Testing My Bravery to The Highest Volcano in Indonesia, Mt. Kerinci

The weather was great that day. I landed in Minangkabau Airport which is located in Padang, West Sumatra. And thankfully all (me and my friends) of our baggages were safe and sound. Like any other road trips, I spent my whole day in the car to go to Kersik Tuo (it’s the last village before hiking Mt. Kerinci. 7 and a half hours passed, I had a lot of fun chatting with my long lost friend (it’s been a year though), Prema.

Arriving at that homestay was very joyful ‘cause I’m extremely hungry (food please!). And guess what? They got the most delicious foods ever. I ate a lot of spicy foods like fried mackerels, fried eggplants, plus fried crackers. Well, after dinner we should repack our hiking gears and all the stuffs we wanted to bring tomorrow. One day was completely over.

I woke up at 5 in the morning, not feeling that fresh. I went out of room, the weather was awesome. The wind breezed softly, the sunshine started to come out, I loved it. Our carriers were all inside the bus now. So it’s time to stretch that body before the long and challenging hike.

“Okay students, we’re now leaving to Pintu Rimba (Kerinci’s entrance gate)” said Mr. Jemy.

We finally arrived at Pintu Rimba after 15 minutes drive, I can still picture the tea plantations along the way to get there. It was breathtaking. Here’s a photo of me and my friends before the hike– we looked so excited.

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Look at our happy faces!

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Walking to Pintu Rimba

The tough hike then start. We prayed. We believed in ourselves. We were split into some groups though, creating gaps between them because we got different level of speed. Along the way, we usually shouted a code “woo”–like a wolf to make sure the groups behind us are following the same way as the leading group. Oh, that “woo” signal echoes in the forest.

We spent 45 minutes to reach station 1, 45 minutes to station 2, 1.5 hours to station 3, 2 hours to shelter 1, 4 hours to shelter 2, and 1.2 hours to shelter 3. The tracks were getting harder and harder since shelter 1. The worst part was the hike between shelter 2 to shelter 3. It was frinkin’ steep and slippery. Some of the tracks were more than 1 meter high that I should pull my body up with my walking stick (plus my hand).

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Arriving at Shelter 3 with a big smile

Sleeping in my not-so-thick sleeping bag was comfortable enough. It was 3.30 a.m the first time I woke up. This part is always the hardest point when hiking a mountain, the summit attack. We need to be full of energy in the early morning. I opened my tent zipper, the cold wind started to enter in. I put on my damp Columbia shoes on and lift up my body. I think the temperature was about 7-10℃ that time.

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Tents with sprinkle of stars

I chose to hike with the first group which were all boys because I wanted to spend more time on the summit. The hike was really tough, the track in the beginning were moldy and slippery. Thankfully, I don’t slip at all. Phew!

“Hey! Beware guys, the route here is very narrow”, said David.

It was extremely narrow to be honest, I can only fit in both of my feet horizontally. Walking between gorges was quite scary. Just imagine what will happen if the rocks and ground chip or something. But anyway, we finally made it through the summit. We were so happy and full of joy that day. Reaching a 3805 AMSL volcano was a thing, really. I’m so proud for every one in this trip.

The peak time for staying on the summit is coming to an end. The sulfur smoke started to blow up. We decided to hike back to our camp. It was so bright when we hike down. I can’t even imagine how can I hike this type of track, rocky and steep. I mean, just look! During the hike back, I got lost on the track that I had to climbed up (again) and move to the right route. It was really terrifying to be honest.

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The rocks are loose, dangerous to walk on

Some of the times, the fog came that we can’t really see who’s in front of us. It took 2 and a half hours to go back to our camp in Shelter 3. Right after brunch, we hiked to Pintu Rimba for 6 and a half hours, right before the sun sets.

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