Mount Rinjani National Park in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) is one of the icons of Indonesia’s natural beauty. No wonder Rinjani attracts many foreign tourists to climb it and see firsthand the beauty of Mount Rinjani.
In addition, Mount Rinjani is one of the most beautiful spots and is the target of many photographers because the terrain is difficult to climb and requires careful preparation. It takes a lot of preparation and equipment to be able to climb comfortably.
When we hear about Mount Rinjani in Indonesia, we imagine the beauty of this mountain and exciting stories during the ascent no wonder Mount Rinjani is an exotic mountain and has become an icon on the island of Lombok, NTB. With a height of 3,726 meters above sea level, this mountain is also listed as the 2nd highest volcano in Indonesia, after Mount Kerinci in Sumatra.
Mount Rinjani is located in 3 districts in Lombok, namely West Lombok, Central Lombok, and East Lombok, and is still an active volcano today. Volcanologists estimate Mount Rinjani erupted in 1257.
Mount Rinjani National Park in Lombok
Then in the eruption that occurred in 1874, in the middle of the Rinjani crater, a new mountain appeared, which became known as Mount Baru Jari (2,376 masl).
The last Rinjani activity occurred in 2010, which threw lava and other volcanic material up to an area of 5.5 km. Although it still erupts a few times, we can still climb.
Of course, with permission in advance to the National Park, because they are the ones who can determine whether we can climb or not by estimating the natural weather and activity of the mountain.
I always wanted to climb Mount Rinjani because of the tough terrain and physical preparation that made it stop, and finally, the opportunity to climb Mount Rinjani came.
Currently, Mount Rinjani has also long been an obsession of various groups, ranging from mountain climbers, environmental and volcanic researchers, photographers, both professional and hobbyists, to tourists who love nature and beauty. Its nature is rich with biodiversity, challenging terrain, and spectacular natural panoramas are a series of attractions for this mountain.
The peak of Mount Rinjani, its spectacular natural scenery, and challenging terrain are the main attractions for mountain climbers. In addition, in this area, there is also Lake Segara Anak, hot springs, and waterfalls, as other attractions.
The Rinjani area is a habitat for various flora and fauna as well as natural phenomena that can be a source of germplasm and are very beneficial for the development of science, education, and research.
In terms of flora, this area has a number of the endemic flora of Nusa Tenggara, such as Vernonia Albiflora, Vernonia Tengwalii, and several types of orchids (Peristylus Rintjaniensis and Peristylus Lombokensis).
In terms of fauna, apart from being a habitat for wild boar (Sus Scrofa), gray macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Lutung (Tracyphitecus Auratus Cristatus), Pangolin (Manis javanica), Rinjani Musang (Paradoxurus- Hermaphroditus Rhindjanicus), Leleko or Congkok ( Felis Bengalensis Javanensis), Timor deer (Cervus timorensis Floresiensis) and Hedgehog (Hystrix javanica).
There are also several types of birds, including the Black-Headed Punglor (Zootera Doherty), Koakiau (Philemon Buceroides Neglectus), Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua Shulphurea Parvula), Scaled Hat Honeysucker (Lichmera Lombokia), Red-headed Punglor (Zootera Interpres), Chest Lori Red (Trichoglossus haematodus). Although when climbing, we rarely find these animals, it is recorded that the animals above are still found.
With this wealth, in 1997, the Indonesian government designated the Mount Rinjani area as a National Park with a protected area of 41,330 hectares.
For photography lovers, I recommend taking the Sembalun route because from here, we can enjoy many views of the mountains and hills. Not only that, here we can enjoy the view of the savanna and grass around us.
The photography techniques that must be prepared are as follows.
- Prepare enough spare batteries and memory cards because there is no access to electricity during the climb.
- A tripod is required for photographing sunsets, sunrises, star trails, and time-lapse at night.
- Bring a spare camera. Often found, several types of cameras and batteries other than lithium descended on the top of the mountain. Because at sunrise and at the peak of Rinjani, the temperature can reach 5-8 degrees Celsius.
- Because our goal is to take pictures, it is highly recommended to use an additional porter who only brings our photo equipment.
- If there is an opportunity to clean the camera, it should be done in a tent that is minimal in the dust.
- Try not to change the lens because there is a lot of dust on Mount Rinjani. Frequently changing lenses allow a lot of dust to enter the camera sensor.
- If you go up to Mount Rinjani via the Sembalun route, bring a 17-55mm range lens for non-full frame lenses and 24-70mm for full-frame lenses. Both lenses are ideal for shooting on the go.
Mountain Climbing Rinjani
Most of the climbers are foreign tourists. I rarely meet Indonesians or domestic tourists who hike. This is because mountain climbing is the most popular activity in Rinjani National Park. Almost every weekend, this mountain is enlivened by mountain climbers who want to set foot on the roof of this Earth Lombok.
Actually, there are three hiking trails to reach Rinjani Peak, but currently, there are two official routes that have been determined by the Rinjani National Park manager, namely the Lawang Senaru and Lawang Sembalun routes.
And of the two routes, Lawang Sembalun is a favorite route for climbers considering that it is closer to the summit. And one of the other routes is Korean; for those who don’t know the terrain and don’t have a strong physique, I really don’t recommend going through this route.
Located on the northeast side of Rinjani peak, Sembalun Village can be reached in 4 to 5 hours by car from Mataram City or the Senggigi area. The climbing time from here to Rinjani Peak takes about 7 hours. But in general, climbing Rinjani while taking pictures can take 10 to 11 hours.
For photographic hiking trips, I highly recommend the Sembalun Trail because climbing from Sembalun Village is quite exciting. At the beginning of the journey, the terrain traversed in the form of vast grasslands interspersed with trees, with relatively flat terrain conditions. Therefore, on the way, we can see the surrounding panorama. Sometimes the slopes of Rinjani peak can be seen clearly when the sky is clear.
This is very different from conditions in Java or Sumatra which are usually dense tropical forests. Climbing conditions are slightly different after passing through post-3. This time there are more and more large trees and the terrain tends to climb so it will be tiring.
Interestingly, on this route, there is also an area known as the “Hill of Regret.” So named because, while here, many climbers later feel sorry for climbing Rinjani. Steep climbs and hills seem endless.
However, those who are steel-minded and tireless, they can definitely pass the incline that is blocking them until they finally arrive at a place called Pelawangan Sembalun.
Pelawangan Sembalun is an elongated plain that is right on the side of a steep and very deep ravine. This place is a favorite camp for climbers before heading to the summit of Rinjani the next day.
The panorama that is served at Pelawangan Sembalun is really alluring. The eyes will be presented with views of Rinjani Peak, steep and lined slopes, and Segara Anak Lake below.
If your stamina is still strong from Pelawangan, you can continue the summit attack, aka climbing to the top of Rinjani, which is usually done early in the morning, around 02.00. The time was chosen so that climbers could get the moment of sunrise at the top of Rinjani.
Climbing to the top of Rinjani requires a strong spirit and physique. Besides still having to fight drowsiness and cold air, the sandy terrain is quite difficult to traverse. Even so, many climbers are finally able to reach the top. When successfully set foot on the top, all the “sacrifices” are guaranteed to be paid off.
From above, the climb is directed back to Pelawangan Sembalun, then down to Sembalun Village. The descent will be faster. The climbers can arrive at Sembalun Village in the afternoon or evening.
Segara Anak Lake, which is located at an altitude of 2,010 meters above sea level, is one of the favorite locations in Rinjani. Not only does it offer a calm atmosphere, but this lake also offers an amazing natural panorama. Anyone would like to be here. In this 1,100-hectare lake, there is also much fish which is also a favorite dinner for climbers.
July to August is the best season to climb Rinjani. At that time, the climb will be crowded with many mountain climbers, especially before the 17th of August, when many groups of mountaineers in the country celebrate the Independence Day of Indonesia in this place.
In general, the climbing terrain on Mount Rinjani cannot be said to be easy. In addition to being physically and mentally fit, adequate equipment is also needed to minimize any risks that may occur.
However, those who are new to mountain climbing can still enjoy Rinjani by using the services of a trekking organizer (TO) or a travel agent that specifically manages climbing which is widely available in Mataram or Sembalun or Senaru. Village.
The fare is set at IDR 1.5 million per person, depending on the selected travel package. The fee usually includes the services of a guide and porter, equipment, and supplies during the ascent.
Remember to climb Rinjani; it takes 50 percent Stamina, and the remaining 50 percent is mental. Without them, we would not be able to climb comfortably. During the ascent, be careful with your actions and words to guard against unwanted things during the ascent. Respect nature. Mountains are not to be conquered but to be respected and guarded.
Happy climbing and enjoying the beauty of Mount Rinjani, Safety Hiking, and Go Green. Before you leave for Rinjani, you should prepare the best and most trusted travel insurance.