Trekking And Hiking Mount Semeru

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A complete guide to ascent Semeru - a full of life volcano
They say photos say 1000 words, videos most likely 10 thousand. Here's a video journal of my entire hike.




Below, I’m writing a close description of my hike to Mount Semeru in state. I sought for data on the hike before going. a lot of of it's there, however unfold across articles. Hopefully, you’ll notice most of the data you would like here. no matter I’m writing is for those progressing to press on their own – no porter, no guide, no tour agent. If you're taking these, you must scan the article to arrange yourself withal.

There square measure three main sections: 1) My 1st hand expertise, 2) information concerning Semeru, 3) information concerning the hike.

My 1st hand expertise

We come into being for Semeru, four twenty-somethings from Singapore, with a good level of fitness. we tend to had little doubt we'd be able to conquer it. we tend to were ready with the correct instrumentality, enough food and water provides and really elation. In fact, we tend to we tend tore therefore assured that we set to not rent any porter/guide (a call I don’t regret).


Wouldn’t or not it's cool to rouse within the morning and simply take a walk to the caldera? It is!

Mistake #1: we tend to set to remain at Cemoro Lawang as a result of it had been simply at the sting of the volcanic crater (sea of volcanic sand). Wouldn’t or not it's cool to rouse within the morning and simply take a walk to the volcanic crater? It is! What we tend to didn’t realise is that Semeru is on the other finish of the caldera. to achieve the start line (Ranu Pane), we tend to had to require a 100+ klick spherical round the volcanic crater. therefore we tend to did what any smart person would do.
We went THROUGH the caldera!! Stupid call. you'll be able to hardly come in that ash, coupled with drive an easy hatchback automobile in it. it had been like Dubai’s desert campaign, solely less exciting with the automobile obtaining stuck each currently and so. At the tip it, we tend to saw correct road and were therefore alleviated. however as we tend to were near to cotton on the road, we tend to got stuck within the sand, real dangerous this point. we tend to tried everything - reversing, pushing the car; nothing worked. In the end, it had been one guy’s obsession with Topgear that saved U.S.. He remembered that the simplest thanks to get a automobile out of sand is to stay a stone ahead (what?!) of the tires to supply it friction. Lo and lay eyes on, it worked!




Lesson learnt: DON’T take a automobile through the volcanic crater.

We reached Ranu Pane, got our permits, place the automobile in parking (there is a certified parking there), broken-backed on Maggie Goreng (last correct meal), stocked with our food and water and begin the journey. The initial hike is straightforward - ten.5 klick to Lake Kumbolo; pretty however pretty uneventful . This changes the instant you reach Lake Kumbolo tho'.

The scenery is breathless. you'll be able to see the clouds moving over the lake, generally even approaching you. Straight out of a moving-picture show. I unreal Pirates walking over the lake towards American state because the clouds would pay out (Pirates of the Caribbean sigh). we tend to got wind of camp here together with some fifty others (surprisingly, a lot), 1/2 whom were simply there to camp, and were about to come back from that time. we tend to finished our dinner consisting of soup, bread and beans before dark and snuck into the tent. this can be about to be a chilly night, terribly cold night. Don’t be fooled by the comparatively low altitude; the winds from the lake will simply take temperatures subzero. With a lot of reluctance (and rather more urgency), I came out of tent to pee around 11pm. And found. and might always remember that scene. it had been my 1st time encampment off from civilization, and also the sky was astounding. I didn't grasp there square measure such a large amount of stars within the sky. it had been obscene. one in all U.S. even saw a light.



Beautiful sunrise at Lake Kumbolo

Sunrise at Lake Kumbolo is ideal for landscapes, timelapses and just about everything you wish to undertake with the camera. The distinctive read of the lake, the clearing and encompassing mountains makes for a picturesque website. (Ok, i feel I’ve aforesaid it too several time, I’ll move on)

Mistake #2: we tend to took an oversized will of ham and a couple of cans of some beans we tend to had ne'er ingested before. each clad to be dangerous. Also, the ham couldn't be resealed. we tend to over up throwing all of those and – we tend to were wanting food! terribly dangerous scenario to be in. we tend to started parceling food – “Lets have three slices of bread, a pair of slices of cheese, associate degreed one packet of soup for breakfast” so on…We even unbroken an emergency stock. Btw, the lake water is drinkable, however wise solely with water purification tablets.

Lesson learnt: Take tried and tested food. it'll be quite waste if you have got to come back while not ascent the height attributable to shortage of food.


Monuments ceremonial hikers/scientists UN agency had died whereas hiking

At Lake Kumbolo (and few different places through the hike), you'd notice little stone monuments ceremonial hikers/scientists UN agency had died whereas hiking there. we tend to had a heated discussion on whether or not these signs ought to be placed on the route. One facet argued that such signs would discourage hikers systematically on their thanks to the mountain, whereas the opposite facet argued that the adored ones of the departed have the correct to pay respect and warn the hikers of the danger ahead. once 0.5 hour, we tend to in agreement to disagree, every convinced of his read.

Mistake #3: it had been 10am (time to depart from Lake Kumbolo) however we tend to patterned that it's a three hour journey and rather than chlling at next camp (which would doubtless be colder), we would further rest at Lake Kumbolo. therefore we tend to left at 1pm instead, owing to that we tend to didn’t get enough sleep/acclimatization at base camp and things got ugly throughout the summit climb (more thereon later).

Lesson learnt: Leave Lake Kumbolo by 10am and take a look at to urge 7-8 hours of sleep at Kalimati.

There’s a traditional knowledge among locals concerning the short ascent right once Lake Kumbolo (pictured above). it's aforesaid that people who climb this section no end and while not trying back would be able to create a would like upon reaching the highest. i made a decision that i'd create a would like to achieve the Semeru peak.


The slope once Lake Kumbolo

I took this whole would like issue therefore seriously, I broken to the highest with all my energy, reached, threw my bag down and so threw myself down on the ground, fully exhausted. and so forgot to create a would like. FORGOT to create A WISH! What a waste :|

On the opposite facet is that the stunning piece of ground known as Oro-Oro-Ombo. different web log posts counsel this place is crammed with stunning flowers like Leontopodium alpinum however i suppose it had been dried up in October. It still looked majestic. I made-up associate degree encounter with Simba from lion king. Or a minimum of a cervid. Sadly, none happened.





Oro Oro Ombo

After Oro-Oro-Ombo, 2.5 hours of mundane walking brought U.S. to the ultimate camp – Kalimati, the bottom camp of Semeru. we tend to thought-about putting in the camp within the shaky traveller space, however set against it for the worry of the roof collapsing. it had been 4pm and also the place was obtaining cold and cloudy. a fast meal and that we visited sleep.

Mistake #4: part attributable to excitement of ascent Semeru and mostly attributable to the uneven ground, I couldn't get a lot of sleep at Kalimati, perhaps 3-4 hours, that was fully inadequate!

Lesson learnt: Get a sleeping mat if you have got bother sleeping on uneven ground. it's essential to urge smart rest in Kalimati, owing to what lies ahead.

There were some eight teams some encampment at Kalimati that evening. everybody wished to achieve the summit exactly at sunrise. Not earlier, not later. Any earlier, and you'd freeze attributable to cold. Any later and you'd miss the spectacular sunrise from the height. Despite our ego (read confidence), we tend to somehow took the wise call to depart at 10:30pm, that gave U.S. 6+ hours to climb. we tend to were the second cluster to start out ascent that night. we tend to secure one another we’ll be the primary to achieve the height.

So it begins.

The last leg of Semeru hike. additionally known as Summit Attack. we tend to were about to gain associate degree elevation of 950m in next 5-6 hours on a slope of forty five to seventy degrees inclination walking on very slippery volcanic gravel. That’s powerful by any hiking standards.

Mistake #5: Not making ready for AMS (commonly referred to as altitude sickness). AMS typically doesn’t hit at these altitudes, therefore whereas we tend to were conscious of it, we tend to didn't bring any medication for it. As presently as we tend to started the Summit Attack, one in all U.S. started feeling noisome and got a headache. All AMS signs were there. He started considering whether or not to continue. the opposite a pair of guys plainly told him – “upto you, man.” I found that pretty rude. i assumed we should always be a lot of ancillary and encourage him to continue. After all, he has place in most effort till now. He set to show back since we tend to weren't too off from base camp however.

Lesson learnt: Be ready for AMS. a minimum of grasp what to try and do if you expertise it and the way to continue.

Only once concerning associate degree hour i spotted that the fellows were right in property him decide. If he wasn't feeling well, there’s no means he would have created it to the highest. And if we tend to had pushed him then, he would have came back by currently, solely it {might|it'd} be worse as a result of he had to travel back longer – he might drift, his health may go to pot etc. bear in mind the fundamental rule of ascent a mountain. grasp once to return!

Mistake #6 (questionably): Not taking a guide. quarter-hour into the Summit Attack, we tend to got lost. And that’s once we tend to had a GPS watch with a path pre-loaded into it. it had been night, there was no one around, and also the path is therefore confusing at this half it's very easy to urge lost. It’s quite ridiculous currently that we predict concerning it. First, we tend to lost a person, then we tend to got lost, all at intervals quarter-hour.

Off trail, we tend to simply continuing within the general direction of the path on the watch. Honestly, I don’t grasp wherever we'd have over up if not for the GPS. we tend to joined the path associate degree hour or 2 into it. i used to be starting to panic. associate degree hour into the hike, the mountain unleashed itself upon U.S..

The ‘path’ is simply endless loose pebbles, shaped from previous volcanic rock flows. The vegetation is scarce, which suggests nothing to carry and pull yourself up with. Slope is anyplace between forty and seventy degrees. All this can be manageable, if not for the bottom that is not possible to urge a decent footing on. you retain one foot one foot ahead and slip back most of it. Moreover, if you're walking behind somebody, the complete ground would be slithering attributable to the person walking.

Dig. Step. Slip. Repeat.

You poke into the bottom along with your hiking pole 2-3 feet before you (a sharp blow ought to land the pole one feet deep or so). Pull yourself along with your hands towards the pole. you're taking one step, slip back most of it, repeat this till you reach your pole (3-4 steps). Then repeat the complete method. At times, you'd additionally use your freedom to urge an edge on the bottom. It became particularly difficult and risky at the turns that were pretty steep with a vertical drop.


Every five min some, you'd need to require a mini break. downside is - you can’t simply stop anyplace you're feeling like. i attempted stopping once and slipped down a couple of meters. That was quite waste. you have got to press on till consequent huge rock, hope that it's stable and sit thereon along with your pole in ground for safety. If you’re unsuspectingly sitting on one and it provides means below you, you’ll go down like nobody’s business. we tend to tested every rock before sitting. Some shut calls because the rocks gave means and tumbled down (phew). I don’t have any pictures/video of this half as a result of excuse American state, i used to be busy holding on to my pricey life!

My personal ordeal

I’ll return right out and say it. You don’t need to be the weak link. no one desires to be the weak link. Right from the design stage of this trip, i spotted I’m average in terms of fitness among the fellows UN agency were going. I didn’t need to be the guy UN agency slowed everybody down. I found some respite in a pair of guys UN agency were concerning constant as American state. one in all them backed out before the trip and another came back attributable to AMS. exploit American state with these a pair of dumbbell-heads. This pressure was forever on and that i complete i used to be fastness them down. I hadn’t slept enough at base camp and concerning a pair of.5 hours into the summit attack, the results were showing. At concerning 3100m (just beneath halfway), i made a decision to not continue additional. i used to be fully exhausted, sleepyheaded and really cold. i used to be not even halfway and everything was solely about to aggravate. “I would conquer it consequent time”, I decided.

The decision to prevent was straightforward, however I didn’t grasp what to try and do afterward. No means I might go down that mountain in dark, it had been too risky. One wrong step and you'll be viewing a drop of tens of meters. I patterned my best bet was to attend it out wherever i used to be till sunrise, and so go up/down supported however i used to be feeling. 10 minutes in, i spotted the matter with this arrange. Once you stop hiking, and begin resting, the cold starts to urge to you. I didn't have enough heat garments. the sole thanks to survive the cold was to stay walking, and take breaks now not than 7-8 minutes. i used to be {in a|during a|in an exceedingly|in a terribly} very dangerous situation; I couldn't go up, down or keep.

What I did next earned American state the nickname of ‘the guy UN agency naps throughout ascents’. i used to be therefore sleepyheaded that I fell, slipped to a small degree, mamma all four limbs into the bottom, stabilized, and feel asleep. I SLEPT RIGHT THERE. It should have looked pretty awkward, sleeping at a slope of forty five degrees, hands and legs into the bottom. once world’s shortest power nap (maybe a pair of minutes), I woke to the sound of stones passing by close to my face. one in all U.S. had set to maneuver on, and as he went up, the stones were slithering down from his steps. I slipped down to a small degree and quickly got up. I patterned that I had to stay moving to urge through the night, and if I’m moving, i'll further move up. It’s ok if I don’t reach the highest. associate degree energy gel and a few isotonic drink later, another friend and that i continuing walking up.

15 minutes once I started, miracle happened. The rocks started changing into larger, thus creating them less slippery and easier to steer on. It’s as if Lord Meru was with mercy. I thanked Him and pushed on. By now, we tend to had left treeline and also the views had already become spectacular. we tend to were ascent this lonely mountain, and everything, for as way as eyes might see, was below U.S.. Felt pretty cool. I strapped my GoPro at now, and most of the footage you see within the video higher than is from this.

About 50m from the height, we tend to saw the primary lightweight of dawn - a brand new hope. we tend to broken the remainder of the means. I saw the primary ray of sun concerning ten meters below the height. Ah what the hell, I’m simply gonna say I saw it from the height. we tend to shared associate degree epic high 5 upon reaching the height, and soaked within the glory of getting conquered the mountain.

Sunrise at Semeru peak

The Semeru peak

Unfortunately, the hike wasn’t done however because the best read of volcano may be a few ridges walk from the height. Ridge walking was alarming however we tend to set to require a leap of religion and went near the volcano mouth. The sulphur within the air was sturdy, and albeit, i used to be to a small degree frustrated with the volcano. i used to be expecting huge and dangerous explosions however those we tend to saw were little. Guess it had been a amount of reduced activity.

The Semeru volcano

The read from the height was pretty smart, however if you request from me whether or not it had been worthwhile, i'd say not. If you're there only for the read, visit Bromo or Kinabalu. you'd get eightieth the read for half-hour the trouble. Semeru shouldn't be climbed for the wonder of the mountain, or the thrill of seeing a full of life volcano. Semeru ought to be climbed to beat Semeru, to complete that treacherous climb, to be able to inspect the face of the volcano.

I must dedicate a minimum of one paragraph to the current friend of mine UN agency set to stay with American state throughout the ascent (risking his own ascent), with great care I don’t hand over. you would possibly assume that hiking may be a pretty individual activity, and you only would like strength to try and do troublesome things. i assumed therefore too. till that day, after I complete perseverance is as vital as physical strength to beat difficult mountains. i'd not have created it if not for his constant encouragement, telling American state things like “we square measure creating smart progress”, “he is as tired as me” (I knew he was lying however it had been reassuring). currently i do know why there square measure therefore few solo ascents. commendation to people who hump tho', for they're actually the strongest at bottom.

Info concerning Semeru


Location: South East Asia --> state --> Java (biggest island by population) --> East Java province --> Bromo Tengger Semeru parkland

Also glorious as: Meru, Mahameru (the nice Mountain). Meru, Semeru & Mahameru square measure names from Hindu & Buddhist mythology.

Height: 3676m or 12060 feet

Volcano eruption: better part concerning Semeru is that it's quite foreseeable and also the rewards upon reaching the height square measure virtually bonded. It erupts each once 10-20 minutes. Don’t be frightened tho'. These eruptions square measure little eruptions, spewing simply dirt, ash and rocks.

Mountain or Volcano? : Semeru volcano is found a handful of hundred feet below the height of the mountain. needs walking over ridges to urge near it. The mountain is additionally referred to as Mount Semeru.

Is the volcano safe? : largely affirmative. If the volcanic activity reaches a dangerous level, permits don't seem to be issued to hikers. Last time this happened was in April 2014. That being aforesaid, the volcano is incredibly active and unpredictable things will happen. folks have died on prime of the mountain before. like several volcano, there's sure risk in Semeru. however the chance {is terribly|is extremely|is incredibly} very lowest. My recommendation – decision and raise the parkland data center few days before going. they need the updated data on volcanic activity.

Misc info: Ranu Pane is that the last place wherever you'd notice mobile network. there's no mobile reception on the hiking track except wait-for-it THE PEAK!!! affirmative, there's mobile reception at the height. Still beats American state why. If anyone is aware of a lot of, please post in comments.

Info concerning the hike

How to get there


Most hikers fly to Surabaya flying field [Hyperlink] from wherever you'll be able to rent a automobile for 3-4 days (eg - Toyota Avanza seven seater for ~50 USD a day). you'll additionally take public transport/taxi. it's going to be a decent plan to remain somewhere for the night before the hike. Leave your automobile at the right parking in Ranu Pane.
Where to stay: three options: one. Ranu Pane (village wherever hike starts) – best option; a pair of. Cemoro Lawang (base of Mount Bromo, smart hotels, primarily for Bromo crowd); three. Malang city

Route info:


  • Section 1: Ranu Pane (2100m) to Lake Kumbolo (2400m) – ten.5 klick long – takes average five hours.
  • Section 2: Lake Kumbolo (2400m) to Kalimati (2700m) – four.5 klick long – takes average 3+ hours.
  • Section 3: Kamimati (2700m) to Semeru peak (3676m) – 4-5km – takes average six hours.


Possible itineraries


3 days – most common:

  • Day one : Reach Ranu Pane in morning, have lunch and leave by time of day. Reach Lake Kumbolo before it gets dark (5:30pm). Setup camp. Have dinner. Sleep.
  • Day a pair of : rouse to a good looking sunrise at 5am. Have breakfast. Sunbathe. Have early lunch and leave for Kalimati by 10am. Reach Kalimati by a pair of, setup camp and take a look at to urge 7-8 hours of sleep before summit attack at midnight. Leave for summit between 10pm & time of day.
  • Day three : 4:30am – reach Summit simply in time for sunrise. get pleasure from the sun once it's up. Leave by 10am, because the wind direction changes afterward, and you’ll get plenty of sulphur from the volcano at the height, which might be dangerous. Reach Kalimati by time of day. Reach Lake Kumbolo by 3pm. Reach Ranu Pane by night. Some folks value more highly to keep another night at Lake Kumbolo, which might facilitate if you’re tired, and don’t need to steer another ten.5km on constant day.


2 days – for the daring:

  • Day one : Leave from Ranu Pane around 7am, reach Lake Kumbolo by time of day. Have lunch. Leave for Kalimati. Reach Kalimati by 4-5pm. Sleep for 5-6 hours. Leave for summit between 10pm & time of day.
  • Day a pair of (same as Day three above) 


How to prepare


  • Good backpack. I can’t emphasize this enough. Backpack is what tires you the foremost throughout the hike. Get a backpack with smart load distribution.
  • Tent & bag. there's one shelter every at Lake Kumbolo and Kalimati, however it's terribly dirty. you have got to hold your own tent and bag.
  • Warm garments. Nights get terribly cold throughout the route to Semeru (Lake Kumbolo & Kalimati). make certain you have got enough heat garments. Temperatures will drop to -6 degree Celcius simply, which, with the wind chill will feel upto -10. It will get pleasantly heat throughout the day (especially whereas walking), therefore wear garments in layers (as with any hike).
  • Water. Take a minimum of six liters of water and/or isotonic drinks with you. you'll be able to additionally use the water from Lake Kumbolo (with purification tablets).
  • Altitude sickness medication. one in all the members of our cluster veteran hypoxia and couldn’t do the Summit attack. Sadly, months of preparation visited waste. Don’ let this happen to you. Get medicines for AMS [Hyperlink].
  • Food. Bring typical hiking food – dry fruits, chocolates, bread, cheese, soup powders, baked beans etc. Some folks bring butane/solid fuel primarily based stoves to heat food/water. That’s another smart possibility, however do think about the load.
  • Hiking pole. this may be your succor throughout summit attack. Get a durable one. it might undergo plenty.
  • Headlamp. If you’re doing Summit Attack at midnight. Don’t even have confidence a hand-held torch; you’ll would like each your hands to climb.
  • Bandana/mask. throughout summit attack, plenty of volcanic ash flies around. you'd do higher by not eupnoeic all of that. A mask of some type may be a should.
  • Hiking shoes, Backpack rain cowl, waterproof article of clothing, Gaiters (in case of rain), bathroom tissue, energy bars/gels (if you want to), basic medicines
  • Health certainty & passport photocopy. needed for allow at Ranu Pane)
  • Day pack. Unless you're a fanatical pedestrian and wish to push yourself to humanity’s limits, you'd usually leave your backpack in your tent at Kalimati for summit attack. Take alittle day pack for food, water etc


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