Mount Cikurai, 2821 MDPL – Day 1


Mount Cikurai is definitely the hardest and the highest mountain I have ever visited!!

I haven’t done a lot of mountain hiking but this one is one is the most difficult one I have ever done. 2821 mdpl means 2821 metres above the sea level. According to wikipedia, Mount Cikurai is not as high as Mount Gede ( 2958 mdpl) but I as I remember the hike on Mount Gede (which I have visited 2 times when I was still in college) didn’t start from the mountain’s foot (we call the area below the mountain as mountain’s foot). Mount Cikurai is on Garut, right across Mount Papandayan.

Mount Cikurai seen from Mount Papandayan
Mount Cikurai seen from a mosque near Mount Papandayan

I am currently on holiday for 3 weeks. I was, at first, planning to go to Dieng but the plan didn’t work well so I decided to go to Mount Cikurai. I was already warmed by my cowork that the track in Cikurai is incredibly hard but I was in the mood to another mountain hike so it didn’t matter to me how hard it is. My roommate who never did mountain hiking decided to join me…Let me warn you all, beginners should never try Cikurai before other mountains!!!

This time, the trip was organized by Ants Adventure, the total hikers that joined this trip was 38 hikers. The plan was to leave at 8 pm on Friday (June 21) but we left a bit late because some participants were caught in traffic. We left around 10 and arrived in Garut somewhere around 4 am. Three pick-up cars were ready to take us to the mountain. We arrived at the Transmitters post (you’ll see the picture later) around 7 am, had some breakfast and started the hike around 8 am.

While having breakfast I got a chance to look at the view. It was stunning! (and I love my new phone because it has panoramic mode)


We passed through beautiful tea garden. The surrounding was great but the trek was already tiring even at that point…but the worst still to come.

Right after we passed through the tea garden, my roommate sat on the ground and started vomiting. Fortunately I was around so we all gathered around her and wondered whether she could go through or not. She some of her stuff to another male hiker so that her carrier could be much lighter. She felt better as we went on walking. Our new friend, Syaiful Rahman took this amazing picture while we were tending my roommate. You can see the transmitter from this picture.


There’s a phrase in Indonesia, something good always comes from something bad. After that unfortunate event, we (my roommate and I) ended up hiking with another hikers (who are also from the same trip group) and hiking with them was really fun….we were hikers who enjoyed every bitter part of the journey with smile and laughter. We made jokes about everything. The more difficult the track we had to passed the more we laughed about it. I sort of call our group of eight hikers as happy group. My new friends are Linda, Ita, Ijah, Erik, Yono and Ipul (Syaiful).

As I have written above, Cikurai is the hardest mountain I ever hiked…you will soon see why.

The trek from Tea garden had no plain ground at all, it was all steep ground…but it was still much better than the trek that awaited us inside the forest.


The trek inside the Forrest was so steep. We had to cling to every branches and roots we could find. Sometimes, it was so high that we needed help from the boys to hold our hand and pull us up but most of the time we felt like Tarzan, hanging on every roots to support us. The roots had created a row of nice stairs. It was interesting and reminded me of Mount Putri (I visited Mount Putri more than  10 years ago). Sometimes we found huge rock to climb. There was no water on the peak of Mount Cikurai, we had to carry more water than usual. The extra water made our carriers a lot heavier.

These were the nice little root stairs



The not so nice root stairs. I don’t know whether the picture really tell you how difficult it was or not but I can at least tell you that that was almost 90 degrees, we had to hold on to the upper root to lift our body.


We couldn’t walk side by side most of the time because the trek was narrow.


Sometimes, we came across rocks with no root. These were the small rocks, I didn’t have time to take pictures of the big rocks because I was busy concentrating how to pass through it.


Our group made an arrangement to walk for 15 minutes and had a rest for 5 to 10 minutes because it was impossible to walk all the time. Sometimes (well, most of the times) we asked the time keeper whether the fifteen minute walk already due because we wanted to have a rest so bad. We tried to be consistent, but we failed once in a while.

There were 7 posts before we reached the peak and our camp was after post 7 We always felt happy every time we passed one post because it meant that post 7 was getting closer. From post 4 to post 6, each post had short distance…somehow that cheered us up…BUT from post 6 to post 7 was incredibly long and hard.

30 minutes before reaching post 7, the thing we feared the most finally arrived. It was raining and it was not just a drizzle. We immediately put on our rain coat. The trek we used was actually the water track down from the mountain. We had to walk against the water through such difficult road. There was one place where the ground was above my head and on my side was a tree branch which was also too high. It might be a bit easier to pass if not because of the rain. I needed help from the boys, one pulled me up while the other pushed me up.

We started around 8 am and finally reached our camp somewhere around 3.30 pm. It was a hard 7,5 hour hike.

We were all so cold because our clothes were all wet and the tents were not ready yet. We huddled in one wet tent waiting for another one to be ready. My roommate and I were not in the same tent as Ita, Linda and Ijah’s. It was a lot better once we had time to change our wet clothes with the dry one. I went to sleep immediately because we had to wake up early to catch the sunrise from the peak.

Day two will be posted soon 😉

Ipul, Linda, Ita, Erik and Yono
Ipul, Linda, Ita, Erik and Yono
Me and Mia(this is before I ended up with the happy group)


  1. i can’t say anything except your journey is very fascinated to read. It seems i was there with you to reach the top level of Cikurai. Hope i can going there soon to feel your journey in a real experience. Thanks for story

  2. That’s a challenging path with a lot of erosion. I don’t think I could handle it with so little sleep. But at least you spent most of it with The Happy Group. 🙂

    1. Mountain hiking, here, always ends up with little sleep.
      So far, I am always lucky when it comes to hiking group. I haven’t yet ended up with a group full of pain in the *ss people 😉

      1. The National Forest Service here works very hard to avoid erosion. They tend to develop the more heavily trafficked paths with steps and/or concrete. The plants aren’t nearly as thick, so there’s more room to put in switch backs. some of the grades around here are certainly as steep or steeper, but not with the roots. Many a time I’ve gone up or down a trail on my hands and knees.

        1. Ow…I am so not fond of concrete and mpst hikers hre also dislike it.
          I remember gping to mount gede where the first few kilometres were concrete/organized rocks, I didn’t like it because it didn’t feel real mountain and it was more tiring, I was happy to meet soil again.

          And many said that now mount Putri is already mostly concrete and most pf them complain

  3. You’re turning into a real mountain climber, Novia! Maybe one day, Mount Everest!

    Pictures never seem to do justice to how steep something is, unless you could somehow take the picture from the side.

    1. Amin 🙂
      But for now, I want to try the mountains in Indonesia before thinking of the ones abroad 😉

      Hear hear! I wish that’s possible

  4. Novia, it’s so fun to see you enjoy the wilderness and the mountains. I used to do hiking when I was in college but haven’t been able to go in quite some time. Reading this and seeing your pictures make me remember how much I enjoyed it. I’ve got to find a way to get back to that kind of fun again. 😉

    1. Just like you, I used to do hiking when I was still in college then I couldn’t do it again because of many things. I am living my old hobby again 🙂

      Hope you can do it again soon 🙂

  5. Wow, 3-week holiday sounds awesome! Wish I could take that many days off consecutively. Glad you’re having fun Nov, it’s fun seeing your travel diary. Which reminds me I still need to do a post on my recent Europe trip 🙂

    1. Be a teacher and you’ll have that many holidays 😉
      Ramadhan is this week, that’s why we have such long holiday.

      Yeaaa write your trip!! I love to read it. I always postpone other topic after I did a trip. I will go again this August.

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