Rabu, 13 Februari 2008

Dawn Breaks at Batur

sitting in small warung beside the lapping waters of Bali's lake batur, in the fishing village of toya bungkah, we tucked into steaming bowls of fried rice to prepare for our early morning rise. the village, one of eight 'bintang danu' (stars of the lake).dotted arround the water's edge, is the main starting point for trekking up gunung batur-one of Bali's most photographed active vulcanoes built along side sulphurous hot springs that bubble into the lake, even the village's cheapest home staysboost a constant supply ao hot water, perfect for easing the aching limbs of weary hikers.

the crescent -shaped lake batur is set within the gigantic caldera of an exitinct volcano. it is reminiscent of a huge sup bowl with a serrataped lip, a floor half covered in water and so set of volcanic cones-the volatile mass of mount batur-budding in the centre. at 1717 meters, batur is by no means Bali highest volcano but it'is Bali's second most sacred mountain after gunung agung, and has erupted more than 20 times over the last two centuries.
it was only 8pm when we decided to head back to the pavvilion to sleep. we needed as much as possible before our wake up call at 03.00am, when we have summit attack in the darkness up the slopes of the mountain.
nine of us had originally planned to undertake the trek but my friend, edo, the least enthusiastic member of our team, had found on excuse to drop out of the expedition. within five minute of arriving at toya bungkah, we'd been approached by a woman carrying two fluffy ball of fur- the region is famous for the kintamani dog, Bali's only officially recognized breed. kintamanis are allegedly endowed with the social attributes of semi-tame dingo. nevertheless, we had succumbed to the charms and sweet faces at the puppies and had purchased the least woolly of two and taken her back to the homestay, edo then announched that he had assumed the role of tour manager and puupy-sitter, promising to wave us off in the morning and meet us with the car at the end of our trek. a full mean had risen, like a slately clock-face, above the shadowy jagged contour of the ancient creater walls. within minutes it's reflection had pierced the inky black waters of the lake like a ribbon of shimmering mercury. i shivered slightly, unaccustamed to the chill mountain air. it was the end of the third week of september, the time in europe of the autumn equinox when the full moon is known as the harvest moon. i wondered about the significance of such a moon on a bountiful tropical island that yields a continually rotating harvest of rice. to the balinese, a full moon is always auspicius. musings concluded i turned to my companions, " i think we've inadvertently chosen the perfect night for our adventured." later, from the west-facing veronda of our room, i regarded the towering silhoutte of gunung batur under a diamond-studded black velvet sky , unsullied by steetlights, behind me, to the east, the moon had ascended higher in its journey across the heavens, in preparation to navigate us up the volcano during the final two hours before sunrise.
it was suprisingly cold when we set out at 4am. dressed in jeans, socks, hats, sweaters and warm, waterproof jacket, we strode to the starting point at a brisk pace. with four craters to choose from, there are numerous routes up the vulcano.
our plan was to be at the very top in a time for the sunrise, and we'd choosen the shortest but steepest route through the forrest o the northeast side.
despile carrying torches, it wa still easy to stumble on the rough stony ground. within ten minutes i was feeling hot and uncomfortable in my nylon cagoule and had stop to remove the top layer of my clothing. naturally, i was looking forward to reaching the summit but hiking up the precipitous slopes of an active volcano in the dark had suddenly lost in attraction. meanwhile, our party had increase in number- we'd been joined by a friendly dog which appered to have for move enthusiasm and energy than i did.
it wasn't long before we entered the forest corpeting the lower slopes of the mountain. although the moon was still visible, its light had been diffused by the thick curtan of trees and branches, so our route became dark and rather eerie. up ahead a light appered and as we drew closer, i realized to my amazement that we were approaching a small house; its inhabitants were cleary awake and aking their preparations for the day a head. it seemed extraordinary and memories of the fairytale hansel and gretel come flooding back to me - a wood man's cottage in a clearing in the forest. a mon come out of the house carrying a gas lamp, his wife followed with atorch and a large cool-box. they spoke briefly to us and the woman said goodbye to her husband before dissapearing up the steep path at remarkably fast pace. my friend explained that she needed to get up the mountain ahead of us as she would be making the tea at top. apart from us and the dog, the tea lady wasn't the only one in the forest. i soon realised that the slopes were huming with activity ; groups of local people were also ascending the mountain to collect fire wood to bring back and sell before the heat of the day set in. before we even neared the summit, we met some of them already on their return journey, laden down by the huge baskets on their backs ; i couldn't imagine what i must be like to do the climb on daily basis.
when we reached the end of the forest, the terrain changed and our path became steep and rocky. looking back we could see the shadowy outline of gunung abang towering above lake batur and the early glow of the dawn in the eastern sky. to the west, the full moon was still guiding our way. i was struggling with the steep ascent and a kind- hearted drinks vendor in pink trousers, who'd joined our group, took my hand and helped me negotiate the sharp ridges. i made in a mental note to buy one of his drink at the top.
we finally reached the crest at about 6 am and were greeted by the awesome view of the sun rising from behind the mighty Gunung Agung. the ethereal summit of Bali's most revered mountain was a misteriously ghostly image behind Gunung Abang..
perched on the narrow rim at the creater, we watched the radiating colours of the sky change from indigo to violet to vermillion. greeting the sun, i surveyed the stronge lunar landscape around is which was punctuated with bizzare hillocks, a zeries of craters and steam. puffing holes in the ground. the early morning exertion had inspired quite a hunger and the uniqe breakfast of baked bananas, hard boiled eggs and hot tea, cooked to perfection in the natural heat belching from the belly of the vulcano, went down extremely well indeed.
after enjoying the beauty of the summit for about an hour, we set off an amore leisurely descent down the long easy route, stopping to rest beside the black solidfied lava flow that once caused so much terror to the surrounding villages. footsore yet exhilarated, we returned to our rooms for a well-deserved massage and a relaxing bathe in the nearby hot spring. it was not yet midday but i was completely exhauted and ready again for bed!

Text by : michele gearaves
photo : -

climb mount Batur (1717)

Except for its water sport, Bali also has panoramic views on its mountains for adventurous activities. One of them is climbing the Mount Batur.Mount Batur perches on the Kintamani teritory, Bangli. Its height reaches 1717 m above sea level. This mountain retains a uniqueness of its own, namely the crater mesuring 13.8 x 10 km and denotes one of the most extensive and beautifull all over the world. To get an experience of seeing the sunrise from this climbing, the right time for climbing should be started at 03.00 in the morning.Climbing starts from the songan Villag, Kintamani. When you entering the climbing teritory you will be welcomed by black sedimentary rocks that are naturally furnished by fertile alang-alang grasses growing lushly. Considering its fresh air, the climbing activity will come refreshing to a great extent.The mountain climbers are estimated to arrive at the top around 05.00. Indications of the sunrise come into view then. While taking a rest and watching the sunrise, you can have a breakfast that has been prepared. If you are lucky, the alluring panoramic view of the Lake Batur, traditional village of Trunyan and Mount Rinjani in Lombok are also discernible from the peak.Being satisfied and while watching the magnificence of this panorama, it's the time to resume the journey to go down. Toya Bungkah Village is the point of finish within this passage. If on the way up, you encounte the row of black sedimentary rocks and alang-alang grass, on the way down you will be welcomed by pine forest as well as sandy descending track until you get at the point of origin.Fatique that is felt during the climbing now vanishes when you arrive down there and just releases the sight to the Lake Batur spreading in this village. More than that, a hot water pool can also be found at one of the corners around the lake. It is the natural pool of which water is derived from the cracks among the stones at the fringe of Lake Batur. Through it's not categorized into an extreme adventure, please be careful at all times and obey all of the existing regulations for your safety.

Things to do before setting out

1. Plan the Climb properly
  • know the capabilities of team members in dealing with terrain in question
  • study the terrain
  • carefully examine the climb plan the route to be taken
  • consider the length of time needed for the climb
  • check all equipment
2. Equipment for the journey
  • Travel equipment :shoes,socks,trousers,belt,hat,shirt,raincoat,etc
  • sleeping equipment :sleeping bag,tent,sleeping pad,etc
  • Food and coocking equipment :spoons,stove,food,matches,fuel,etc
  • personal equipment : needle and thread,medications,tooth brush,backpack,etc
  • suplementary equipment :
  1. compass,flashlight,pocket knife, first aid kit
  2. map,protactor,ruler,pencil,etc
  3. walkie-talkie,survival kit, GPS (if you have one)
  4. wrist watch
3.packing / arranging supplies in the Backpack
  • sort supplies by type
  • place supplies in pastic bags
  • place light weight,seldom-used items (e.g. sleeping equipment) lowest
  • vital items and those that will often be used should be readly accessible
  • place the heaviest items highest and as near as your back as possible to reduce fatigue
  • make a checklist of the items you need to bring so that you don't forget an you thing

for more detail you can contact me at : madejaya_kopassus@yahoo.com

indonesia mountain most often used for climbing

here is a list of the mountains in Indonesia most often used for climbing, by island and province ;

Sumatra :

  1. mt.leuser (NAD) -3119 M
  2. mt.sinabung (North Sumatra)- 2460 M
  3. mt.sibayak (north sumatra) - 2212 M
  4. Mt.marapi (west sumatra) - 2891 M
  5. mt.singgalang (west sumatra) - 2877 M
  6. mt.kerinci (jambi) - 3805 M
  7. mt.dempo (south sumatra) - 2049 M
Java :
  1. mt.gede (west java) - 2958 M
  2. mt.salak (west java) - 2211 M
  3. mt.pangrango (west java) - 3019 M
  4. mt.ciremai (west java) - 3078 M
  5. mt. tangkuban perahu (west java) - 2084 M
  6. mt. slamet (central java) - 3428 M
  7. mt.merbabu (central java) - 3142 M
  8. mt.sindoro (central java) - 3153 M
  9. mt.merapi (central java) - 2911 M
  10. mt.sumbing (central java) - 3371 M
  11. mt.lawu (central java) - 3265 M
  12. mt.kelud (east java) - ?? earthquake and errupted in 2007... unknown the last elevation
  13. mt.arjuna (east java) - 3339 M
  14. mt.welirang (east java) - 3156 M
  15. mt.Bromo (east java) - 2392 M
  16. mt. Mahameru ( east java) - 3676 M
  17. mt.ijen (east java) - 2386 M
  18. mt. Raung (east java) - 3332 M
  19. mt.argopuro (east java) - 3088 M
Bali & Nusa Tenggara :

  1. mt. Agung ( Bali ) - 3142 M
  2. mt. Batur ( Bali ) -1717 M
  3. mt. Batukaru ( Bali ) - 2093 M
  4. mt. abang ( Bali ) - 2152 M
  5. mt. Rinjani (lombok) - 3726 M
  6. mt.Tambora ( dompu ) - 2851 M
  7. mt.kelimutu ( flores) - 1690 M
  8. mt. ranakah ( NTT) - 2400 M
  9. mt. keknemo ( NTT) - 2070 M
East Indonesia :

  1. mt.latimojong (south celebes) - 3445 M
  2. mt.bawakareang (south celebes) - 2830 M
  3. mt.Rante mario (south celebes) - 3478 M
  4. mt.binaiya (maluku) - 3055 M
  5. mt.Trikora (papua) - 4730 M
  6. mt.Mandala (papua) - 4640 M
  7. mt.cartenz (papua) - 4885 M
  8. mt.Jaya (papua) - 4862 M

Senin, 11 Februari 2008

conquering wild Mountains @ Indonesia

as an island nation, Indonesia is full of mountain range that are perfectly challenging adventure venues for nature lovers. the mountains in sumatra, java, bali, Nusa tenggara, kalimantan, sulawesi, papua all have different characteristic.

fields of high grasses, ascending, trails surrounded by step cliff. the hazzard of toxic gases from volcanic craters, and the cold snow that freezes to the very marrow of your bones in the jayawijaya range-these are some of the challenges that face a truly adventoures nature lovers

mout semeru, on java, with an elevation of 3,676 meters above sea level is one of the most historic mountains for indonesia youthful nature lovers. it was here that soe hoek gie, a nature lover and prominent, lost his life from breathing in the poisonus gas. one uniqe feature of this mount is that before you reach the summit, there is a lake. where climbers often stop to fish. "the lake on the mountains slopes has many species of fish, which help as food suplies on the way up to the peak of semeru." says Lettu Inf Agus (known to his friends as ajus), one of officers of Indonesia Army mountaineering Association.

another favorite mountain is Rinjani, on lombok, one of Indonesia's Highest peak at on elevation 3,726 meter. the upward trailpasses through fields of tall grass and is so surrounded by primer forrest.- an unforgettablle challenge. you can also ascend Rinjani using mountain Bikes. from the summit of mount rinjani, the view extends as far as senggigi beach, lombok prime surfing beach for foreign tourist.

for something completly different, consider the jayawijaya range in papua in the far east of the country. at 4.885 meters this is indonesia highest peak and has the highest difficulty rating. not only is ist coverd by snow that freezes the climbers bodies, it's also surrounded by extremely difficult clopes. yet this does not deler many mountain climber who have climbed the world 's most famous peaks in europe and asia, can reaching the peak of jayawijaya.

many aspect needs to be thoroughly prepared before undertaking a climb. the climbers mental and physical preparedness, the etiquette that must be maintained during a climb, -skills that require intensive training, general knowledge about mountain climbing and specific knowledge about the mountain that is to be climbed. "planing is essential, so that when we climb the mountain. everything goes smoothly and without obstades,"agus notes.
agus also explained at length about the theree things hat need to be done before setting out planning the climb, checking all climbing equipment, and arranging the suplies in the backpack. all these steps one neccesarry is that everything goes according to plan. so what are you waiting for?
do some proper planning, and conquer some of Indonesia wild and magical mountain.