Just completed a 4D3N trek to Mt Rinjani (3726m) in Lombok with D and it was simply awesome!! For me, the amazing scenery and being in nature was certainly worth the challenge of the long hikes up and down the slopes over the 4 days.
If you are thinking of it, do read on…There are many options besides going for the summit especially if you don’t have a lot of training time to put in!! You do NOT need to be a marathon runner to do it either, haha, but TRAIN, YOU MUST.
After this rather complete experience of the 4D3N trek up from the Sembalun route (from the East), up to the summit, down to the lake, and up again to the Senaru rim, and back to Senaru village (the Northern route), (see route map below, and distance/elevations covered on right),
I would say that here are the main things to consider when deciding whether to “do” Mt Rinjani …
A) Fitness level and number of days to trek – yup, it is a tough trek for sure, and no descriptions can get you to imagine how challenging it would be (especially to the summit, but the route down to the lake is also challenging!). However, …
- you can always do a shorter trek (many people do 2D1N, just to see the crater lake only from the rim and for this, moderately fit people can do it), choose to see more or see less (2D1N with summit is even possible for the very fit, but need to cover a lot of distance). 3D2N summit and lake is only for the really super fit types! whilst 3D2N summit (no lake) is possibly quite “relaxing”..
- The bottom line is that the more days spent enables you to do/see more as you go up and down by the different routes (e.g up from Sembalun and down from Senaru, or vice versa) and include the lake and the hot springs there …
Whatever it is, the scenery is beautiful and amazing even without going all the way up to the summit.
(BUT note that the weather/cloud cover is something that is hard to predict, especially later in the day. Early morning starts are essential to ensure getting nice views!!)
B) Is staying in a tent, going without shower, using a toilet in the field (you will be well shielded, no worries, as toilet tent is provided) etc… fine with you? In other words, can you do without the comforts of home for a few days while being out there in/with nature?
C) Do you have knee problems? The steep down parts are best avoided (down to the lake, down from summit in the first and last part, … ) but the down part either to Sembalun or Senaru village are not so bad (they do still take many hours; see the elevation/distance photo earlier! so a longer duration would be good).
D) Age alone should not deter you … both young and old have done it (youngest was like 8 while oldest was 80)! My friend D is a great example as well, being a grandpa of two and in his early 60s! 🙂
And if you need to see more images to get a better sense of the trek, do check out this link – 30 images of our Rinjani trek.
I was initially thinking immediately after the end of the trek that it would be a once in a lifetime adventure, but after looking back at the photos, perhaps I might do it again!! ;P