Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mt Rinjani Prep Hike 1: Mt Gede-Pedegrango

Mt. Rinjani is easily going to be 'hike of the year' for me - and, is going to challenging, to say the least. I have been doing basic workouts but Mt Rinjani does require some real simulation before i attempt it. So, I decide to do a couple of hikes just before so as to be ready for it.

I did Mt Gede a few months back but could not attempt Pangrango due to bad weather. (Mt Gede Hike)
So, i decided to attempt Pangrango this time. I landed in Jakarta and was joined by Madhav who was to accompany me for Mt Rinjani.

There was a heavy traffic jam on the highway and we didnt know any alternate route (Google doesnt map small 'gallis' (side roads) yet). We paid one of the guys ('Citizen volunteer') to show us an alternate route. Later, we realized that they were part of a big network which makes sure that their customers have a smooth ride during traffic jams. This was an alternate traffic police network by citizens. One thing i have always noted is that customer is always at the forefront in Indonesia. Customer focus is excellent and they would go the extra mile to make their customers happy.

One of those Citizen volunteers
We were shown the route perfectly and we reached Gede-Pangrango National park on time.

However, we were in for a shock when we reached the national park. Apparently, camping was not permitted to allow vegetation to recuperate after monsoons. The only option for us was to attempt Pangrango in a day hike - but that would have been a 16-18 hr non stop hike (up and down a 9000ft volcano). It was a crazy idea but for a moment, I was tempted to attempt it.  It would have been extremely risky considering the weather at summit. We dropped it.

The only other option left was to attempt Gede - again that too would have been a big stretch.

Finally, we decided to go as far we can till 3-4 PM and then make our way back just before dark. We could reach only the base camp and had to return. Nevertheless, it was a good hike and a much needed simulation for Mt Rinjani.

At the entrance

Mt Pangrango visible at the background

I could not resist getting in !!

With our guide and porter
UP NEXT: Next Rinjani Pre hike - Mt Ophir in Malaysia  - Have read that it is indeed a challenging hike. Lets see how it goes !