Mt. Merbabu (3142 m)
This is a favorite mountain for local and foreign mountaineers. The average temperature in its top is around 15 grade Celsius during the day, of course in the night, it’s biting cold. The magnificent Merbabu is in the middle of Central Java Province, comes from the word "Meru" means mountain and "Babu" means female or lady.
For years it has been known as a sleeping mountain, but in fact it has 5 calderas, namely:
Condrodimuko, Kombang, Kendang, Rebab & Sambernyowo. Mt. Merbabu last eruption was in 1968 which caused a lot of erosion. Usually it gives a tranquile atmosphere to its green beautiful environment.
There are 2 routes to the summit i.e. From the North thru village of Tekelan’ Salatiga and the South route is thru Selo village, Boyolali.
The North Route
The nearest town is Salatiga. It’s about one hour drive from Semarang or Surakarta. The bus fee from both city to Salatiga is Rp. 2.000,- (The exchange rate of October 1, 1998 is US$ 1 = Rps. 11.000,-)
From Salatiga take another bus to Kopeng resort. It costs Rp. 1.000,- then walk or take ‘an ojek’ (motor bike Taxi) for Rp. 2.000,- - to the village base camp:
Register to Arie Wijaya A.Md (or Bapak Sunaryo) the fee is Rp. 750,-. Guide fee to the peak and return again in the same base camp is Rp. 25.000,-
The address is:
Tekelan No. 96, Kopeng
The base camp has a capacity to accommodate about 450 people. It provides modest bathrooms and worship houses: Mosque, Church and Vihara. There is a clear mountaineering route to the top, safety and supervision is conducted by Perhutani (Forest Authority) of Kopeng.
The village of Tekelan daily temperature is around 19 grade of Celsius. In this village live peacefully its inhabitans of 688 persons. They are traditional farmers growing vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots and also tobacco. The name of the village comes from the founder and ancestor of the villagers-mbah (grand father) Thekel, where his graveyard is in the village Cemetery. Tekelan village has a good reputation, it has a grammar school and groups of arts such as: KETOPRAK-traditional drama with gamelan accompaniment, Javanese dance of warriors, musical orchestra etc.
Up to present date they stick to their old tradition, they live in harmony and helping each other (gotong royong). Some little girls (until the age of 4 years old) are with uncombed and uncutted loose hair (rambut Gimbal) it is believed to free them from evil temptation and to be in safety. The cleaning of the hair must be done in ritual, lead by an "old" man. The springs in village are considered sacred and should not be bothered.
Note: The water springs are found nearby base camp, shelter Pending and nearby the 5 craters.
The picturesque natural view lures climbers to remain here for quite a long time. To the west are the blue summits of Sumbing and Sindoro, just a ‘few meters’ to the south is the aggressive Mt. Merapi. To the North are green and peaceful mounts Telomoyo and Ungaran. Mt. Lawu is standing pridely in the South-East
In the month of Suro (in the night of Javanese new year), the inhabitants living in the North Slope of Merbabu, make traditional offering in the craters of Merbabu.
From The South Route
Bus fee from Semarang to Boyolali Rp. 2.500,-
Selo village is situated between Mt. Merbabu & Mt. Merapi.
In Selo, there are some inns.
From shelter I-Balong, shelter II-Pentur and shelter III. The climbers can walk leisurely under the shadow of big forest trees. The name of Balong according to local legend, is to remember Eyang (grand-pa) Citranala conquered a tiger. In that fight, his cloth was holed by the tigers’ bite (cloth=gombal; hole= bolong; gombal bolong, the abbreviation is Balong)
From shelter IV up to summit, there are savannah and some flowers like a special kind of Edelweiss, named The Snowy Edelweiss. The most Tiring trek is the climbing to this shelter.
The shelter V is the peak of Kentong Songo. The climbing from the south route takes around 6 hours time.
It is advised to the mountaineers, the best way is to climb Mt. Merbabu from the North, Tekelan village and descend in Selo. Afterwards, depends to availability of time and energy, climb over Mount Merapi.