Although there have been times where I’d regularly be at work before the sun starts to show its face, waking up in the dark still just feels wrong every time – even if its to see a volcano-top sunrise. Despite the feeling that I was going against nature, I dragged myself out of ben at 3am and was soon off to Mount Sibayak. The hike was set up so that we would be able to see the entire sunrise from the volcano’s summit (after tobogganing down the last volcano I summited, a normal climb wasn’t going to cut it). What hadn’t fully sunk into my mind was that, to accomplish this, I would need to hike UP the volcano in the pitch dark. This meant that stairs and puddles jutted out from nowhere and I spent a good amount of time trying to strategically position myself to be close enough to the guide’s light, but far enough back that I wouldn’t trample my friends when they stopped suddenly to avoid the large rocks on the path.
Whenever some type of unidentifiably dark covering didn’t block out the sky however, the almost-blind hike got illuminated by the most mesmerising display of starlight I had ever seen. I’m talking the sky was more white than black and I strained my neck looking up because there were so many stars.
After about an hour and a half, we had reached the summit in time to strategically position ourselves in a spot that would provide us with the fullest sunrise views before a large group of locals arrived. Now it was time to hurry up and wait. Fortunately, the sky seemed to be exploding with meteors and shooting stars covered the sky. Huddled up under the guide’s safety blanket and looking like a group of human baked potatoes, the sunlight soon revealed itself.
Watching the rays slowly illuminate the beckoning panorama that surrounded us was amazing. Every time I looked back at the nearby mountain range, more details would reveal themselves.
Once it warmed up a bit, I was even finally able to get my traditional summit-handstand in.
Soon enough, the sun had fully risen and it was time to begin our descent. The landscapes along the way were so distinct and diverse; it was strange to think it all just looked like plain darkness a few hours ago.
One thing that I couldn’t understand was the fact that I had been oblivious to the large steam geysers. I can understand not seeing them, but at the same time, they were incredibly boisterous and I think I would have noticed the loud roaring..! Either way, they were fun to play around with now that we could see them!