Monday, April 18, 2011

Mount Kerinci

Mount Kerinci is the highest mountain on the island of Sumatra. The mountain is a popular destination for mountain climbers. High as 3805 meters, and still active volcano. The best time to go hiking is from January to October

The nearest village and climber base is Kersik Tuo, near Kayu Aro in Kerinci. Mount Kerinci is located at the north end of the Kerinci-Seblat Reserve major, which includes a strip 345 km mountainous spine of Sumatra straddling the four provinces of Sumatra. To the north and south of the agricultural land is very densely populated.

Cone volcanoes are young and naked, while the main crater is located in the northeast of the remnants of the system / Elegant volcano crater. Kerinci crater, which erupted in 1934 is filled with yellowish-green water.

The mountain is squeezed in between even older mountain complexes to the west and east. Though Kerinci is a very nice mountain to climb, you need to be in good condition. Climber usually start from Kayu Aro (1500 meters) a small village south of the peak.

You can’t loose your way on the ascent; there only one path through the jungle. The first leg is four hours to a covered shelter from there the climb is steep and hard. In some section you’ll crawl on all fours through tunnels of trees and under roots. You need to rest every 10-15 minutes, the is so narrow and steep.

From Paiman Home Stay in Kersik Tuo, it takes seven and half hours to reach 3000 meters -here’s a ruined house where you can put up a tent. Fresh water no available. Get up early in the morning, and climb three hours to the peak. There you can see the crater, with huge billowy sulfur clouds. Two hours to descend to the 3000 meters point, where you can pick up your things and be down off the mountain in just five hours.

From the edge of the treeline, the trail is steep and there is plenty of shallow scree to negotiate. It is a good idea to wear gloves and make sure you have a torch you can attach to your head so you have both hands free. The tiny summit area appears quite suddenly and is marked with a cairn and orange flag which lies between two rocky outcrops. Down below steeply to the right is the smouldering crater and to the left is the Indian Ocean. Views are extensive – you should be able to see Gunung Tujuh on your right, Gunung Raya and Gunung Masurai to the south, and Gunung Talang, Gunung Marapi and Gunung Singgalang to the north.

Mount Kerinci is gorgeous, where you can find many kind of birds, such as Sumatran hornbill and wild dove. Long tailed macaque. Beautiful yellowish flowers. Tropical rainforest with many kind of plants, canopy and big fern plants. It’s a nice scenery.

The closest airport is Padang from where it is a 6-8 hour road journey to the nearest accommodation to the Kerinci trail, at Kersik Tua (also spelt Tuo, 1,519m). Transport can be arranged at Padang airport or by contacting one of the homestays in advance.

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