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Mount Rinjani

Mount Rinjani

Mount Rinjani stands proud at 3726m and is the second highest volcano in Indonesia. The highest honour goes to Mount Kerinci which is located in Sumatra and stands at 3805m. Mount Rinjani dominates Lombok's landscape and can be seen from most parts of the island. It has a very distinctive ridge leading to the summit and will have most climbers watering at the mouth to climb it.

Rinjani is one of many very active volcanoes in Indonesia however this should not deter you from climbing it as the volcano is continuously monitored by The Rinjani Observation Post. Whenever there is activity the mountain is strictly off limits to climbers. The oldest recorded eruption from Rinjani was in 1847 when records started and the last activity Rinjani produced was as recent as 2010. The most significant eruption of recent times was on April the 27th 2009. The summit and ascent routes were completely closed due to constant eruptions that billowed smoke and ash as high as 8000m into the atmosphere. The volocano reopened to climbers later that year in September once it was deemed safe.

 

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Rinjani is protected by the Gunung Rinjani National Park which was established by thye Indonesian Government in 1997. Tourism in Lombok is becoming increasingly more popular and lots of people are choosing a trek up this volcano as an exciting part of their Indonesian discovery.

The Climb

Rinjani is the second highest volcano and must never be underestimated; the mountain requires a high level of fitness and certain areas of the ascent can, at times, be quite strenuous. Most people make it to the crater rim (2700m) which in itself is a feat unto itself. The views from the crater are nothing short of magnificent offering the adventurer a sense of fulfillment and awe. From the crater rim it is a further 1000m to the summit and this should never be taken lightly as the final part of the ascent requires high levels of fitness as well as a great sense of adventure. Normally most treks on Rinjani take two days and one night just to reach the crater rim. If you feel you want to take the summit then allow yourself 3 to 4 days and 2 to 3 nights. Mount Rinjani National park stipulates that nobody should attempt the mountain without the services of a certified guide that is employed by the park.

 

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The most responsible way of climbing Rinjani is through an organized trek. Certified mountain guides here have been climbing the mountain for years and they have so much local knowledge of the volcano and surrounding areas. It is by far the safest and easiest way to climb. You can organize a trek up Mount Rinjani from Rinjani National Park located in Senaru. Make sure you don't hire the services of just anyone to take you up the mountain, wait until you get to the National Park before meeting your certified guide. To gain access to the National park it will cost the visitor Rp150, 000 ($15). Your money goes towards the conservation of the park and 25% supports Mount Rinjani Trek operation and maintenance.

 

Below you can find certified trekking companies that have been guiding tourists up Rinjani for many years.

♣ John's Adventures, +62 817 57880182 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) This is a well established agency that offers a full range of trekking packages. John himself has been guiding climbers up Rinjani for 17 years.

♣ Lombok Rinjani Trek Organisation, Hotel Lombok Raya, Mataram, Lombok, +62 370 641124. This is an official patnership between the national park authority and local communities with the continual support from NZ AID. They offer a full range of trekking packages and are an excellent source of advice. There is an office in Mataram and one at each of the two trek departure points.

♣ Rinjani Trekking Club (Rinjani Club Tour & Travel Service), JL. Raya Senggigi, Senggigi, +62 370 693202 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., fax: +62 370 693860), This is a team of young biologists and naturalists that are experts in mountaineering survival in tropical rain foresst. Teams are trained & licensed in search & rescue techniques and use local porters and promote a code of environmental good conduct.

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There are two ways to ascend Rinjani, those being the Senaru Ascent and Sambulan Lawang Ascent. Senaru is by far the most popular option as it has a less strenuous climb to the crater rim. You will start your trek in Senaru village which has an altitude of 600m. Most treks depart from here in the late morning. It will take you roughly 6 hours from the start to reach the crater rim. Most climbers arrive at the crater rim just before nightfall and set up camp for the night. After a well deserved sleep, you will wake up just before dawn and climb for a further 30 minutes where you will be met by a most memorable sunrise over Segaru Anak and Gunung Baru. Once you have taken in the delightful colours and you feel there is more adventure running through you, it is possible to descend down to the Crater Lake. The descent to the lake has ropes and various makeshift handrails. Once at the water's edge you are able to bathe in the hot waters. Most people return back to Senaru the way they came, however the ardent adventurer will make steps closer to the summit and an extra night on the mountain.

 

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The second option and probably the most arduous is departing from Rinjani Trek Centre and climbing to Plawangan at an altitude of 2638m. This trek will take roughly around 8 hours. You will camp overnight at this altitude before waking up at 3am to take the summit. Climbers choosing this option need to be strong physically and in spirit as the final push can be a little demanding as the final ascent is 1100m up some difficult ground. Once at the summit you will be greeted by a spectacular 360 degree view of Lombok, Sumbawa and Bali.

You don't have to trek up the mountain to enjoy the beauty of the National Park. You can easily organize a guide that will walk you through some spectacular forests and valleys highlighting flora anfd fauna. Whatever you choose to do in Rinjani National Park you can be sure to be greeted by the sheer majesty that is Mount Rinjani.