Friday, May 29, 2009

Mt Raung (3332m), East Java, Indonesia : 21-23 May 2009

Mt Raung via Sumber Wringin, Bondowoso, East Java

For more pictures please refer to my facebook album.

How do I describe Mt Raung? The trail wasn't that steep but it sure was long - through plantations, thick & overgrown bushes, rainforest, pine trees and grassland. We had to carry water for all the days spent on the trail and made our load very heavy.

The seven of us started from Surabaya with Augustinus providing us with the transport to Bondowoso about 5 hours away. Apart from Augustinus, the team includes Dwi Bahari and Riza from Jakarta, Mbak Endah and Erni from Kalimantan and Walter Rudy Wongkar (Woldy) from Jombang, East Java. The Mt Raung hiking post was in Sumber Wringin along the way to the famous Kawah Ijen. The post was quite big with rooms for rent (Rp100,000 per day) and clean and spacious bathrooms. Mbak Endang the caretaker provided us with a hot meal the moment we arrived. There we met our guide - Sugianto (Wanyo) and porters - Naruto, Hari and Aris.

A huge truck (Rp300,000 for return trip) took us to the starting point at Pondok Motor about 45 minutes away. From there we started to hike and because we started late, we had to hike in the dark. After slighltly more than an hour, we set camp on a flat land on the trail.

The next day, it was a long three hours hike to Pondok Sumur and then another hour to Pondok Tonyok where we took a longer break for lunch. About 2pm, we started the last leg of the hike through Pondok Mayyit, Pondok Demit and finally Pondok Angin. It took us a good 3 hours from Pondok Tonyok to Pondok Angin.

Pondok Angin was a small campsite in the grassland right after the pine tree forest. Here, the mighty wall of Mt Raung can be clearly seen. Mt Raung has a higher technical summit called Puncak Sejati which requires some rope skills, abseiling and longer days. We opted just to reach the crater ream. We were lucky because at Pondok Angin, the weather was clear and pleasant so different from the drizzle and thick fog during the hike.

We started the summit attack around 4.45 am. The hike to the summit wasn't especially steep but it sure was tricky, scary and sometimes confusing. At times we had to hike along very thin ridge just enough for one person and at other times, we had to slowly crawl our way along the small trail. Even the non-technical summit was eerie. The crater ream was practically walls jutting out and we had to balance ourselves when taking pictures. The crater itself was huge, deep and dangerous. The scenery really blow me away - picturesque with elements of risk.

The climbing down all the way to Pondok Motor wasn't as difficult and we reached it after 6 hours of hiking. Sugianto was definitely a very able guide cum porter cum photographer. Thank you guys.

To climb Mt Raung, Mt Merapi (East Java) or Kawah Ijen contact Sugianto at +6285258718838


  1. this is very cool zaidi! too bad we didn't get to meet when you were in the philippines!

    gideon here of

  2. Gideon,

    Hope to meet up with you one day too. Definitely plan to climb Mt Apo in March next year however Julius Paner is not replying to my e-mail.

  3. why don't you join us in may 2010? we'll be climbing all the great mountains of mindanao including apo! just email me at info@pinoymountaineer :D