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2011 and 2012 News

Page history last edited by Frederick Belton 10 years, 11 months ago

2011 and 2012 News           (News Archive)



June 2011: Hans Schabel sent me the following report and several photos, four of which appear below. "On June 22, I took a group of 8 conservation biologists who had just attended a conference in Arusha on the regular climb up the NNW trail through the Pearly Gates (PG). This being winter in Africa, it was nasty cold, worsened by strong, increasingly sulfurous gusts from above that nearly bowled us over. Also, previous traffic had pulverized what only one and a half year before had been a fairly firm surface of hardened ash. Slipping back in this fine scree made the climb very frustrating in places. Higher up, the sandpaper-like, mostly grippy but at times gravely-slippery and steep surface discouraged slips that would surely bloody one's hands. I had instructed everyone to bring gloves and they were uniformly glad they did. We minimized problems with falling rock by staying bunched, or out of the line gravity with those above us


Some shreds of "clouds" in the early light just above the PG turned out to originate from minor fumaroles. The day was fairly clear and thus details of the crater rim and the pit were visible.  The slump on the East crater that I first saw on my previous safari had not expanded significantly but some of the walls of the crater below had obviously slumped into big piles of rubble below. Walking the rim counter clockwise one could hear an ominous whoosh from the crater bottom, which turned out to be coming from two boiling, rolling, lava pools that spilled pitch-black lava into a growing lake flowing East.  The half moon depression separating the North Crater from the mountain peak showed a fresh patch of green in its SSW corner.


Returning from the mountain in mid-morning we increasingly observed plants such as grasses, legumes, composites and finally even a lone acacia, pioneering a return to a greener mountain, at least until the next major eruption, sure to come in due time."


Lava pots at bottom of North Crater, Looking North.  Photo courtesy Hans Schabel.


Close-up of lava lake showing older (grey) and recent flows (black).  Photo courtesy Hans Schabel.


First green patch on top of mountain, near base of peak (Looking South). Photo courtesy Hans Schabel.


Pioneer legume about two thirds down the mountain.  Photo courtesy Hans Schabel.


September 2012: Many thanks to Frank Moeckel and Wendy Blank for sending me the following report: "In September 2012 we visited the volcano Oldoinyo Lengai and the Lake Natron area. We (Frank Moeckel and my girl friend Wendy Blank) climbed the Oldoinyo Lengai on September 14 (23:00) to September 15 (06:30). We stay over night (September 15 to September 16) in a small camping tend at the south crater. Many nice and interesting rock samples we have collected. We have taken some photos and videos. We climbed down on the morning (September 16). On the bottom of the activ north crater we have seen fresh black natrocarbonatite lava and active vents.  We heard boiling noise from the bottom of the north crater. Everywhere strong H2S smell.


We say thank you for organisation to Madeleine Schroeder, Franziska Missler and Lena Moeller from Afromaxx in Moshi. Thank you to the very friendly and helpful people of the Lake Natron Tented Camp. Special thanks to our guide Kennedy Kivuyo."


South Crater. Photo courtesy Frank Moeckel and Wendy Blank.



View from the summit. Photo courtesy Frank Moeckel and Wendy Blank.



The pit crater. Photo courtesy Frank Moeckel and Wendy Blank.



Pit crater with interior spatter cones.  Photo courtesy Frank Moeckel and Wendy Blank.



Fresh spatter.  Photo courtesy Frank Moeckel and Wendy Blank.



Climbers on the NE rim of the pit crater. Photo courtesy Frank Moeckel and Wendy Blank.

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