Monday, May 18, 2009

Mt Sumbing (3371m), Central Java, Indonesia : 10 May 2009

Sumbing as seen from Sindoro

Merapi & Merbabu

Sumbing in the background from Sindoro trail

Somar & Rofique at crater ream

View from the other side of the crater ream

Rofique on Sumbing slippery trail

View on trail
View on trail

Climbing Mt Sumbing was in a nutshell - hell.

I was accompanied by Somar and Rofique. After registering ourselves at Posko Sumbing in Desa Garung, Kabupaten Wonosobo, we started the hike at 10.45pm. Even at the beginning, the trail along the farm was exhausting. Not too mention slippery. There were thick clouds in the sky and the mist was enveloping us like a shadow of death. I'm being dramatic.

Really, it was a never-ending uphill climb nary a flat surface for us to rest. I was gasping for air like fish out of water. My sweat can fill a bucket easily. And it was a night climb on an altitude of more than 2000 meters! What was I thinking?

But I presevered and after 3 hours, managed to reach another 'Devil's Market' (Pestan), a flat piece of land suitable for camping. The chill was shocking , I was shivering. We hid under some rocks trying to avoid the wind and at the same time ate supper. After one hour rest, we started the hike again.

There was these huge rocks called "Batu Kotak" and "Pasar Wetu" and we had to make a long round trip tp get on the trail again. But my guides decided to take a short-cut which involved having your back against the rock, climbing down a sharp rock and jumping for dear life to get onto the trail that led to the summit. It was crazy but it was definitely adventurous. I will not, however, ever do that again!

Anyway, the trail to the summit was one long torturous stretch that made me rethink the reasons of my existence in this world and day dreaming of a warm blanket and a cup of hot coffee. Drama aside, I managed to pull my big butt up the steep, rocky trail and finally reaching the summit at 6 am. Not bad actually.

The thick fog meant, no sunrise picture, not much view but I was happy and felt very much contented. The wind actually pushed away the fog for a while allowing me to see the beautiful green meadow inside the crater. It was a good place to pitch a tent.

The hike down was slow but consistent. It was painfull, in a way, because I had to really focus on my steps and the trail. Not only was the trail steep, it was also slippery.
But there was one moment during the climb down, I stood still and just feast my eyes on the cliff, the green slopes, the fog, the trees - and suddenly there was this feeling of real contentment, a joy, an appreciation, a lesson in humility - my surrounding seemed unreal, beautiful, majestic. I felt overwhelmed and I understood why I continue climbing mountains despite the hardship. I'm in love with the mountains!
There is this song "Sempurna" by the Indonesian band "Andra and the Backbone' which aptly described my relationship with the mountains.
We finally reached the starting point after four hours. The sky opened up celebrating our safe return from the summit.

Thank you Rofique and Somar. You guys were the best.

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