THE NONCHALANT ‘YES’
This is my first time hiking at a volcano and outside my homeland. The whole journey was started when I nonchalantly replied YES to my friend without knowing the details of the mountain as I just wanted to go for hiking the mountain in other countries. After one month left approaching to the hiking, I started looking for the details and to my surprise, Mount Kerinci is the highest active volcano in South East Asia and the highest mountain in Sumatera. It is aptly called Atap Sumatera. Based on the reading from blogs and information garnered, my confident level plummeted and very much worried about the difficulty of the hiking. Having said that, I made a thorough preparation based on the advice from the blogs that I have gone through particularly on the mental preparation.
Mount Kerinci is an active volcano with
OUR JOURNEY BEGINS
Our journey was started on 6th September 2018. The journey from KLIA to Minangkabau International Airport take merely 1 hour.
Once we reached the Minangkabau International Airport, we straightly take the rental cars with drivers and begin our journey to Kayu Aro, Jambi. The journey from Minangkabau International Airport to Kayu Aro is approximately 230km and take 8 hours as the road is winding and ascend to
Since the road is winding and keep changing in elevation, you might throw up at the middle of the journey..
After 2 hours in the car, we stop for lunch at Rumah Makan Sungai Kalu 4 to enjoy the famous Nasi Padang.
The journey was very long and we had to stop
KERSIK TUO, KAYU ARO, KERINCI, JAMBI
After more than 8 hours, we reached Kabupaten Kerinci. Kabupaten is an Indonesian word and it is actually ‘district’ in English.
Our accomodation is at Kersik Tuo. Kersik Tuo is a village
Since Kersik Tuo is located at high altitute, the kampung is cold and you must take your jacket for more comfort.
HOMESTAY B. DARMIN
There are a lot of
The location of the homestay is also strategic as it is straightly facing Mount Kerinci and located near Tugu Macan and Masjid Syuhada.
Be prepared to sleep in cold and for information, the toilet use water collected from the mountain, hence, it is cold as well. Haha.. Having said that, we are actually feel very comfortable while staying there.
GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER
Most of the team members are not know each other since we all come from different places around Malaysia. Hence, at the evening, we take opportunity to enjoy the coffee and get to know each other.
Then, we take our dinner at one of the Rumah Makan near our homestay while discussing for our mission on the next day.
Tugu Macan is the prominent landmark at Kersik Tuo. It was built for the symbol of Sumatran Tiger that inhabits at the foot of Mount Kerinci.
There will be 3 nos. of shelters before we reach the peak. The elevation is started at 1500m from sea level with a gentle gradient and will ascend to 3805m with steeper gradient after shelter 2 to the peak. From starting point which is at Pintu Rimba to Shelter 1, you will go through 3 checkpoints which are checkpoint 1 (Bangku Panjang), 2 (Batu Lumut) and 3 (Pondok Panorama).
Pintu Rimba to Post 1 (Bangku Panjang)
The route is convenient with gentle slope and you can walk leisurely through the forest but it is advised not to spend much time
Post 1 (Bangku Panjang) to Post 2 (Batu Lumut)
The route is still much similar with previous with little ascend. It takes around 20 minutes to get to Post 2 (Batu Lumut).
Post 2 (Batu Lumut) to Post 3 (Pondok Panorama)
The route starts to ascend little more with occasional steep. It takes 30 minutes to get to Post 3 (Pondok Panorama).
Post 3 (Pondok Panorama) to Shelter 1
The hikers start to feel the steep of the route as some of it has extended to 45o. Since the steep route required more time, it
At this point, you may spot mossy forest that indicates high elevation and chilly weather. You might be stuck a little longer here due to the photography session at the mossy forest. haha…
Shelter 1 to Shelter 2
The route to Shelter 2 becomes more challenging as the gradient has extended to 60o. It took around 3 hours for us to reach to Shelter 2. The shelter 2 is quite small and just can accommodate around 6 tents. When we reached the area, it was already cramped with other hikers and we tried to squeeze in for space.
From shelter 1 to shelter 2, our team actually has separated to several groups as some
Shelter 2 to Shelter 3
I opined that the toughest route is from Shelter 2 to Shelter 3 even though the distance is merely around 600m. It consists of V-shape passage that you seemingly walking alternately at the top and invert of deep V-shaped drain. For certain area, you need to use all of your limbs to get through the rough terrain.
Approaching Shelter 3, it was raining and we have to bear with the coldness. The strong blow of wind has deteriorated the condition. We reached Shelter 3 around 6.00 pm which is 2 hours’ time from Shelter 2.
Then, my biggest fret for this trip happened. Some of our team members got mild hypothermia. This was my first time witnessing people shaking rigorously. Before the hiking, I have studied profoundly and prepared for hypothermia as I am vulnerable to coldness. Even air conditioner at
If we are exhausted, we may get a rest, but if we succumbed to hypothermia, it affects severely our body systems and may thwart our ultimate mission to the peak.
Having simple hot coffee with biscuits was the best feeling that we had at that time. The rain was very heavy and we frantically went inside the tent without
When we reached the area, our potter and guide
The rain continues to fall heavily wind strong wind blow. We just spend our night entirely in the tent hoping that the rain will stop so that we may continue our hiking to the top. To our dismay, at 3.00 am in the morning, the rain still continues and we got not much option, just get back to sleep
At 5.00 am, thank god the rain has stop and we were preparing for summit attack.
Shelter 3 to Summit of Inderapura
The temperature is around 6oC and the strong wind blow has exacerbated the condition. Everyone of us were exuberant to attack the summit. The distance is just around 300m but since it was so steep, it was approximate around 65-70o, it took around 2 ½ hours to reach to the top. The route is full with loose rubble and must be extra vigilant for every step.
After more than 1 hours hiking, we reached Tugu Yudha. It is a simple memorial to commemorate the loss of Yudha Sentika which lost on 23rd June 1990 at 17 years old when he was on the hiking from Shelter 3 to summit. It was mentioned that the cloud was very thick at that time and he lost the direction. On the other note, area of Tugu Yudha is flat and quite spacious. You can take a breather at that area while enjoying the magnificent view of Kerinci Tuo, Jambi, Sea and Danao Gunung Tujuh.
The hiking towards the peak was very cold and the sight distance was short due to the area was engulfed with cloud and thick mist. Even from Tugu Yudha to the peak felt really long.
After almost more than half an hour, we reached Inderapura Summit. My initial feeling was very relieved and happy but after one of my team members wept loudly, I was overwhelmed as this was very challenging.
The view from the peak was magnificent. Indescribable. Even though it was engulfed with thick cloud, the view was really
We went back to Shelter 3 for lunch then we started to descend to Pintu Rimba. The track was wet and full of thick mud as it was raining during descending. It was Saturday and we had to give way to many hikers that coming for hiking. Hence, it was a bit time consuming. It was stark contrast during our hiking as not many hikers spotted on Friday. So, it advised not to start your journey on the weekend.
During descending, we just took a quick breather for every shelters and checkpoints. We managed to reached Pintu Rimba at around 7.30 pm which was already dark. It was so exhausting as my leg start to feel the pain. Nevertheless, I was so happy that we have managed to accomplish the challenge.
For the next day, our entire team supposedly to go to Dana Kaco but some of our team members still exhausted and in pain. Hence, we opt for two choices which was one group will stay at Kayu Aro and explore the area and another team will go to Danao kaco as planned.
Danao Kaco is a small lake located at
Danao Kaco is about 100km from Kayu Aro and
Don’t be fooled with the look of
The lake is shrouded with mysteries that yet to debunk but for certain, it is very unique. On the other note, it is listed one of the world heritages by UNESCO.
EXPLORING KERSIK TUO, KAYU ARO
Kersik Tuo is a quaint small village but hectic with plantation activities. Even though it just a small village, there is so much to explore and it can be an option for holiday as well.
Tugu Macan is a statue of tiger that represent Sumatran Tiger which Seblat Kerinci National Park is the habitat of the endangered species. It is become the prominent features of Kersik Tuo, Kayu Aro. The statue is actually gated and it is open for certain time only every day. The open time is from 2 pm to 5 pm.
PASAR BEDENG 8
Pasar Bedeng 8 is actually located at Kayu Aro Barat. It is approximately 8km from Tugu Macan and take around 15 minutes by van. For information, you can take local transportation which is van that is painted with white colour. The cost from Tugu Macan to Pasar Bedeng 8 is only IDR 5000/person.
Pasar Bedeng 8 is only open on Sunday morning. There are a lot of things sold at the pasar ranging from local foods, eateries, crops, clothes, toys, souvenirs and other paraphernalia.
KEBUN TEH KAYU ARO
Kebun Teh Kayu Aro is the tea plantation area that located at the vicinity of Mount Kerinci. The view is so
There are a lot of food places along Kersik Tuo but our
OUTDOOR, SOUVENIRS SHOPS
If you want to buy hiking equipment, t-shirts, jackets
TEH KAYU ARO, TEH KULIT KAYU MANIS AND KOPI KERINCI
You must take along at least one pack of Teh Kayu Aro (Kayu Aro Tea),
DANAO GUNUNG TUJUH
Danao Gunung Tujuh (Gunung Tujuh Lake) is located approximately 14km from Tugu Macan and take 30 minutes to get there. The hiking took around 2 hours towards the lake.
There are poles with numbers along the track to give guide to hikers. You will need to go thorough quite a steep hike until poles no. 38.
After poles no. 38, you will start to descend until pole no. 41 before you reach the lake.
Danao Gunung Tujuh is actually a lake that is surrounded by 7 peaks (aptly with the name) which are Gunung Hulu Tebo, Gunung Hulu Sangir, Gunung Madura Besi, Gunung Lumut, Gunung Selasih, Gunung Jar Panggang and Gunung Tujuh. Danao Gunung Tujuh is the highest lake in South East Asia which sits at 1950 m from sea level.
There are few antiquated ‘sampan’ made from timber log waiting for you to explore the lake. It was an awesome experience to paddle around the lake. You can see Mount Kerinci from the lake itself and it looks beautiful from that view.
BID GOODBYE TO MOUNT KERINCI
Our journey come to an end as we have to leave Kersik Tuo at 9.00 pm as we have to catch up early flight at Padang to KL. It was a surreal experience as I never thought that I will hike the highest volcano in Indonesia. May our paths cross again Kerinci.. Goodbye.