The gas flames of the volcano Slamet

  Java, from the 24th of May to the 6th of June 2006

by Martin Rietze


in deustch


The next tour took us to the 3418m high and as active registered volcano Slamet. A message some days ago noted the uprising of an ash cloud. Usually the Slamet is erupting one time per year, but only for a few days.


After organizing some native Guides the ascent traverses the beautiful mountain jungle up to the vegetation border on 3200m. Before the afternoon thunderstorms we could set up the tents.


After the last thunderstorm ended over the mountain summits Chris and me decided a fast summit mounting before sunset. The Slamet does have a very extensive summit plateau and on the NW side the active crater is placed. Here, except steam and fog nothing could be seen. Anyway, I waited alone in the wind and cold weather for the night, accompanied by lightnings of the surrounding thunderstorms. In this strange dark mood with the fantastic light spectacles from the towering thunderstorms a clear visible glowing at the crater rims was shown,
however substantially more weakly and in different coloured like lava at nightfall.


Particularly in comparison with the lava lights of the central vent the color was complete different. The laborious descent brought me back to the camp. Get bored in my tent, beaten by my own curiosity, I decided to ascent again at 2 o'clock. Without thunderstorm prognoses it was may possible to climb down in the bottom of the central crater. After arriving the rim of the crater, hundreds of yellow-red gas flames were burning in strong contrast to the meanwhile splendourful southern star enlightened sky. Also the remaining descent with the gas mask seemed not to be too difficult.


click für photos und gif- animation

Cowering behind the tripod with tearing eyes and laboriously focusing the flames a mystic and special tendency of this environment came slowly up. In the middle of hundreds
of fauchender and zuengelnder gas flames with hot soles and wrapped in sulphuric clouds I expected every moment an erupting gas bang. In connection of the biblical hell, only Satan was still missing by appearing in one of the flame pipes.



Returning to the summit during the dawn again with the view of the surrounding volcanos at sunset, the long descent followed.


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©2006 photos and text Martin Rietze, web Th. Boeckel, last modification 12.6.2006

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