Gunung Slamet, Central Java, Indonesia

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Mt Slamet is the highest mountain in Central Java, and the second highest in Java after Semeru. Mt Slamet is type of strato mountain with an active wide crater. The last eruption of this mountain was in July 1988 caused flame from the crater and 300 m height of ejecting lava. Mt Slamet is located at the border if Prubalingga, Banjarnegara, Banyumas and Brebes.
A very big fire swallowed forest of Mt Slamet in 1995 caused the loss of flora and fauna on the mountain, including the very rare species of edelweiss. Edelweiss on Mt Slamet is yellowy white and the stalks resembles long dry leaf, different than one in Mt Gede Pangrango with its white flower and hairy stalk.

 

Mt Slamet’s forest are mostly natural forest, natural production forest and production forest under the authority of Indonesia Forestry Service (Perhutani) of Pekalongan Barat and Banyumas Timur. Mt Slamet climbing is considered as dangerous, for the lush forest and rarely climbed, from 1975 to 1994 only 17 climbers climbed this mountain. The temperatur on the top can reach 0 degree, that preparing physical condition, logistics, and equipments are imperative prior the climbing.

There are 3 routes to climb Mt Slamet : from north via Gambuhan-Jurangmangu, from east via Bobotsari-Bambangan and from south via Baturaden-Gunung Malang. The closest and the most secure route is via Bambangan  and Jurangmangu, while via Baturaden is overgrown with grasses and very steep.

Bambangan route:

Bambangan is the last village on Mt Slamet, located 1470 m asl. In the village, the water supply should be prepared especially in dry season. This village is inhabited by approximately 900 dwellers, and their occupations are farmers of vegetables.

At the border of Bambangan village, there is a building called Pondok Pemuda, a building owned by the local govt erected for climbers. After report the climbing activity to the local official then proceed the trip by passing the forest. There is a shelter located in the forest. 0.5 km from there, located Pondok Gembirung (2.250 m), a natural forest that is overgrown with Gembirung trees. 0.5 km from this area, there is a next place called Pondok Walang (2500 m), and then Pondok Cemara with its Pine trees.

1.5 km from Pondok Cemara, then arrive at Pondok Samanrantu (2900 m) where located a humble hut. It takes 4 to 5 hours to get to Samanrantu from Bambangan and then 2 hours more to get to the summit. 0.3 KM from Samanrantu, there is a spring located in Samyang Ramgkah, proceed to Samyang Jampang (2950 m) and Samyang Katebon (3000 m). Samyang Jampang is a place where rare species  of Edelweiss grow, sunrise can be watched from this spot. Next region is called as Plawangan (3250 m), a border of forest and rocky area. From here to the summit will only take 1 hour, after passing rock of lahar, sharp stones, where climbers should watch their step carefully.

Arriving at the summit, there overlay extensive amazing lahar field , plus stunning view of the active crater called Segoro Warian and Segoro Wedi. From the top, Sindoro, Sumbing, Ciremai are visible depict a breathtaking panorama. Mt Slamet is equipped with quake monitor that its data transmitted by a 18 meters radio transmitter tower.

Blambangan route takes appoximately 8 hours ascending and 4 hours descending. After climbing, Baturaden can be an option to relax where nice scenery , hot water can be enjoyed.

Gambuhan Route

The route is less popular than bambangan, but this route is used by the volcanology officer to monitor Mt Slamet crater. 700 meters from Gambuhan village (1000 M) there is a volcanology office where climbers should report prior their trip. Car can only reach the volcanology office.

The trek starts at Karang Sari village (1050 m), then pass pine forest to Pondok Buncis that takes 0.5 hr, where there climbers can load water supply and rest. From Pondok Buncis, span more track with pines and natural forest passsing Pondok Gribig (1750 m) that takes 1 hour trek. 1.5 hrs from there, arrive at Pondok Pakis (2200 m), after steeper track, then reaching Penatus (2350m) that takes 1 hour. 1.5 hours from Penatus, located Pondok Gua (3000 m). 1 hour from Pondok Gua, there is a place called Samyang Wenang (3200m), by passing bushes and Javan Edelweiss. From here there will be steep track with sands and stones, and then 1.5 hours later, arrive at the crater rim (3400 m). 0.5 hours from there is the summit. It takes 7-8 hours total for this route and 4-5 to descend.

Note : water is hard to find especially during dry season.

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