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  1. #1

    Mount Rinjani, Lombok - West Nusa Tenggara - Indonesia

    Mt Rinjani is one of the largest mountains in Indonesia. On a clear day you can see breathtaking views from the summit. There is a crater lake, Segara Anak and a natural hot spring there. The trek usually takes about three days.

    Mount Rinjani (Gunung Rinjani) is an active volcano in Lombok, Indonesia.

    At 3,726 m, Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, second only to Mount Kerinci on Sumatra, and it dominates the landscape of the relatively small island of Lombok.

    Within its huge 50 km caldera sits the crater lake Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). Eruptions within the caldera have formed a new small cone called appropriately enough, Gunung Baru (New Mountain).

    The mountain and its satellites form the Mount Rinjani National Park (Taman Nasional Gunung Rinjani)[1] - officially 41,000 hectares within the park boundaries and a further 66,000 hectares of protected forest outside.

    In 2008, the Indonesian government proposed to UNESCO that Mount Rinjani be one of the world's official geoparks. If this was approved by UNESCO, Mount Rinjani would become the first such geological park in Indonesia.
    [edit] History

    This is a very active volcano.

    The oldest recorded historical eruption was in 1847. Previous to that this was a very remote region indeed, hence the lack of records.

    There was a spate of activity from 1994 to 1995 which resulted in the further growth of the crater cone Gunung Baru, since renamed Gunung Barujari (Finger Mountain).

    On 27 April 2009 Gunung Barujari became active again with that activity continuing through to May 2009. The summit ascent routes were closed at that time as the eruptions intensified with plumes of smoke and ash as high as 8,000 m. A Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI):2 rating was issued for the activity between May and December 2009. The ascent routes re-opened on September 14th 2009 but hiking routes down into the crater lake were still deemed unsafe and remained closed.

    In February 2010 observers at the Gunung Rinjani Observation Post detected a smoke plume that rose 100 m from the volcano. The activity in early 2010 is centred about Gunung Barujari. On May 1st 2010 a column of smoke was again observed rising from Rinjani issuing eruptions 1,300-1,600 metres tall with thick brown color and strong pressure. On May 5th 2010 a possible ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) and drifted 150 km NW. Accordingly the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation advised that intermittent activity could produce ash plumes to 1,500 m (5,000 ft) above the caldera. In light of this The Volcanic Explosivity Index Alert Level was raised to 2 with a recommendation that there be no activity within a radius of 4 km from the eruption at Gunung Barujari.

    Rinjani erupted three further times on 23 May 2010 with activity continuing until 24 May 2010. According to the volcano's official monitoring agency, ash from Mount Barujari was reported as rising up to 2 km into the atmosphere and damaged crops. Lava flowed into the caldera lake, pushing its temperature up from 21C to 35C, while smoke spread 12 km. The volcano did not directly threaten villagers during any of the eruptive activity in early 2010 however access to some sections of the Mountain was officially closed or restricted at some times.

    The lower and mid levels of the mountain are quite heavily forested. Above the tree line though the slopes are barren and rugged scree slopes and volcanic rock. The views of the crater lake are quite breath-taking from the caldera rim, as is the sunrise. From the absolute peak you can see Bali to the west and Sumbawa to the east.

    The lower and middle elevation slopes are densely forested with typical tropical species. Fig trees are especially apparent. Casuarina forest (cemara) takes over higher up and eventually these give way to an alpine flora above the treeline.

    Lombok is east of the Wallacean Line and some Australian bird species are therefore apparent. These include a lot of sulphur crested cockatoos and green hanging parrots. Bird life is generally not easy to observe here though due to the density of the forest.

    The familiar long-tailed grey macaque (the Bali temple monkey) is common right up to the crater rim. Of much more interest is the rare ebony leaf monkey which inhabit these forests. Rusa deer and muntjacs are more often heard than seen.

    Rinjani is best climbed during the April-November dry season. It is possible to climb during the rainy season as well but treks are often cancelled at short notice if the rain is heavy.

    It gets very cold on the mountain above 2,000 m and nears freezing at the summit. Warm clothing is an absolute must.

    Get in

    Most visitors arrive via the village of Senaru (600 m), on the northern side of the mountain and thus closer to the main resort areas of the west coast including Senggigi. The other possible entry point is Sembalun Lawang (1,150 m), on the eastern side, which is closer to the summit.

    Both villages are accessed from the main north coast road.

    Entry to the park costs Rp 150,000 per person. This fee is split up as follows: 13% to the national park authority, 62% to the Rinjani ecotourism trekking program and 25% for trek route maintenance etc.

    Within the park the only way to get around is to hike. Porters can be arranged to carry your supplies.

    Segara Anak, the crater lake
    Aik Kalak hot springs, at the crater rim

    The Mulang Pakelem. This annual Hindu ceremony at the crater lake dates from the 18th century invasion of Lombok by Balinese from the kingdom of Karangasem and attracts hundreds of participants. The lake is sacred to Hindus and the sight of hundreds of white clad Hindu pilgrims sitting and praying here is a wonderfully uplifting experience.

    Climbing Mount Rinjani
    The Segara Anak crater lake of Mount Rinjani. The obvious new cone is Gunung Baru.
    The Segara Anak crater lake of Mount Rinjani. The obvious new cone is Gunung Baru.
    [edit] The basics

    At 3,726 m, Rinjani is the second highest mountain in Indonesia outside of Papua. It is very climbable by visitors with a high level of physical fitness. Critical is to understand and respect this great mountain: sadly, visitors have died here through failing to follow sensible procedures and make all necessary preparations.

    Few actually make the very strenuous effort required to reach the actual summit but instead stop at the crater rim (approx 2,700 m) where the views of the crater lake are mind blowing. To make the extra 1,000 m ascent to the very top requires a considerably higher level of fitness, not to mention strength of spirit and sense of adventure.

    Typically, a trek to the crater rim involves two days and one night on the mountain. The longer ascent to the summit can be done with just one night's camping but is often part of a longer trek of 3-4 days and two or three nights.

    The current park entrance fee is Rp 150,000. Of this 13% is allocated to the Gunung Rinjani National Park, 62% to the Rinjani Trek Ecotourism Program and 25% to support the Rinjani Trek operation and maintenance program.

    An organized trek is by far the easiest, safest and most popular option but it is also quite possible to make all of your own arrangements and just hire a guide and equipment from one of the trekking centres on the mountain. Rinjani Park regulations stipulate the use of a certified guide so even the most experienced and well prepared mountaineers will still need to climb Rinjani with the services of a professional guide. The mountains Licensed Guide Association (HPI) issues certification to the Rinjani guides and porters but it should be understood that the certification standards and required training are no where near as rigorous as would be expected in many other countries. Serious accidents including fatalities do occur on Rinjani treks when led by these accredited guides.

    Proper sturdy climbing/hiking boots are an absolute necessity as is a substantial waterproof, windproof jacket, and a head lamp. If you are going to the top, use of poles (walking sticks) for getting through the scree (loose rock) at the top are also highly recommended. By 2,000 m, you will feel like you are not in the tropics any more as rising wet, hot air loses its temperature and may fall as rain. If inappropriate clothing becomes wet difficulties will set in as air temperatures towards the summit are as low as 4⁰C, often with a significant extra wind chill factor. You must prepare accordingly.

    Source: wikitravel.org
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    Last edited by Backpacker; 04-10-2011 at 17:42.

  2. #2
    Climbing Mount Rinjani on Lombok

    After having seen the wonders of Komodo National Park both above and under the watersedge we set out for the long haul to Lombok. The trip would cost us more than 24 hours since we had to take a ferry to the island of Sumbawa, a bus ride overnight over the island and then another ferry to Lombok. Since we chose to do this the cheap way we were among all other endemic Indonesian travellers, which made the trip interesting as well. Once we arrived in Lombok we met a hustler who was trying to sell us the 3-day tour in the Mount Rinjani area. Although we were very tired we chose to bargain ourselves the best price we could get. In the end we included the last bit of the trip to the step off for the tour plus a visit to some nice waterfalls all for the cheapest price possible.

    We arrived late in the afternoon and witnessed one of the recurrent small eruptions from a distance, just before we would head out to see and swim in the waterfalls. A pretty intense sight, such a massive ash cloud rising over the mountainside we were gonna ascent the next few days!

    During the hike to the waterfalls we saw some monkeys and irrigation structures; remainders of the Dutch colonization era in Indonesia. The waterfalls were pretty damn cold, but a nice refreshing shower was welcome after our long trip from Flores.

    Sendang Gile Waterfall

    We started the hike with two other guys as company, a German Phillip and a Dutch guy Art. These guys with a good sense of humour made ascending the mountain a pleasant excursion. Added to the four of us were two porters, who had the incredibly tough job of carrying tents, food, water and cooking facilities up the mountain and a very funny guide.

    The first day was pooring with rain, which nobody who has been climbing mountain prefers since this makes the hillsides slippery... After a whole day of slipping, climbing and swearing we reached the craterrim where we could enjoy the view into the mist. Although the view wasn't too great we were treated with the sound of explosions in the deep crater. This mountain is not too quiet at all! A little strawl further up the rim lead us to the base camp where we would rest and spend the night before the the summit attempt. Attempt is what it would be since we had spoken to a frustrated russian family the day before we started our trip, who were disappointed in their own failed attempt. They even were happy to state that nobody without mountaineering experience would succeed on this mountain!

    The food prepared by the porters and guide was great and we went to bed early for a restless night of sleep. For Sandy this was even her first serious camping experience ever :-). Hilarious for different reasons:
    - But where should I use the toilet?
    - Will we sleep on these thin matresses?
    - Do you hear that bird? (porters pumping air into somebody else's matress)

    The next morning 02:30 wake-up call for a short breakfast and up the hill we went. Different groups climbing up the hill at the same time made the mountainside illuminate by the head torches. We were making progress pretty fast and soon we were leading the whole pack of climbers with the three of us; Philip, Sandy and me.
    At one point we thought that fire works were going off everywhere, but it was the volcano erupting. Soon we could see red glooming lava streaming down the sides of the little cone in the lake; a damn cool sight!

    Some treatcherous passages (Sandy hanging on the side of a drop off: "Joost can you still turn around? I think this is not the way we should go!") and 2,5 hours later we had the feeling to be almost at the summit. To have a feeling is different from being sure and when the summit seemed not be coming any closer for the next half hour Sandy got cranky :-). Since bad temper helps some people to achieve great things I listened and tried to encourage her to keep on walking. Having had surgery to her knees not too long ago didn't help and she swore never to do this again! (This mountain that is..).

    At about 05:45 we reached the top of the mountain at 3726 meters and were treated to a beautiful sunrise and a view over Lombok, the Gilli islands and even on Bali. After one hour on the summit we descended since our trip was not over yet. A look at the spot where Sandy and Philip had gone on the wrong side of the passage on the hill made us feel lucky that they had survived... We arrived back in the base camp for breakfast after a slippery descent and then hiked down the steep hill to the crater lake. We had lunch at the lake and then headed for a spa in the natural hot water springs next to the lake. By then everybody was dead-tired but we still had to climb out of the crater to reach our second camp where we would spend the night before returning to our hostel.

    Sunrise over Lombok from the summit

    The climb out of the crater was intense but we were in for a big surprise when another eruption shook us out of our focus on climbing. Again we were amazed by the force of nature and the size of the ash cloud, which seemed to get bigger and bigger. (Later Philip was kind enough to share his finding that since that days Mount Rinjani had not spewed any ashes, so lucky we were!) In the middle of the second night we were shook up for a third time but this one I had to miss because I was so fast asleep..

    Segara Anakan Lake

    Climbing Mount Rinjani was one of the highlights of the whole trip and the effort in succeeding, the views from the summit and the volcuanic eruptions made it a wicked experience.

    Source: jcp-intotheblue.blogspot.com

  3. #3

    Last edited by commoners; 14-12-2011 at 17:24.

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