Location: Climbing Mount Semeru, Java, Indonesia (8° 6′ 28.8″ S, 112° 55′ 12″ E)
Date: 17 July 2008; 12.20pm
Camera: Canon 400D with Sigma 17-70/f2.8-4.5 lens
Mount Semeru, also known as Mahameru is one of Indonesia's most active volcano as well as the tallest mountain in Java. It erupts at quite a regular interval, every 20 minutes and belches out a huge cloud of steam and smoke, sometimes interspersed with ash and stones. Despite the eruptions, it is popular with hikers and tourists alike. There were several recorded cases of tourists being injured by flying debris from the eruptions. Normally it takes 2 days to climb the mountain, with a night camped at Acropolo to facilitate an early start to the summit the next day. Most summiteers normally start around 2-3am and takes at least 3 hours for the final assault. This is the most challenging section of the climb as it involves hiking on soft sand at a steep gradient where it is not unusual to walk two steps up but slide one step down. However all the pain and fatigue quickly dissipates when one reaches the summit with a sense of achievement.