Volcano Trekking in Sumatra
Not far from the Sumatran town of Berastagi, you'll find 2 volcanoes, Gunung Sinabung and Gunung Sibayak. Gunung is the Bhasa Indonesian word for 'mountain'.
Gunung Sinabung had been dormant for more than 4 centuries until 2010 when it began errupting once again. August 29, saw ash spewing nearly a mile high. Then there was a lull until late 2013 and saw frequent activity until February 2014 and another 6 month break until October later that year.
I visited the area in June. Climbing Gunung Sinabung was an out and out no-no but the hike up Sibayak was possible.
Gunung Sinabung seen from the hike up Sibayak.
After a restless night in the appropriately named Wisma Sibayak hotel I set off heading north out of town. Just a simple road walk for around 2 hours before hitting the foot path.
As I climbed higher I was rewarded with views looking back at Sinabung.
Although the last eruption was more than a century ago, geothermal activity in the form of steam vents and hot springs remains high on and around the volcano. The vents produce crystalline sulfur, which was mined on a small scale in the past. Seepage of sulfurous gases has also caused acidic discoloration of the small crater lake.