[2016 throwback] I almost died!

And that’s not even hyperbole.

In Apr 2016, I made the stupidest decision of my life – I decided to climb up Mt Merapi, ALONE, so I jetted off to Yogya one weekend for the climb.

Almost 10pm in Yogya. Waiting for our guide and driver who will take us from the city to Selo, three hours away – the village base for almost all trekking trips up Merapi. 
Feeling quite nervous about the trek. The highest “mountain” I have ever climbed is Bukit Timah Hill and that’s like 165m. Mt Merapi is 2900+m, a whole new ball game altogether. 
But if I want to trek to Everest Base Camp eventually, I gotta start somewhere. 🙂 here goes nothing!

– My FB post before the climb

In which I almost died

The start of the trek after midnight.

The ascent was not fun but the descent was the killer one.

The volcanic sand worn out the treads of my usually trusty Columbias and I was slipping down the steep slopes. I can’t tell you how scary it was to slide and fall down next to sheer drops. That morning, I stopped seeing death as an abstract concept. I think the Merapi climb was one of the reasons I stopped being so adventurous thereafter. I used to think nothing of trekking alone, now not so much. And I have not climbed a similar mountain since – part of me is worried that I’ve used up all my luck for Merapi and the next mountain would be catastrophic. 😔

Despite this, I still think my Merapi trip was worth it in the long run. I learnt a lesson about my human limitations here, instead of a more dangerous mountain. Two, altitude sickness is mental as well as physical – I couldn’t even think straight when we were nearing the plateau. Three, ALWAYS CHECK THE TREADS ON YOUR SHOES. 

Standing above the clouds