Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Most Beautiful Climb Ever

It's me. Before going down from the peak (:
I ended up a career in hotel line with Eastin Hotel being my last place of employment. Right after the departure, my mind was set for a goal to climb a mountain in Indonesia. In fact it has been planned for a year earlier.

Finally the day came to realised. My good friend Mahfiz whom I always went climbing with and 3 other friends from Indonesia embarked on a wonderful journey to Bali and Lombok Islands.

It's not just the climb that leaves a significant episode in my life, the journey it self was so wonderful and surreal. From the beginning till the end, it was filled with memorable insight of what Bali and Lombok were made of. I have too many photos to share here but very little space. It's so difficult to even know where to start this story from. So many things to share with all of you out there. The beauty of nature, the wonder of the people of these different parts of the world and even about climbing it self. Which one to tell first. I just had no idea. The reason why I missed writing in this blog in the month of May, June and July. Now I am trying to make it up for 2010 record's sake. This blog is my history and it shall serve its purpose.

A 6 km by 8.5 km oval-shaped caldera which is partially covered 
by a lake known as Segara Anak  (approximately 2000m above 
sea level and estimated at being between 200m and 300m deep)
the caldera also contains hot springs.

Mountaineering in Indonesia is slightly different from Malaysia because of the different topography and geographical condition of the mountains. In Indonesia, most of the mountains are volcano mountains unlike in Malaysia. Malaysian mountains are typically starting with highly dense tropical forest vegetations on the lowland to muddied and rocky upper elevations. Therefore types of attire and equipments might sometimes differ. For Mount Rinjani climb, I invested buying new shoes, new attire and new hiking bag.

Mount Rinjani (3, 726 meters) is the third highest mountain in Indonesia after Mount Puncak Jaya (4, 884 meters) in Irian Jaya, Papua and Mount Kerinci (3,805 meters) in Sumatra. It is also the second highest volcano after Mount Kerinci.
Anak Rinjani, smaller living volcano that
exploded every 3-4 hours. Obviously emitting
plums but no lava.  

Climbing volcano is totally a different challenge all together. I still feel that climbing Malaysia's mountain like Mount Tahan and Mount Chamah-Ulu Sepat are more challenging in terms of physical pain especially during rainy season. It's almost deadly and a nightmare. I feel like dying climbing those mountains but don't mind repeating the experience. Once a climber, always a climber. Ever heard stories of people who climb mountains with prosthetic limbs. Well, you can read one of them here. It's just amazing how will power and determination conquers disability and the once thought impossible. Everything is possible now, if only we want  it so badly (:

The best part that I will never forget climbing Rinjani is the scenic and picturesque view all the way from bottom to top and bottom again. We were climbing via Sembalun and going down via Senaru. We made a 3-Day 3-Night journey with a forth night spent at a resort in Sembalun. Almost all the view was superb.

A woman carrying a sack of vegetable from at a village
at the foot of Rinjani where we started to climb from Senaru.
I agree when people claimed it to be the most beautiful volcano in South East Asia. One of our camp site was nearby the crater lake and I must say that it was the loveliest camp site ever in my life. Beautiful bluish green water surrounded by pine trees. It was almost surreal when you wake up in the early hours. In the lake, there's a newly emerged active volcano, and lots of fish to fry plus a place where you can bath in a hot spring. It's truly a magical place to the spiritual.

There's a lot of mountain dogs that looks like wolfs. Amazingly these dogs could really climb up almost to the peak and they can stand the freezing temperature at night. I just wonder how they adapt. You see them every where especially near the camp site because they waited for the left overs from campers. At night near the lake, you may hear howling sound just like the wolf. A bit scary at first but then you get used to it.

Going up to Pelawangan Sembalun to see the view from
another peak but unfortunately it was raining.
Nothing to be seen but thick fog and prickly rain drops.
We ran down to Sembalun Village in a record time and
slept at a comfortable guest house. Phewhh!!
That's the end of our climbing and the rest one day
was spent at a water fall and back to Bali. 
Come morning hour, you will be greeted by the sound of bird chirping. Beautiful yellow bird I have never seen before. There's wild ducks swimming in the lake, so beautiful and serene. Needless to say about birds around the lake, if your are bird enthusiasts you might want to take pictures and compile it in a book. There's just endless beauty all around you. I have lost words to describe it (:

A lot of things can be said about Rinjani climb. I wish I could write about the Sasak people, indigenous of Lombok Island. Their culture, belief and so on but not enough time and research for that. Due to the limited time, we get to see very little of their life and culture. I will definitely go back to Lombok and Rinjani. This time to finish all the unfinished business (:


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