Who doesn’t know Mount Rinjani? The famous mountain to foreign countries as one of the most beautiful mountains in Asia.
However, before climbing Rinjani via the Sembalun route, there are a few things you should know.
1. Fight against the hot sun in the savanna
Unlike the Senaru route, which has wilderness terrain, climbing via the Sembalun route will pass through savanna fields that seem endless. Experience like this will rarely be obtained considering that the mountains in Indonesia are mostly dominated by tropical rain forests along the hiking trails.
Don’t forget to bring equipment such as hats, sunblock, and it’s better to wear clothes and long pants because with terrain like this you will very rarely find big trees to take shelter. Especially if you hike in the dry season, it can burn your skin because it takes hours to cross the savanna.
Also prepare enough drinking water. Because even though the terrain that is traversed is not steep but climbing under the hot sun directly will make the body quickly dehydrated.
2. Hordes of naughty monkeys
At post 3 or at Plawangan Sembalun, usually many monkeys come to ask for food. Sometimes they don’t hesitate to steal the climbers’ food, even if it’s in the tent. It is recommended to properly store the logistics of equipment and supplies during the Summit Attack. With the condition of the empty tents, it is not impossible for the monkeys to steal food from the tents.
Note: Your goods are safe because there is a porter who will drive away the monkeys.
3. Bukit Penyesalan will test you mentally and physically
Trekking Rinjani via Sembalun, after heading Post 3 (1900m asl) you will be faced with quite heavy terrain name Bukit Penyesalan (Hill of Regret). There are 7 hills that must be passed before arriving at the last post, Plawangan Sembalun 2639m asl.
This hill is like a test that will knock down physically and destroy mentally. It takes physical strength and mental toughness to be able to climb the Bukit Penyesalan which has a steep and uphill terrain to the end.
4. Unyielding determination to climb to the top of Rinjani
The savanna is the beginning and the hill of regret is like a pre-test, because the real test is when the summit attack. Starting from Plawangan Sembalun with an altitude of 2639 meters above sea level, it still takes around 1100 meters to reach the top.
Try to start climb before 3 am so you can reach the top at sunrise (normal time 3 hours). Because if you are still on your way when the sun is overhead, it is like a combination of the heat of the sun in the savanna and the steep incline on the hill of regret. Even though during the summit attack you don’t carry much weight, it still feels heavy because the air is getting thinner to breathe.
Many climbers fail to reach the top and decide to return halfway. Apart from being physically and mentally qualified, you also need unyielding determination to be able to reach Mount Rinjani. Because the struggle will be paid off by the beauty of the panorama that is presented up there.
After climbing the top of Rinjani, the trip can continue towards Segara Anak Lake and down to Senaru or Torean. If you feel it’s enough, just climb to the top of Rinjani, then go back down to Sembalun.