Mt Merapi : The Mount of Fire, Jogja, Indonesia

Gunung Merapi National Park administratively located in 4 regions ; Magelang, Boyolali, Klaten and Sleman a regency of Yogyakarta. Mt Merapi
height is 2.911 and slope of 30º. Mt Merapi has been the source of water for areas in Jogja and the vicinity, and Merapi is the habitat of abundant vegetation and home of animals.

Gunung Merapi National Park has ±72 vegetation with Castanopsis argentia and Schima wallichii and Panda Tricolor Orchid that grow endemically. Merapi is the home of Javan Hawk, Spiolaris bido, The Stork-billed Kingfisher (Pelargopsis capensis), Crimson Sunbird (Aethopyga siparaja), The Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus), The Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus), The Red-breasted parakeet (Psittacula alexandri), The Bar-winged Prinia (Prinia familiaris), Javan Tiger (Panthere sp), deer, monkeys, pig, and many more.

Mt Merapi or Mt of Fire construction  at least inisiated 40.000 years ago with proto-merapi formation, according to a lava block found in Merapi area. the current morphology of the volcano is the result of thousand years of activity, with many years of edifice growth, explosive eruption, lava effusions, dome growtn and dome collapse.

This stratovolcano type of mountain has explode deruption for 68 times in 450 years with 3-8 years interval. Every year Merapi expels around 1.2 million m3 lava on its summit, that can collapse easily by the falling rain, or when there is a big rumble. The most massive explosion was in 1930 that took 1.300 lives.

Mt Merapi is popular among mountain climbers, not only because of its formidable eruptions record, it has also plenty of supernatural myths. Mt Merapi ejects lava from its crater, that local people believe that it ejects spirits. In clear weather, the lava can be seen ejected and falling down on the west part of Magelang Post, and sometimes from Kinahrejo and Kali Urang.

Merapi was constructed by 2 quartenary faults in the depth of 6 to 7 km , North-South Semarang and East-West Solo Fault. This fault forms a giant canal and its lava continue leaking and accumulating forming crater. And this phenomenon causing the changing of Mt Merapi height over time by the conformation of frozen lava. local people believe that Merapi is the north most axis, and Parangkusumo is the south most axis where Sultan Palace is the stable point located right in the mid of them.

Merapi eruptions are followed by the dangerous pyroclastic explosion that is known as Wedus Gembel or hot cloud by local people. Wedhus gembel is hot ash with 600 deg C and can flow to radius 7 to 15 km. Other dangerous part is poisonous and volcanic material washed down by rain. This material washed down by rain is called as lahar and it flows following river contour.

The route to the peak of Merapi, called as Garuda Peak, can be reached from Kinahrejo located 2 KM from Kaliurang, and climbing duration of 10 hrs. As this route is dangerous, this route is not reccomended anymore since 2001.Other route is via Selo, Boyolali, where you can reach to the top for 4 to 5 hours. This route is the safest for climbers.

Phisically, Merapi is slim like cone, and the track is 30 to 60 deg, sometimes climbers should crawl, or hold on to tree roots to get self balance. The track is dusty, with gravel from 1200 to 2000 m asl with vegetation of pines and bush. In the height of 2000 m asl, bigger size of rocks can be dangerous for climbers to step on as sometimes it will fall down right over other climbers. Plants are not overgrown much here because of it is a relatively new young slope.

On the height of 2300 m asl after Pasar Bubrah, climbers pass new magma rocks that are slightly sharp. And there is a trifle flat area that is known as market of spirits, reputedly noise in here is heard by climbers regarded as spirits making transaction in this invisible market. But logical explanation about this is because this place is the meeting point of two directions of wind that yield in sound of noise. This spot is also the very point where climbers are already exhausted and less in consciousness that make them hallucinate.

Other attractions near Mt Merapi :
-Tlogo Muncar dan Tlogo Putri
-Arboretum Kaliurang with indigenous vegetaions especially pines.
-Buki Turgo where visitors can see flora and fauna diversities, and Japanese Cave.
-Plawangan Hill which has nice scenery and Japanese Cave
-Boyong -Kali Urang River with Merapy pyroclastic eruption remain and the traditional mining of sand and rock at Boyong River.
-Labuhan Event