Mount Kerinci, Summatra Indonesia

Day 3

We woke up bright and early at 645am the next morning to pack for the climb. After a breakfast of nasi lemak, we rode 5km to the trailhead and started hiking around 840am. There were a few farms near the trailhead where we picked up some potatoes and long beans for our dinner.

Trailhead of Mount Kerinci

Trailhead of Mount Kerinci

Farmers harvesting potatoes near the trailhead

Farmers harvesting potatoes near the trailhead

Cabbage field

Cabbage field

There are 6 checkpoints (POS1, POS2, POS3, Shelter 1, Shelter 2, Shelter 3) between the trailhead and summit. Our target for the day was to reach shelter 2 where we would set up camp for the night. We stopped at Shelter 2 for lunch, consisting of rice with tofu, egg, sambal, crackers and tempe (soyabean nuts). It was a simple fare but having packed lunch while mountain climbing is already considered as a form of luxury.

Shelter at POS 1

Shelter at POS 1

Our packed lunch

Our packed lunch

Some of the interesting sights along the trail were wild boar footprints, hornbills, beetle, giant millipedes, cicada shell, wild orchids, wild ginger flowers and pitcher plants.

Wild boar footprints

Wild boar footprints

A female beetle

A female beetle

Wild ginger flower

Wild ginger flower

Wild orchid flowers

Wild orchid flowers

The trail is not very well-marked but it is quite obvious with a few spilt trails. Fortunately for us, it did not rain for the previous two days or we would have been stepping on muddy land. It is compulsory to engage a mountain guide and apply for the national park permit if you wanted to climb to the summit. The climb is quite straightfoward and of average gradient from the trailhead to Shelter 2. However after Shelter 2, the trail gradually becomes steeper, sandier and windbeaten. There were a few fatal cases involving climbers who climbed without a guide. Therefore, don’t try to save money (that should be well-spent) or be a hero – always engage a proper certified mountain guide.

How old is this tree?

How old is this tree?

One of my best portrait

One of my best portraits

After climbing for more than 6 hrs, we finally reached Shelter 2 around 315 pm.  According to our guide, most climbers took more than  7 hrs to reach shelter 2. Hehe…we were considered as pretty fast. There is a proper campsite with concrete plinth which can accomodate more than 3 double tents. However it is very exposed to the elements and is dotted around with rubbish. We set up our tent in a small but wind sheltered clearing inside the vegetation.

Super enclosed

Super enclosed

Dressed up for the cold

Dressed up for the cold

The area around Shelter 2 was littered with rubbish left behind by campers. We saw a rat scrambling among the heap rubbish beside our tent. I wonder how the rat managed to come up all the way to 2,800m.

Dinner was sumptuous and romantic. Sumptuous because each of us had two main courses  – instant noodles with vegetables  followed by rice with sardines. Romantic because it was dinner under candlelight. (but we were in the wrong company, definitely not the right ambience for two macho men!)

Dinner was sumptuous - instant noodles with vegetables  followed by rice with sardines

Dinner was sumptuous – instant noodles with vegetables  followed by rice with sardines

The tabet below shows our arrival times and the altitudes at the various checkpoints. My Casio barometric watch was much more accurate than my Garmin GPS in measuring altitude. The watch agreed more or less with the signboard values whereas the GPS consistently gave a much higher values.

Checkpoints Altitude/m
(barometric watch)
Altitude / m
(GPS)
Difference / m Time reached
POS1 1805 1899 94 0920 hrs
POS2 1909 2005 96 0950 hrs
POS3 2000 2100 100 1045 hrs
Shelter 1 2400 2508 108 1210 hrs
Shelter 2 2940 3063 123 1515 hrs
Summit 3635 3802 167 0645 hrs (next day)
This entry was posted in Indonesia. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mount Kerinci, Summatra Indonesia

  1. Isabelle says:

    Hi there

    My friend and I are planning to do a 2d1n at Mount Kerinci + Gunung Tujuh in July and I chanced upon your post while doing some research for the trip. If you can remember, how much were you quoted for your itinerary (including Gunung Tujuh, meals, guide, porters and equipment)?

    I’m also aware that it’s a pretty active volcano so I was wondering if the tremors were an issue (or if there was any activity at all) when you did the hike?

    Thanks in advance
    Isabelle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>