Unforgettable First Climb Experience on Mount Rinjani

The team at The Wellness Insider wanted a short retreat which combined fitness as well as a short respite from our busy schedules. Not wanting to do a typical retreat in a spa or at a beach, we decided to put on our hiking boots and do some mountain climbing! We trekked to the Crater Rim of Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Indonesia as part of a 2D1N trip starting from Senaru village. The whole trip for us was more like 4D3N if you counted our arrival as a day and a night, plus we decided to stay one more night in Senaru village so that we could have more time to rest before returning to Singapore.

Getting there

trekking

Mount Rinjani is an active volcano located on a small island called Lombok in Indonesia. The easiest way to reach there is to fly directly to Lombok International Airport. Alternatively, you can transit through Jakarta or Bali if you have a longer trip in mind. Regardless, we recommend arriving either in the morning or early afternoon because you will need to endure a 2.5 to 3 hour drive into Senaru village.

Our trek guide – Halomi Trekker

We booked our trip through Halomi Trekker and we are so thankful to them. They arranged everything for us – pick up from the airport, transfer to the hotel in Senaru, accommodation, meals, logistics and porters. Thus, we were able to trek without any worries and simply enjoy nature while also bonding as a team.

Sindang Gile Waterfall

Because we arrived in the early afternoon, we were able to visit the Sindang Gile and Tiu Kelap Waterfall after we were briefed about the trekking procedures by our guide, Juss. (Note: you have to arrive at least 1 hour before sunset in Lombok in order to visit these 2 places.)

Juss and the team who guided us

Juss is a very experienced guide and was very patient, taking note of when to slow down whenever any of us were feeling tired while also helping us out when we needed more assistance to climb and descend.

The trek itself

Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and is notorious for being challenging to climb. That said, the team isn’t the fittest and all of us were beginners when it came to mountain climbing. The most that we’ve done is to go to the top of Bukit Timah Hill.

Nonetheless, we did train a bit for the trek as we were aware that we each needed to carry a pack of at least 5-10kg while climbing up and down the mountain. Thus, we did 3 days of cardio (including the Saturday Fitness Boot Camp) as well as 2 days of strength training (yoga for some and weights for others) in a week for 2 months prior the climb.

Making the ascent and feeling strong!

Just like a marathon, the struggle for us was more mental. It was a long climb and we had to encourage each other when we saw steep slopes with seemingly no end in sight. There were a few pit stops in between to rest while we admire the local flora and fauna as well as listen to local legends as told by our guide.

The view of the lake Segara Anak

The climb was definitely worth it when we reached the crater rim where there was a sweeping view across the lake Segara Anak to the summit. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very clear day, otherwise we would have been able to see Gili Island and even Bali! The day ended magically as we camped overnight at the Senaru Cater Rim Base Camp and gave each other a pat on the back for making the climb.

Sunset at the crater

The next day, we woke up bright and early at 6am in order to catch the glorious sunrise. The valley was still foggy so we still didn’t get to see the lake clearly but the awesome beauty of Mother Nature still moved us. After a quick breakfast, we began our descent, which ironically was harder for most of us than the ascent. This was probably because we had to be careful about loose rocks as well as slippery soft grounds thanks to the morning dew. We heard from Juss that some people have ever slipped, fell and broke their legs during the descent which was why all of us were carefully making our way down.

What to pack?

Do note that we did not go the summit and we went there in August where the weather was generally good, reaching to a high of 10 deg C nearer to the crater rim. If you plan to summit, then you will need to bring thicker jackets and clothes etc.

The essentials:

  • Backpack
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Clothes for the climb
  • Clothes to sleep in
  • Water-resistant jacket, preferably with a hood

Toiletries

  • Sunblock
  • insect repellent
  • Hand sanitisers
  • Wet tissue
  • Toilet paper
  • First aid kit
ola bites that we brought along with us

Additional:

  • small towels
  • torch light
  • plastic bag for trash
  • 1 to 2 litre water bottle
  • snacks such as granola bars or trail mix
  • camera

Thoughts after the trip

We wanted adventure and something different from the usual retreats and we definitely got it. Despite the difficult trek, all of us felt a sense of accomplishment and you could tell that the team definitely grew closer after these few days. All of us felt that if we could do this climb, then our daily struggles were simply hills for us to get over.

To find out more about Mount Rinjani and trekking trips, do visit www.halomitrekker.com.

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