Climbing Gunung Kerinchi 2008

Welcome to my first post of Climbs.

So after Kinabalu, I had to do another climb. In came Gunung Kerinchi and standing at 3805 metres, it was not only the highest peak in the whole of Sumatra, it was also the highest volcano in Indonesia amongst 150+ others.

After Climbing Kerinchi, I felt a strong connection with the mountain because it was not only difficult to climb it but it also provided a sense of serenity that no other place had before. I felt that the weather conditions and the steepness of the climb provide excellent opportunity to test one’s true trekking skills.

Me and my friend, Abdillah having a feast at Padang Town before ascending to the village of Kersik Tuo which was 6 or 7 hours away from Padang by car or bus.
The TrekEarth Team from Republic Polytechnic. From Left to Right. "Ah Boon", Nisa, Abdillah, Myself, Khairul, Dian and Cloud. This is a group shot on the way up to to Kersik Tua Village. A long and arduous journey.
The Mountain, showing glimpses of itself from the village. It seemed to be hiding its true height and did not want us to see its true colours.
This is the Guest House that supported our Logistics, Guides and Accomodation before and after the climb. The owner's name is Pak Subandi. With a generous serving of food and beds, it was great hospitality.
The House is simple, with a Living room, two bed rooms, a dining area, a kitchen and a toilet with very cold water. And I mean very cold water.
The Village has a distinguishing landmark and that is the Tiger Statue. This is because the Mountain is surrounded by the lush forest of Kerinci Seblat National Park, home to the endangered species of Sumatran Tiger and Sumatran Rhinoceros.
From Left, Me, Cloud and Khai.
The group photo for the warm up climb up Gunung Tujoh (means 7 mountains because the trek ends at a lake Tujoh which is surrounded by 7 other peaks.)
Me, walking around to wash hands to cook. Background is the Tujoh Lake.
Used a Marmot Halo 6-Men tent. Kept us warm and stuffy for the night. Its good to do this climb so that for Gunung Kerinchi, you would have warmed up.

For more information about the tent, check out Marmot website at:

http://marmot.com/products/halo_6p?p=118

After staying a night here, we returned back to Kersik Tua to pack and repack for the climb up Kerinchi.

Michael warming up for the climb back up Gunug Tujoh back to Kersik Tua.
On the way out, we passed by alot of plantations of cinnamon, potato and tapioca which are normal staple for the local people. Here, me and cloud stand amongst cultivation.
Here, a local farmer looks on as we pass by him and his potatoes.
Cloud, myself and Khai at the Local Waterfall

We finished the Tujoh climb and got ourselves ready for the 2D1 N trip ahead.

Here we go.

The Group Shot below Gunung Kerinchi. We look like a buch of thugs ready to rob a bank. Notice how much clothes we ware wearing. And these were also the summit clothes!!!
At the start of the trail. And our 45 year-old guide at the right. Even he looked more adequately dressed for the occasion.
The view from Base Camp. It is possible to see Lake Tujoh Surrounded by 7 other mountains. The base camp location was at an altitude of about 3100 metres. So by the time we reached, we were all smashed and ready for a good night's sleep. We still had to fill our tummies to prepare ourselves for the night ascent up to the summit.
So the night was cold but nonetheless, the summit beckoned.
As you can see, its a scamble up there. Every now and then, we were just hiding in the small little cracks in the ground to shield ourselves from the unrelenting winds. My lips cracked and as we got closer to the summit, much of the team turned back except three. We were then issued face masks to block us from inhaling too much sulphur.
Approaching the summit.
Reached. 3805 metres. Wasn't easy but it sure as hell was worth the effort. I had once again repeated another climb and it felt so nostalgic. I'm wearing a shirt, a TrekEarth jacket, a 3/4 pants which I bought at the village and rubber malaysian trekking shoes commonly known as KluangDIDAS. Summited with Dian and Keith from the club.
After the summit, it was time for the descend. Had lots of stumbles with Dian and finally noticed how steep the trails had been.
It was a beautiful climb. Taken from a lower level, my guides and I. The guide on the right would also be my guide the next climb during 2009.
Me and Dian at the Summit Ridge.
Me and Keith Goh, a strong teammate that I would like to have for future bigger climbs.
The Long way down. Kerinchi's slopes are made up of volcanic ash and its slippery and one must take note of its ridges since falling might cause you your life. On the slopes, when you look down, it is possible to see collection of rocks piled vertically and also with other stones forming circles and a name within the circle. These are to represent some of the climbers who have died while attempting to climb this active mountain.Kerinci is more active than most Indonesian volcanoes, with nearly annual phreatic eruptions. Kerinci last erupted in 2004, and continues to spew clouds of sulphurous smoke, with plumes reaching as high as 1,000 m (3,281 ft) above the summit.
Post-Climb Picture outside Pak Subandi's house. I'm the one with the black hat. Pak is the one at the second row second from right. It was great , the feeling of having done a climb where i really felt good and strong at altitude besides the lack of clothes. I would come here a second time, a year later and now leading my group of 5 up to the summit.

I’m wearing Chaco Sandals, Commonly available at Campus Corner Singapore. Check out http://www.camperscorner.com.sg/main/index.php

Tapioca Sweets. Nice to buy as souvenirs.
Natural Hot Springs, Could boil an egg in there.
The "Kelongs" - Fishermen's houses with their fisheries just outside their houses on water.
Our stay at Kerinchi Town. With simple mats and beddings, I was just happy and satisfied that I had proven myself right, that I needed the mountains.
The massiveness of Kerinchi just engulfed me as it engulfed the town. I knew that I had to come back. But now its was time to enjoy.
Good morning breakfast in a small little restaurant, where we had sunny side ups and indonesian thick and unfiltered coffee.
Some Indonesian Massage but by a old uncle. Was still good. Just close your eyes and relax.

So, Thats a Wrap for this adventure in Kerinchi. 3805metres. The mountain was sentimental to me. It was steep, cold,        windy, and most important of all, it was risky. Knowing that it just erupted recently in 2004, it was thrilling to embark on this trip. I would return back in 2009 to climb this mountain again. I learnt a lesson during this trip and that was be prepared. We were ill-prepared for this trip and I promised that the next time I would climb, it would be with better equipment. But I was still urging to climb something else.

The next trip would test me in terms of endurance. I would try and hit the deep jungles of Pahang. Mount Tahan (Malay: Gunung Tahan), at 2,187 m, is the highest point in Peninsula, Malaysia It is located within the Taman Negara national forest, in the state of Pahang. In addition, I will show you pictures of my trip to Kerinchi in my second trip in 2009.

Until the next blog,

Make Climbing A Lifestyle,

Jeremy Tong

2 thoughts on “Climbing Gunung Kerinchi 2008

  1. Hi Jeremy , your blog is very interesting & motivating !! Just keep climbing & writing !! I am 62 & doing my first climb in mid July ! Would u just comment if I am fit enuf to do climb Kota Kinabalu if currently I can do two hours of non-stop climbing of HDB staircase & /or run 21 km ?

    Cheers

    Charles

    1. Hi Charles, thanks for your kind words!!! Yes you are in very good shape for Kinabalu and I’m very sure Kinabalu will be rather easy for someone of your fitness level. Even some of the guys I train for my climbs cannot do 21km runs.

      I wish you all the best for your climb and if you need any advise whatsoever, please email me directly.

      I hope to be as active as you when I reach your age. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s