Five veteran climbers with batteries reached the peak of Mount Kerinci in the middle of last week. What was their experience like?
The group of mountain climbers was filled with five men aged over 48 years. Two of them are even in their 60s. They came from Purwokerto in Central Java and Cirebon, West Java. They’re old friends reuniting.
Abdul Kadir Usman, one of the climbers in the group, said that he initially wanted to climb Mount Slamet, but his plans changed after one of his old friends invited him to take a road trip to Sumatra. The goal is to climb the mountains in Sumatra, one of which is Mount Kerinci.
“After two days of traveling by car, we arrived at Kayu Ayo sub-district which is on the slopes of Mount Kerinci. We rested overnight, the next morning we hiked to Kerinci,” said Bisir, Abdul Kadir Usman’s nickname, in a conversation with Bali Tourism.
Road trip from Purwokerto to Jambi Photo: Bisir for Bali Tourism
Bisir et al started the ascent on Tuesday (8/6/2021). Bisir said, like climbing in general, they only need to pay a consultation fee or a climbing permit at a cost of Rp. 10 thousand per day per head. To stay overnight at the climbing base camp, it costs Rp. 20 thousand per night per person.
Instead of walking from the base camp to the jungle gate, the border between the people’s gardens and the forest, they chose to ride a pick-up. Per person is charged Rp. 30 thousand.
“The target on the first day of Mount Kerinci is to reach Shelter 1, because climbers are prohibited from staying at Post 1, Post 2, or Post 3,” said the 58-year-old man.
According to Kadir, who had just climbed Mount Kerinci for the first time, since the base camp he had been warned not to stay at Pos 1 to Pos 3. The reason is that the area is a crossing for Sumatran tigers and sun bears.
Climbing Mount Kerinci in Jambi by batteries. Photo: Bisir for Bali Tourism
After climbing all day, the group of veteran climbers arrived at Shelter 1. Yes, they started from the jungle gate at 09.00 and arrived at Shelter 1 at 17.00.
The next day, they continued climbing again to Shelter 3. The operating hours of the second day were the same as the first day, starting at around 09.00 and reaching the stamp at 17.00.
“The route was very difficult on the second day. Since Shelter 2 to Shelter 3 was the heaviest, there was no flat climb, no bonus at all,” said Bisir.
Climbing Mount Kerinci in Jambi Photo: Bisir for Bali Tourism
Already so, Bisir added, they are required to rely on roots and branches that cross. Because, the path is too deep and when it rains for a while it gets muddy.
“It’s like a field. Shoes and socks get wet if you take a wrong step,” he explained.
In addition, referring to his experience, climbers must also be very good at protecting their heads from branches. Therefore, the risk of falling branches from fallen trees is quite large.
A bonus is obtained by Bisir cs after arriving at Shelter 3. The water in this place is very clean so they can freely get additional stock of water for cooking and drinking.
The situation is different from the water source in Shelter 1. The water is dirty, it has even become like a public toilet.
In Shelter 3, Bisir and friends stayed overnight. Then, the next day, on Thursday (10/6) they headed to the top of Mount Kerinci. This time, the trip started early, around 04.00.
The difference in physical abilities made them split into two groups. Group 1 had reached the top at 06.00, while Bisir and two other colleagues reached the top two hours later.
After enjoying the thin oxygen at the top of Mount Kerinci, Bisir et al went straight to the climbing base camp in the last village in Kayu Aro. The group again split in two. The first group arrived at base camp at 17.00 while the second group arrived at base camp at 21.00.
“Crazy! This is my first experience to Mount Kerinci and I’ve never seen a mountain character like this. When you go up, your knees meet face to face. Actually, it’s not suitable for climbing older people like me, hahaha,” said Bisir jokingly.
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