Friday, May 15, 2009

Mt Sindoro (3153m), Desa Kledung, Central Java, Indonesia : 8-9 May 2009

Mt Sindoro as seen from Mt Sumbing
Trail to summit
Mt Sumbing seen from Sindoro
Alun-alun Sindoro crater
Mas Ragil, Guide
Campsite at Batu Tatah
Posko Sindoro at Desa Kledung

When I reached the summit of Mt Merbabu in May 2008, I saw the twin peaks of Sindoro and Sumbing and I knew then I just had to climb the two mountains.

I reached the city of Yogyakarta on 7 May 2009 and thankfully Augustinus, an Indonesian friend from Surabaya whom I met while climbing Mt Arjuna & Welirang in 2008, was there with a car to take me to Desa Kledung in Kabupaten Temanggung, Central Java. Also in the group - Pak Ilham, Maria and Lee Siu. If Augustinus had not been there, I would have to take a bus to Magelang and change bus to Desa Kledung. The car trip took approximately 3 hours including dinner at Temanggung.

Mas Ragil the caretaker for Mt Sindoro basecamp greeted us with warm tea and a quick briefing. He will be our guide accompanied by two porters - Rofique and Somar. They will also prepare my tent and food during our 2 days 1 night hike of Mt Sindoro.

We started hiking the next day with Pak Ilham driving us to the starting point at the end of the village farm. The farmers were planting tobacco in anticipation of the coming dry season. However, the sky was cloudy and rain was expected. I guess, the rain season was reluctant to make an exit.

The trail was along bushes, pine forest and grassland. We started at 10.30am and I reached Pos 3 around 1 noon. Pos 3 was a big flat campsite. At 3 pm I started my hike to Batu Tatah, a small campsite about an hour to the summit. I reached the campsite at 4pm. Along the way, the bush and pine trees gave way to steep grassland. It also began to drizzle and I was shivering while waiting for the porters to arrive so the tent could be set up.

The drizzle continued but not too long. Soon, the sky began to clear . It was a full moon night. Splendid.

We woke up at 4.15 am for the summit attack. Only Ragil, Augustinus and I made the climb. Maria and Lee Siu were too tired while the porters had to stay back to prepare our breakfast. The 1 hour climb was not that difficult and it was not that cold either. I reached the summit at 5.45 am.

It was truly a blessed sight. The clear blue sky, the majestic Sumbing looming in front of us, the superbly green grassland, the awesome sunrise. I had seen all these before and yet I still feel excited and humbled at the beauty of the landscape.

We circled the crater ream. At the other side, surprisingly, was a flat plateau or 'alun-alun'. From here I could see the Dieng Plateau - a majestic beauty as far as the eyes can see. On 1 Suro (according to Javanese calendar), thousands of people will be flocking here to perform 'rituals' - most probably a leftover culture from animistic-Hinduism culture. Another vast flatland just after the alun-alun was called 'Pasar Setan' or Devil's Market where occasionally the empty field will be filled with chattering noise from the 'unseen' .
It took us almost an hour to tour the crater ream and it was truly worth it.
Going back to basecamp at Desa Kledung was easy. I started at Batu Tatah around 10 am and reached the basecamp at 12.20 noon.

To climb Mt Sindoro, contact Ragil at +6281328096081


  1. Really wished I can join climb up to the top, if only I'm not too tired and cold.

  2. Lisiu,

    You did well for a novice mountain climber. Keep it up. You can only improve.

  3. Thanks for sharing - am planning Sumbing and Sindoro in May. Will contact Ragil for the hike. Does he speak English?

    Care to post your wonderful account of Sumbing and Sindoro on

    rosalind aka wombat