Merapi 2911 m above sea lavel, located between two provinces of Indonesia : Special region of Yogyakarta and central Java is ones of the world's most active volcanoes. This is a strato volcano with first recorded eruption was on year 1006. After newest huge eruption of year 2010, some parts of hiking route of Selo at Northern flank of the volcano had been changed due to the eruption impact, and popular summit GARUDA was no longer existed. Today summit is a narrow highest point of Merapi's crater rim.
The route could be completed 7 hours of actual ascent - descent. The hike can be began from Hiking Basecamp or parking area of NEW SELO through path of local farmland, grass and then tropical mountain forest ecosystem up border of the forest and sub alpine vegetation. At the border there some flat sites for taking break.
The route dramatically different as proceeding the hike through sub alpine ecosystem, here...the trail is mostly dominated by unstable surface and some solid boulders. Upon reaching elevation approx 2400 m, the ridge more exposed and the real rocky cone of Merapi already visible.Next...the trail is volcanic ridge which is dominated by volcanic gravel, volcanic rock and one boulder, locally called Watu Gadja.
Upon reaching memorial plateau elevation approx 2600 m, wide saddle of Pasar Bubrah is already visible below, and take only 1 hour to make the summit. Route from the saddle up summit zone is the crux, it's dominated mostly by rock,volcanic sand, then fumarole field.
Hike by walking pole through sandy section is much easier, and wear safety helmet is safer. Bring masker is suggested as gas sulphure may accumulated highly. There is no need to stay long on crater rim, descend in the morning is essential before fog/cloud come up and disturb visibility distance.
SPECIAL NOTE 2013:
> On July 2013, Merapi spewing out volcanic ash / dust but the alert level still on normal active or level I, and the hike is only recommended / allowed till Pasar Bubrah, approx 1 km from central eruption. This volcano may spew out ash/dust without early warning or erupt anytime.
> Our hike 2013 done only until memoriam plateau (over/higher but before Pasar Bubrah).Break at border bushline - volcanic zone, and do plateau push as the sun began to light the ridge, stay few minute for photo and sightseeing on plateau then descend back to New Selo.
> As other active crater of volcanoes, gas sulfur is higher accumulated after rainfall due to evaporation effect. Properly equipped is essential.