21 05 2011

Brothers On The Mountain!

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Story when My brother and I climb mount Rinjani just one day after Idul Fitri.

Nope this is not a story about brothers on the mountain that broadcasted on Nat Geo Adventure Channel but is about my trip with my brothers to climb Mt.Rinjani. Though it will be really awesome if we can appear in one of Nat Geo shows (ngarep mode on). For sure anyone who loves mountain, definitely will put Mt. Rinjani amongst their top climbing peak. My brother and I been dreaming so long to climb this mountain. Everyone that ever been up there always said that its one of the most beautiful mountain in Indonesia.

For anyone that ain’t quiet familiar with the mountain here are bit info regarding the mountain. Mountain Rinjani located in Lombok is the second highest volcanic mountain in Indonesia that reaches up to 3726 meter above sea level. Nowadays , Mt. Rinjani is part of Mt. Rinjani National Park that was established since 1997. One of the main attractions from this mountain beside the peak is Segara Anak Lake. Well if you want to more about the detail you can easily google it.

Anyway, me and my brother decide to go there just one day after we celebrate Idul Fitri. I remember that morning, while most of the people still visiting their neighbor or relative, we were loading our backpack to a taxi to go to the airport. We leave home in the morning to catch our 11.00 AM plane and since its Idul Fitri so we have a plenty of cakes, pastries, and some other snacks so for sure our mother gives us some supplied for  our time in the mountain  some stuff such as Nastar cookie and peanuts hahaha which we finish it all up on the plane hehe sorry mom. Just before we touch down in Selaparang Airport (Lombok Airport) we can get a glimpse of the mountain with its magnificent  peak that goes trough the clouds.

After filled our hungry stomach with some lunch we take a bus to Sembalun Village which is a starting point to climb the mountain. There are two route that we can use to climb the mountain. Sembalun which dominated by vast savanna landscape and Senaru which a dense rain forrest almost similar like any rain forrest in Java. We reach the last town around 7PM and by that time there were no public transportation that goes up to the village therefore we need to hitchhike some mini pick that normally used to carry vegetables from the nearest farm. Finally we arrive at the village around 10PM and surprisingly I meet with a group from Jakarta that was lead by Handoko, my friend from Jakarta.

Its funny we always bump each other in the wild where the last time we met was in Ujung Kulon national Park. After drink some coffee we decide its time to hits the mattress and get some sleep. We spent the night in a very simple house, which look more like a hut if I must say, belong to one of the villager that we meet in the registration office. He was really nice and when got inside his house, his wife cooked us some dinner. I feel so bad because He always keep on saying sorry for the condition of his house. We were thinking that if we want some nice bed and nice house then why bother going so far away from our home. This is the kind of experience that looking for.

The next morning we woke up after all the dogs that keep on barking and chicken that keep on screaming.. The sleeping bag that we have works really well against the cold night so we had  a really good sleep. I went to the back of the house where the bathroom is, and as I see outside the view was just awesome. Right behind the house we can see the mountain with clouds covered the top. It was the best view that we can possible expect in the morning.

After had some breakfast and paid some entrance fee to the park ranger (which was only Rp.5000 for local and Rp.150.000 for foreigners) we start the climb passing through some villages. Strangely, after 10 minutes walking I had a really bad headache and nausea. I was quit surprise because it was only around 1.200 above sea level so altitude sickness is less likely causing this headache. My brother was just laughing when I said I need a break, he said that we only walk for 10 minutes and you need a break? “Ohh probably it’s because now you getting old” He said.

Having the urge to defend my pride and dignity, then I push my self to continue walking and after 15 minutes the headache finally goes away. As we walk further up in the mountain we pass some local porter that carrying stuff that weight more then 30kg or some even could reach up to 70 kg while I try to keep my weight as minimum as possible. Not because I can not carry that much🙂 but rather because I’m trying to adopt the Ultralight Hiking methods.. Usually the porter charge around 70-150.000 per day, while for foreigners they could charge up to 200.000. We stop for lunch at some river bank that completely dry, filled with volcanic rocks, the river seem to be a lava stream when the mountain erupt. Now the problem is who’s going to prepare the lunch? Because at home, my brother was sooo lazy that he always asked for someone else to get things done for Him. After long negotiation we finally agree that its His turn to prepare the lunch while I’ll do the cleaning. After lunch we got struck by a famous disease that used to have by Indonesian, which is sleepy syndrome.

After get some short nap, we continue my our way up to the base camp. Along the way we met some foreigner and their porter. As we walk higher, we can see the town below and the summit on top, what a contrast scenery. We arrive at the base camp on time around 5PM, just enough time to set up the tent, boiled some water for hot tea, and then sat on the ridge on top of the lake to enjoy the sunset. And again, we had another longggg discussion about who’s going to get the water, set up the tent, boiled the water, etc…

At night, the wind was so strong that we find it a bit difficult to get some sleep because the tent keep on making this strange and funny noise, the trees get blown by the wind sometime touch our tents as if someone scratching on out tents. At first we plan to go for the summit attack by 1PM but we only succeed to woke up by 2PM and apparently we were the only one that start to hike this early. After walk for more then 2 hours on a pitch black, cold temperature and strong wind finally, it really taking its toll, its completely drain our energy especially my brother that have an asthma. Ever since he was a kid,my brother have a mild asthma but he always push him self by doing active lifestyle such as practicing soccer and climbing. But when we  hike for the summit, it really the hardest time for him. He keep on taking a break and rest every 5 or 10 minutes.

The cold temperature and the thin air really make it hard for him to breath.  This is also a test for us as brother, born as the youngest in our family, he always treated special by our mom, but I never expected that he will be so spoiled when we climb the mountain. I mean this is not the first time he hike but this time he make everything so difficult. After more then 1 hours, its finally get on my nerve. I get really upset and said that He just lying about his asthma. Its just an excuse that he made up to get some rest. I was keep on shouting and pushed him to keep on walking. Eventually other climber that start the summit attack after us finally catching up. After seen on his expression, I finally  believe that he  really having difficulty on breathing. His face were turn blue and his breathing was short. And then he said a words that really strike me. He said that “I think I’m gonna die here”. I was really panic when he said that.

It was just the two of us up in the mountain in pitch black. It was the scariest time in my life that I thought am gonna loose him. So we decide to get some rest. After 30 minutes  resting he finally able to breath normal and then we continue to hike for the summit. Finally we reach the summit at 5.30AM and it took us more then  3 hours to reach the summit. We where a bit disappointed when we reach the summit because we can’t see anything. The summit where cover with mist and we only spend like 5 minutes in the summit because the strong wind and chill temperature. Well at least both of us make it to summit and not die along the way.

In the morning after get some breakfast we pack our stuff and continue to descent to Segara Anak where we will spent 1 more night near the lake.At night it was a unique sensation as we saw start above our heads and across the lake the Mt.Baru Jari spilled its red lava.

The next morning we need to climb up toward the western ridge to go to Senaru route where we will make our decend. We finally reach down in Senaru entrance around 2PM and after grab a Coke we start to find some transportation to the nearest bus terminal to catch a ferry to Bali. We met two girls from US along the way that also plan to go to Bali. So we share a cab to go to the Harbor and unfortunatly we arrive in Kuta at 4Am so we get stranded till the hotel are open.

Climbing to Mt.Rinjani was a lifetime experience and this is one of the mountain that made me want to go back. As for climbing with my brother, it really made us know each other much better  especially to realize how spoiled He is haha.

Check out the complete gallery on my web www.diaryformymother.com


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