New year at 3726 m asl

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A long the year of 2014 I had been planning to hike Mt. Rinjani with some friends. The first plan was to hike in the middle of the year to avoid the rainy season. Plan changed due to work schedule and finally several friends just went by their own.

As I looked at my timeline and estimated the right time to take day off, I chose 25 December 2014 – 4 January 2015. I am on luck the project finished on schedule and I could easily go.

It’s rainy season of course, I knew I should be more careful to hike in this season and prepared everything, I had Semeru-rainy-experience last year that made me re-pack my carrier several times choosing clothes… choosing socks…etc. I even bought new waterproof and windproof gears.

Wisata Gunung schedule for Rinjani was 29 Dec – 4 Jan, so I made a new plan to visit Bali and Lombok from 25 Dec. And problem came which I needed to bring more clothes for beachhhh ! It took little bit (much) effort to organize my stuff as you can see below bag. Time to go !

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I met the team at Praya International Airport around 9 PM on Dec 29, and started to moved to Rinjani basecamp at 12 PM. We arrived 3 hours later and had some rest before started to hike at 8 AM. It was thousand something meters ASL I think, which I already felt cold and fresh at the same time. We woke up, bath, changed into mountain apparel, breakfast, re-pack, and started to walk. Oh ya we were 13 in the team including WisataGunung guide, and 3 of them are female including me.

Rinjani is the second highest volcano mountain after Kerinci in Sumatra, normally it needs 4 days for people to hike to enjoy all the tracks (Sembalun, Summit, Segara Anak, Senaru). We all know Rinjani is one of the hardest to hike, but we can use porter to bring our logistic and even all the bags, well you need money for that. One porter’s rate is around 150K-200K per day plus one cigarette and 3 times meal. But remember a porter can only carry 40 – 80L, it may one hiker one porter or a group hiker one porter, so manage it based on budget.

Well, with the 13 people in the group, WisataGunung used 3 porters to bring our logistic for 5 days, yes we had 5 days hiking so we could walk more relax rested on time and prepared if unexpected things happenned such bad weather, heavy rain storm etc. Oh ya, with only 3 porters we still carried our own carriers.

On 30 Dec, we walked under light rain, cloudy sky but sometimes sun appeared, when lunch time came and we took rest about an hour had lunch and slept. We started again until we arrived at post 3. We set the camp and rest until the next morning.

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On 31 Dec, in the morning we started to hike again to Plawangan Sembalun Camping Ground. We arrived around lunch time but the track re more challenging than the last day. “Bukit Penyiksaan” or “Bukit Penderitaan” is what we call, well you know you absolutely will arrive at Plawangan Sembalun. But when you feel the more you hike the more you think it’s almost there, it is correct but you need patience and extra power because the track is constant uphill, when you desperate that you realize you’ve hiked far enough but it still faaarrrrrr far away, do not give up. Haha.

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Well, lucky us the team were fast enough to arrive. We had long day rest and play on the camping area, we could see Segara Anak Lake from where we set our tent. And at 12 PM we prepared for summit 3726 m asl, we saw almost all tents were up to celebrate the new year and busy to prepare for summit also. Around 2 AM after early breakfast (supper maybe?), we started to walk with a complete mountain gear, shoes, windwaterproof jacket, tracking pole, headlamp, summit bag cointains battery, water, red sugar, chocolate, antangin, important medicine, etc. Congrat to all eventho the rain was pouring all of us reached 3726 m asl.🙂.

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It was strong wind that we could not stay long on the top, 2 hours rest and we started to climb down. We planned to have one night camp at Segara Anak lake bringing all the stuffs and continued to go through Senaru, so we needed to start to climb down there after lunch time, but with the bad weather we got and several of us had injured in some parts because of summit (including me), we changed the plan, we would have the rest day playing at the camp and the next morning climbing down to Segara Anak enjoyed bathing at hotspring. The weather was perfect, it was sunny when we played, not until we climbed up to our tent again after lunch time, we got heavy rain between the cliff, big rocks, but fortunately we all arrived safely (but all wet :'().

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We re checking each of us to make sure we ate enough and warm enough to prevent hypothermia. That’s what I like about the team eventho we just met each other, but the team re solid.

And we slept the rest of the day under the storm and stong wind and rain until the next day, we re-packed and climbed down to the basecamp. The planning to go through Senaru track was cancelled because we heard there was landslide in the middle, and all the hikers were going back to Sembalun.

Arrived Lombok I had one day free to explore before going back to city life in Jakarta.

🙂

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