Alhamdulillah, a team of 9 extraordinary people (half with age more than 40) managed to complete the Rinjani trek from Sembalun Lawang to Senaru. We didn’t manage to summit due to bad weather though. We started trekking from Sembalun basecamp on 7th July and reached Senaru basecamp on 9th July.
We did it in 3 days & 2 nights. Camping on Sembalung Lawang’s rim on day 1 and at the Segera Anak Lake on day 2. Retrospectively, we should have done it in 4 days at least & 5 days is better. The day 1 long trekking (12KM) from the basecamp was tiring. Only our group walked from the basecamp (or Rinjani Information Centre). All other people we met at the basecamp started their trekking 2KM shorter (I forgot the name of their starting place).
From the moment we arrived at the basecamp, I already have the impression that cleanliness was a big issue. The RIC is dirty. Not well maintained.
We hired 13 porters!!! 9 climbers & 13 porters! Why? Because we want them to carry our camera gears WITH us ALL THE WAY! During the briefing, everyone agreed…..but these porters were simply lazy and obviously not able to follow instruction. The logistic porters should walk first and prepare food at Post 2 (Tengengean, 1500m) but many were actually walking at their own sweet time. By the time we reached Post 2 at about 12PM, many porters haven’t arrived. So we waited for one hour for them to cook the food. Only after 2 hours we can continue the journey.
We decided that we need to took out our jacket, glove & headlamp at Post 2 because we know that our supposedly personal porter won’t follow us!
The trekking to Post 3 was quite OK. Most reached Post 3 (Pada Balong, 1800m) at about 3PM. We thought we could reached the rim (Sembalun crater rim, 2,639 m) before sunset….but how wrong we were. The 3.5KM ‘Bukit Penyiksaan’ (The Torturous Hill) was proven too difficult to us. Me, KD & Andy arrived at 7PM, Hisyam at 8PM, Ali Tukiman, Nash & Jasni after that, Ali at 10:30PM and Zali at almost 1AM!! Despite the huge time difference, I would like to congratulate all members for being able to complete the mission.
The strong wind, the super cold atmosphere & fatigue consumed us. Once my tent was ready, I just went in & slept. Dinner only ready by 10:30PM! No hot tea whatsoever upon arrival.
At around 2:30AM dR Ali woke us all. We got ready to summit Rinjani….but at that time the wind was so strong & cloud wrapped around us. We though we saw some people attempted to summit but retreated. Porters also advised us not to summit. Our guides from Java ready to accompany us actually but after a quick discussion, with safety as the main concern, we cancelled our attempt to summit. However when we discovered that there were many people summit that morning, despite the misty morning, we felt devastated. Even though I strongly believe that I may not able to get good picture due to the cloud or fog/mist, the failure to summit keep on disturbing me……even up to this very moment.