Climbing 4 volcanoes in a week @ INDONESIA


Gunung Raung 

  • Elevation: 3,344 m
  • Last eruption: 2015
  • Province: East Java
  • Location: Java, Indonesia

 At around 9.45am after landing at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya Indonesia, our local guides picked us up and we started our way down to Kalibaru village which was located about 260km and took us around 7hours ride. Along the way we stopped for Nasi Padang lunch. The route along was scenic with beautiful landscapes. We could see mountains like Gn. Argapura, Gn. Semeru along the way. We tried some local delights like Satay for the night dinner, we arrived Kalibaru Cottage for the night and rested.

 An early morning call at 5.30am the day started. We loaded up our backpacks, after breakfast we started our adventure. At 8.30am we reached the registration office met up with the local guides and porters. From the start point we had to ride on the motorbike as the trail start point was around 40mins. At Camp1 around 9.30am we started to hike, the trail took us through the coffee plantations. It was a gradual walk with a slow pace and after lots of stops along the way we reached Camp2 for lunch time around

 The trail from Pos 2 – 6 is very dense forest with rich in floral. One could see variety of species of flowers along the trails. Some part of the trail is steep to climb one with basic fitness can easily manage this trail.  The sunset along the way was awesome we were above the clouds. Our camp site was located at Camp7. The view from there was just stunning. We could see Gn. Semeru and other mountains from the site. At night the sky was filled with lots of stars reminds me of Gn. Rinjani. I somehow feel the star gazing over here much more beautiful than Rinjani.

 Around 3.30am guides woke us up and served with the breakfast before we started our sunrise summit attack. At 4.30am we hiked up through Camp 8 and 9, arrive the false peak flag point at 7.30am until here the ascent was through the dense forest. From this point the real adventure starts not for the faint hearted.
 A walk on the scary ridge line of Volcano Carter  we wore our safety gears Harness, Ropes, carabineer were all prepared for the final ascent. From here we had to transfer through some narrow ridge line of the crater, and do some rocking climbing, abseiling at some points of the traverse.
 The first 20mins took us to slowly pass through the narrow ridge line. Then the guide setup ropes to pass over the steep narrow places. At one point there was 10-15mts fall we had to descend abseiling down all the way. Passing through the narrow pass we arrived at the base of the Tooth like rock faces. We rested for a while and started our last part to the summit. From this point it took us and hour to reach the final push to the summit as it was a steep hike up though the boulders and scree. At about 10.30am we hit the summit the weather was so clear and blue skies. It was a perfect day for the summit. We were the only climber for that time and had the whole summit for us. It was a 360view with beautiful landscapes. The whole summit ascent took us 3hours from the flag point.

 At Summit we had our breakfast and took lots of pictures. Around 11.30am we decided to descend back to the camp site.  The down part sounded more scary but all the teammates made it back safely to the camp site around 3.30pm It felt a long way down. The total time we took from the campsite is around 11hours for summit and way back. We had our lunch and rested for the day. At dinner we were served with delicious food. It was call for the night.

 6.30am after breakfast we prepared to packup and started our way down from the campsite.  We managed to arrive at Camp1 by noon and had to wait for our pickup motorbike ride back. Close to 3.30pm after our lunch we started our way to the next PEAK – Gunung Arujna and Gunung Welirong.

"Ultra Hike to Gunung Arjuna & Gunung Welirong"
Gunung Arjuna 

Elevation: 3,339 m
Last eruption: 1952
Province: East Java

 Gunung Welirong 

Elevation: 3,339 m
Province: East Java

A long ride after the Gn. Raung adventure we managed to reach the Pasuruan village. We stopped by the night market to have some local delight and checked in guesthouse for the night.

The 4WD was ready to pick us up we went out for breakfast and started our way to the Registration office.  The 4WD ride up all the way was insane too steep climb of taar road till the entrance of the gate. After the office checked our permits we continued our ride. The road was full of rocks and some big boulder the driver was crazy and highly experienced to ride that trail. Some of us gave up on the 4WD as it was too bumpy and decided to just walk up all the way to PONDOK which is the base camp for both the mountains.

On the way we stopped by for some coffee at the first campsite, a small river street is located around the site. May campers rest here in case they not able to make it to the PONDOK site. All of a sudden our 4WD drive broke down and the guys had to do some maintenance which took for hours and delayed the schedule for the day. We had to postponed our Welirong hike for tomorrow.  Around 4.30pm we arrived at campsite pitched tents and had our lunch.  The rest of the day, have to call off for the night.

We woke up like 3am for an Ultra hike to Arjuna and Welirong 2 summit attack in a day. We are all excited about this. Straight after the breakfast we started to hike up. The first part of the trail goes to a lot of bush area, battling through it pushed out to the dense forest. After 3 hours walk we ended up on the first false peak of Arjuna with the sunrise view. Around 7.30am we made it to the summit, with a 360 view of surrounding mountains it was just stunning to experience the moment. At far we could see Gn. Semeru erupting at its own interval of time. After enjoying our coffee and breakfast at the summit we decided to descend down to the base camp by 10am. We refilled some water and snacks and got ready for another adventure.

It was around 10.30am when we made our way to the start of the trail to Welirong. The trail was much easier than comparing to Arjuna. Lots of hikers usually go to this mountain as it’s easier to hike up. Less than 3hours with a slow pace we were up the summit of Gn. Welirong. The volcano smoke was fuming continuously. The view from top was all white out the smoke had filled the area. We could see the whole crater all the way bottom. Some locals were mining for sulphur on the other side of the trail. We took some quick picture and decided to go down quickly as we had a long way back down from the base camp. Around 3pm we reached the basecamp, had our lunch and packed our tents.

Most of the stuffs were loaded on the 4WD and we walked down. Unfortunately the vehicle broke down again and we decided instead of waiting we went all the way down to the entrance of the trail before the dark.  The 4WD almost arrived around 8pm. Most of them were exhausted and sleepy we had quick dinner and went back to the same home stay for rest. It was just one long tiring day. Everyone made it safely back. Next day excited for another adventure to Gn. Merapi.

Mount Merapi 

Elevation: 2,930 m
Last eruption: March 10, 2014
Province: Central Java

Today is a supper long ride in the van, so we left the place very early morning around 5.30am. A pitstop along the highway for breakfast and stuck with long traffics on the way with a lunch stop we made it to the New Selo village by 8pm. Checkd inn the homestay  and rested for the next 4hours. As we had plans to head to the summit 12midnight. Most were exhausted by the long ride.

Midnight we had some coffee and started to ride on our van to the New Selo entrance of the trail which was like 15mins ride from our homestay. Our guide just did a quick briefing and we started to walk. The weather was bit cloudy seemed like it’s gonna rain. The first 1km of the trail is a steep cemented pathway which leads to the entrance of the national park. From there the jungle walk starts it’s really not that dense forest a 45mins walk to POS1. We took a short break over there.
From this part the trail starts a bit steep and certain part need to make grab of the tree holds to climb up. Duration of walk is usually around 1hour to POS2. Next stop would be Pasar Bubrah a 45mins walk whereby we need to pass through some of the boulder to get to this point. From this point you could see the whole of Mount Merapi standing still. Unfortunately weather wasn’t that great for us. Too misty and foggy for the hike we could hardly see anything. It’s a 0.6km from here to the summit of Merapi.

Lots of scree along the trail had to be very careful not to trip over from the edge of the trail. Loose rocks tends to slide down need to be extra careful while at this location. There is a mighty vertical wall to climb which one need to ascend just right below the summit. This part usually takes around 20mins from the scree part.  We arrived on the summit at 5.30am and waited for sunrise. Unfortunately the weather was very gloomy and could not catchu up a very good sunrise.

By 7am we decided to descend down. It was fun descending down the scree, we just run down that part sliding all the way down. The weather started to clear and managed to get some good shots of the mountain. We could see Merbabu standing on the other side of the mountain. By 10am we reached the base of the mountain. It was a pretty good hike up and here ended out 4peaks in a week. It was an adventurous journey.

“The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”

― John Muir