until the sun would show and it was REALLY cold so we had to find shelter from the strong wind:


And finally, after that cold hour and a half we went up:


There were a few eruptions while we were there:


And then there's the one photo: MISSION COMPLETE



Hope you like this little photo story. Probably not as detailed as my trip to the Indy-locations in Sri Lanka but i don't think this one really needs that much details.

:TOH:


CJ
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:50 PM   #2
doppelganger
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That sunrise pic is awesome. Maybe one day I'll have an adventure. Although tesco on a sunday morning fighting for a pre cooked chicken is no picnic either.

Looked like great fun... but tiring.
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Old 10-12-2015, 02:44 PM   #3
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That's truly awesome. It's the life we were meant for, gentlemen...
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiliana Jones
There were a few eruptions while we were there:
Great post, Chilliana! I've hiked to the top of Stromboli (at night) and witnessed some nice "eruptions", myself, but it was with a guide leading us. Your adventure was much more dangerous! Head lamps are great but...going up unguided was a very brave thing to do! Hats off!

Big "volcano fan" here. Any photos looking down into the crater?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drones33
It's the life we were meant for, gentlemen...
Unfortunately, very few Ravenheads (past & present) seem to travel beyond their own backyards. The farthest many may go is to Disneyland/World.
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:50 PM   #5
Chiliana Jones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoo
Great post, Chilliana! I've hiked to the top of Stromboli (at night) and witnessed some nice "eruptions", myself, but it was with a guide leading us. Your adventure was much more dangerous! Head lamps are great but...going up unguided was a very brave thing to do! Hats off!

Big "volcano fan" here. Any photos looking down into the crater?

Hey Stoo.
Oh we had a guide with us. We needed an experienced guide to take us through the forest. Many people have gotten lost in the forest and never been found again so we took no chances there.
And i did play it safe when it came to the crater as well. The plan was that my friend Øystein would try to use his flying drone over the crater but he became i'll and stayd at the camp while we others went up the mountain (he'd climbed it before so it's not like he missed out, and it was even too windy at the top to fly a drone there anyway).
If you get injured or something over there, don't expect a superfast rescue mission with helicopter. There is no phone-connection so the only way to be rescued is if the guide runs all the way back to the village to get help and then run back again with help and a stretcher.

Just about a week after my little hike two people lost their life at the mountain. One of them never came out of the forest.

I've become an volcano fan myself recently. First time i experienced an active one was in september 2012, and that volcano was Anak Krakatao.

My friend Øystein lives in Indonesia and he travels around photographing volcanoes. You should vissit his site here:

http://www.oysteinlundandersen.com/ (I was with him during july/august, the volcanoes Raung, Bromo and Semeru)


Regards

CJ
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:13 AM   #6
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Chilliana,

Funny about the summit being too windy for a drone! I bought one for my 15-year-old niece and, this August, we went to the top of Etna (my 2nd time up to that volcano). She wanted to bring the drone but I kept telling her how INSANE the winds were up there. Nevertheless, we brought it along and only after arriving at the top did she realize the truth. Forget it! We almost got blown off the lip of the crater!

Apparently, Semeru is a bit higher than Etna, by about 300 metres, so I can imagine how cold you were during the night.

I like the picture of you in a hat, sitting around with the locals and the one by the lake is even better. You're a true adventurer, Chilliana. Checked out your friend's web page and his photos are wonderful. Bromo looks like a cool site and I'm VERY JEALOUS that you two have been to KRAKATOA! In case you don't know about it, there is an amazing book, "Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded" by a guy named, Simon Winchester. Well worth reading!

As for people getting lost in Semeru's forest, that's unfortunate but I guess they didn't bring a compass with them?
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Old 10-15-2015, 02:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Stoo
Unfortunately, very few Ravenheads (past & present) seem to travel beyond their own backyards. The farthest many may go is to Disneyland/World.

Traveling is stupid. At least at Disney World everybody has the decency to speak English and I can get a corn dog while visiting the only worthwhile parts of those dirty foreign countries.



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