Monday, July 30, 2007

Battling Mount Semeru

The highlight of the entire Subaraya Adventure is probably Mount Semeru, the highest volcanic mountain in Java Island. It takes 6 hours of trekking from the nearest mountain village to reach the base camp, Kalimati. The base camp is dry and windy, and we stay in camps.

Mount Semeru's Wrath

After taking our much needed rest around 5 PM, we keep ourselves cozy and away from the sandy wind inside the camp, covered by warm clothing and sleeping bag. The sound of the strong wind seems quite merciless, but it isn’t that bad out there.

Dinner is ready around 8 PM, where we leave our warm camp and venture into the colder ness to have our rice with some vegetable soup. They offer their usual local Jasmine Tea as well. Surprisingly to find out that the porters doesn’t have camps, where they sleep in the open with their “Sarong”, around the warm fire. Luckily it doesn’t rain; else it would be quite disastrous for them. Good2 pass some vodka around, and it really helps to keep us warm for a while.


We try to get some sleep again after dinner, and I could probably find an hour of it. It reminds me of Mount Kinabalu, but this time I am better prepared with more warm clothing. We wake up around 1 AM for our tea and ready to move up. It’s a pretty that no food is prepared for us, and I didn’t prepare any food supply of my own. About 8 of us decide not to climb the mountain for various reasons, as the environment looks pretty hostile and this might not be an easy climb.

Mount Semeru came as a surprise to me, as I never quite though it would be much harder than Mount Kinabalu due to the sand and hostile environment. I was not quite prepared for it both physically and mentally. I didn’t have the desired level of fitness (perhaps I never had), and one of my biggest mistake is not enough food supply (totally none). It takes an hour plus to track through the jungle (that’s the easy part), until we reach the sandy area. We are no longer protected by the trees, thus it’s cold and extremely windy. It could see the stars in the sky clearly, and it is pitch dark all around me, and I hope my head lamp does not run out of battery (I didn’t change it for the past few trips). It’s much more difficult to walk on sand than rock (I though Mount Semeru would be rock) as the sands will sank, and the wind blows with the sand. I didn’t bring along any goggles or shades, thus I have to struggle to keep my eye open. Luckily I have the ski mask, which comes in handy for the second time.

It's dark out there, and lonely

I walk slowly at my own pace, as the slope is quite steep. I started to see a lot of lights in front and above of me, as people stop and rest. There are even more lights behind me, as people try to climb up. Suddenly a more Veteran climber in front of me and Mei Ru told us he is going to give up, as it’s dangerous and he thinks the journey still have a long way to go. He is right at one thing: there is still a long way to go. I know it is difficult, and I shall be slow and beaten up at the end. I also know somehow or rather, I can make it and it’s possible. It might be very difficult, and I might be very slow and feel like wanted to give up a thousand times, but I know, I can make it. It would be a pity for me to travel a few thousand miles and give up here, where I know I could make it. I know that it’s unlikely that I will visit Mount Semeru again, so it’s now or never.

More ashes, continuous during the climb

I don’t feel like wanting to give up. I know that my stamina and determination sucks, but I also know it is possible for me to make on to the top. I believe I can make it, thus I decide to go on; though I know it would be difficult and torturing myself. It’s just not worth it to give up.

What's Next?

Photo Links: Mei Ru's Multiply, Michelle's Multiply

1 comment:

meiru said...

Yes, never give up and we did it!! :)