Monday, August 10, 2009

Mt. Lawu


Trailhead
The closest thing I could find to a map
In the beginning

Jimmy and Melanie
Jimmy
Merapi steaming
Melanie pondering life
Sunset
At camp drinking tea
Star trails over Mt. Lawu
Melis and Me at the summit
Me at the summit

Mountain shadow and Melis
Melis and me at camp, behind us is where we slept
This hut/area was made out of bottles and cans

This weekend Melanie, Jimmy, Melis and I set out to climb Mt. Lawu (10,712ft). Mt. Lawu is a spiritual mountain for Indonesians, many go to meditate at the summit. We left Jogja around 8am on Saturday.  We took a taxi to the train station, train to the town of Solo, taxi to a bus station, bus to Tawamanggu, then a local taxi/bus to the trailhead. In all it took us about 4 hours to get there. Once at the trailhead we ate some nasi goreng and noodles at a local eatery. 

With Jimmy leading the way, we started hiking around 1.  The climb was spread out into 5 check points, with the 5th being the summit. This helped keep our pace and provided a good resting spot.  The trail was well worn and easy to follow, it was not as steep as Merapi, however it was longer.  We reached cloud level as the sun was beginning to set.  This made for spectacular views, we even saw Merapi poking through the clouds.  Five and a half hours later with our head lamps on, we reached our camp which is about 600 feet from the summit. 

Camp is a little hut with a metal sheeted roof.  A few locals live up here and provide a place to stay for climbers.  We had tea and nasi goring for dinner and enjoyed a nice fire.  Around 8 we all huddled on the floor to get some sleep.  It was EXTREMELY cold at night and we had no sleeping bags or pads.  We didn’t even have adequate clothing.  Locals said it was around 32 degrees out at night.  Fortunately, a local gave us a tarp to put over us.  It was so cold that all four us bundled up to share each other’s body heat.  Even our heads were under the tarp.  After tossing and turning until 5am we got up and hiked the 15 minute climb to the summit to watch the sunrise.  It was beautiful!  The mountain was creating a pyramid shadow. 

We hiked back down to camp where we ate eggs and noodles.  Around 8 we packed up and hiked down.  We made it back down in about 4 hours.  From there we ate at a local eatery and started our journey home.

Time to give props:

Jimmy – Thanks so much for taking us on this trip.  Jimmy guided us through Indo’s public transportation and on the hike! Oh, and he hiked it in sandals!

Melis- Way to go babes!  Hiking her first 10,000 peak and doing it in style (spandex pants and argyle socks).  The looks locals were giving her were priceless.

Melanie- Continuing to add to her adventure resume of Everest base camp and Machu Picchu.

 

Stats:

Elevation at trailhead: 6,400 feet

Summit: 10,712 feet

Time to summit:  5 hours and 45 minutes

Return time: 4 hours

**Sorry there have been no videos lately.  My point and shoot camera died:-(

5 comments:

CalBadger said...

Awesome pictures, Todd...more, More, MORE!

Holly said...

Holy Cow! 32 degrees!?!? Why didn't someone tell you guys? Kudos to Melissa making the trip in style, if not in comfort. She's a real trooper. The photos are stunning. What a varied country Indonesia is. Looking forward to more posts!

Holly said...

PS - Holly likes your Obama haircut!

Erik said...

Melissa is a 10k? Way to go! Is there a reciprocity trip in your future?

Great photos... very well done. Looks like a couple qualify for "Indonesia @ Night"; I'd recommend updating that as well.

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