Wednesday, December 5, 2012

KERINCI: The highest active volcano of Indonesia

INTRO VOLCANO & ROUTE CLIMB: Volcano Kerinci is the highest active volcano of Indonesia.Common climbing base located in Kersi Tuo,district Kayu Aro, regency Kerinci regency, Jambi  province, Indonesia. The volcano erupted many times, and the first recorded eruption in historical time was on year of 1838. Kerinci has been more active lately, but climbing in fact is still relatively safe and allowed, though sometimes you may not climb any further than 1 km from the crater rim (depending on alert level).

Activity level of Kerinci can change anytime, and weather could  change anytime.To climb it,you need to be patient and flexible, be well equipped,good risk assessment-trek management and proven tactical volcano summit approach to tackle the climb. The climb is non technical, you just need to walk plus scramble along some sections of summit trail.

Kersi Tuo is common climbing base for volcano Kerinci.It  accessible either from JAMBI city or PADANG, but most travelers accessed it from PADANG. There are van travels from JAMBI depart regularly to Sungai Penuh, as well as regular public transport Sungai Penuh - Kersi Tuo. It's take 6-7 hour drive fro PADANG, and 12 - 13 hours from JAMBI.TO access the entrance gate/Gerbang ( Pintu Rimbo ), there are local transports available at Kersi Tuo to transport you till entrance gate. Other option to access the entrance gate is by walking approx 2 km.

The starting point of the trek is right below the entrance gate, locally called "PINTU RIMBO". The trail is pretty straightwards,and consist of trek jungle, tree root,gravel and sand.The initial trek jungle is rather flat, easy to follow since it completely clear untill near to the summit.The hike on first few hours were pretty gradual without any needs to do often stops. How ever, the trail can get muddy and slippery even if there are only drizzles which may occur even on dry season.The route provides some shelters as halting points.

To reach shelter 1, you have  to walk through some climbing Pos below. There was no shelter at shelter 1 but it marked and provided wide space to break in the jungle.This site, normally functioned as breaking point.

As you came over shelter 2 heads for shelter 3, the path turn into gulley or eroded path where each pace needs to climb up around 3 foot steps , then  hold root of trees or branches on the side of the trail.Along the way, sometime need to brace along the all of the drainage creeks to get up.The hike progression along this sections were slower than below prior section.

Shelter 2 provides more space for camp in brush. There was no shelter here, but only ruin of shelter on left side of the route on the edge.This site, normally used as camp site by hikers and could accommodate around 8 tent.Some birds and flower still found around this shelter.While shelter 3 was at edge, more exposed and normally windy, but views were better if the weather was clear.

Cone of volcano Kerinci was visible already from shelter 3, so that shelter 3 is good site for sight seeing. There was no shelter here, only wide space for setting up tent for camp before summitting on the next day.

To go higher, you should woke up in early cool morning to proceed the hike heads for summits zone through normally windy weather.As you crossed the bushline, the terrain turn into volcanic gravel and sand where each step forward slides a few inchs back. Along the way, strong wind normally keep blowing volcanic ash and hit the face. As you go higher over TUGU YUDHA, you often get smell of sulphure gas (depend on magmatic activity level and wind at the time), then arrive on summit zone which is actually the highest point of the crater's rim of Indonesians volcano.

Additional Note:
Image By: Ambo Upe Olenk
Article By: Ambo Upe Olenk