Mount Guntur – Day 1

This is a VERY delayed post about my hiking to Mount Guntur. I went hiking in June 13 -14, 2015 and couldn’t find time to write about it as soon as possible. Yes!! It’s already October, which means the hiking happened 4 months ago. I can only manage 1 post per month (for now). Work and other private things had been keeping me away from blogging 😦

I sure hope I will be able to find more time so that I can at least publish 1 post here and 1 post on my turtle’s blog per week. wish me luck 😉

The summit hidden behind the cloud
The summit hidden behind the cloud

Mount Guntur (Guntur means Thunder in English) is an active stratovolcano located in Garut, west Java. This is my third mountain located in Garut (the others are Mount Papandayan and Mount Cikurai). Its height is 2249 mdpl (meters above sea level). Mount Guntur was considered as the most active mountain in 1800. We can still see the smog when we reach summit 3 of Mount Guntur. Mount Guntur is also famous for it’s fire. We went there on June and on July the dry forest there was on fire. We were lucky we didn’t got trapped in fire like a lot of hikers back then on July 19.

As you can see from the picture above, Mount Guntur is a barren mountain. The mountain on the other side is a lush Forrest. I don’t know whether there is a trek there or not but most people hike on the barren side.

Here’s an image I borrowed from Republika Online:

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You can see that on the left side, the mountain is barren while the other side is green like this:

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I usually went hiking with an event organizer. The more I went hiking the more people I got to know. This time I went hiking with my hiking buddies. I have been hiking with them in three different mountains, so it’s easy and fun to mingle with them. This hiking is pure group work. We hired a travel bus to drive us there and back home again. We rented the the tents and shared the food…basically, it was all a group effort. There were fifteen of us.

We left somewhere around 11 pm and arrived on the foot of Mount Guntur around 5 am. We were welcomed by beautiful dawn scenery.

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We rested, prayed and had breakfast till somewhere around 7 am. As usual, we began our hike with a simple pray to God so that we can go and back safely. There were several trucks used to carry gravel from the mountain. When they have no gravel to bring down from the mountain, they use the truck to carry hikers as far as the truck can go. We only have to pay 5000 rupiah per person (less than half dollar). The ride was bumpy and we had to stand all the way up. We had to hold tight to the side of the truck. We passed through the heavy machinery for rock mine. The truck carried us quite far and we could already see the stunning view on the little town called Garut. I couldn’t wait to see the view from the summit!! On the left side, we could see Mount Cikurai (which I revisited it onn August – I hope I can write about it soon).

The first trek was not difficult at all because the trek was not too steep. There was high grass on both side. On this easy trek, one of our friends had forgotten to drink her anti allergic pill. She is allergic to cold temperature. We waited till she recovered from her allergy before starting to walk again. I think we were resting and waited till little bumps on the her skin started to reduce. Afterward, everything ran smoothly.

Our cheerful hiking group :)
Our cheerful hiking group 🙂

Once we passed the easy trek and crossed a little river, we faced the challenging trek. It was a trek full of big rocks. We had to use both our hands to climb up. Once in a while, we stopped to admire the view on our back. The more we went up the more beautiful the scenery was. I couldn’t stop taking pictures and admire the beauty.

After that rocky trek, we once again faced with a rather plain trek. Both sides were covered with high grass with red tops. I don’t know what it called but I really like the view.

We had our first rest on Post 3. It was the last area with water. Once we passed post 3, there will be NO WATER  at all. We filled up all our water bottles and had a bit of snack. We rested quite long there it was still around 10 pm. We still had a lot of time to hike up.

Resting on Post 3
Resting on Post 3

We truly enjoyed our break there because we will soon faced the most difficult part in climbing Mount Guntur. We were about to walk on a barren part of the mountain with the sun right up above us. We could see other hikers already began their hike. Their colorful packs could be seen from post 3.

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You couldn’t see it from the pictures…BUT it was a tiring hike! There weren’t much to hold on to, the trek was hard and incredibly steep. I couldn’t precise but the steepness, I think, already more than 50 degree, maybe even reaching 60 degree (or more). It was difficult to stand straight because if we stood straight it felt like we were going to fall down. The higher we climb the steeper it got. I and several friend went on the right side of the mountain while other went to the left side. They said that the left side was a trek of sand (I experienced that trek when we went down) while on my side the trek was hard soil.

I had to take several rest because of the heat and the steepness of the trek. It was so tiring and at one point I fell asleep while sitting. Even though it was a challenging trek, I still managed to take pictures of the town below and the Edelweiss buds.

Heru, Ipul, Onoy and I reached Summit 1 (there are three summits in Mount Guntur) somewhere around 3 pm (we started from post 3 around 11 pm, so it took us 4 hours just to climb the barren part of Mount Guntur).  Because we got separated (one group on the left side while other on the right side), the four of us waited for the others to arrived on Summit 1.

The plan was to camp on summit 2 but one of our friends didn’t have more strength to hike anymore…so we decided to stay on Summit 1. There were already a lot of tents there.

Here are the view taken during the difficult hike

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The first day was already beautiful…at that time, and even now when I am writing this, I couldn’t stop admiring the view. I love Mount Guntur…it’s clearly one of my favorite mountains. What i will post later will show you why I love this mountain so much and would love to come back again one day.

I will close this post with a picture of me taken by my friend 😉 You can see Mount Cikurai on my back.

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19 thoughts on “Mount Guntur – Day 1

  1. These are gorgeous pics Nov! I just came back from my Sedona trip too, nice to see mountains once in a while, we don’t actually have ’em in Minnesota, the state is so flat. I love that photo at dawn… looks so serene.

    1. Thank you Ruth 🙂

      The best part is not in the post yet…will post it soon 😉
      I saw your Sedona post in a glimpse…I am planning to revisit the post and read it thoroughly. Hahaha the state is so flat while Indonesia is so bumpy, here and there

  2. Hi there! Just curious, is it possible to conquer Mount Guntur all in one day? Would you be able to recommend anyone to be a guide?

    1. Hi Karene,

      Yes it’s possible to do a one day trip. I reached summit 1 at 3 pm and that heavy carrier and we had about an hour rest before reaching summit 1 because one of us was a newbie to hiking…if you only carry a daypack and no long break then it would be a lot faster.

      I have some friends who had gone there several times but I don’t know whether they can guide you or not. If I don’t have newborn I’ll be more than happy to guide you there.

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