New route: To Mount Sangkareang or Second Summit at 3126m
When we were preparing our 10 day itinerary in Lombok, this was the destination that came up most often (and in all sorts of ways): the Rinjani. We had heard a lot about it and the different possibilities to climb to the top in 3 or 4 days. But it was hard to decide what was best for us. Luckily, in 2022, a new route was created to climb to the Second Summit, which is at 3126m. A route that can be done in 2 days and one night and which seems (slightly) less difficult than the ascent to the summit of Mount Rinjani, which is at 3716m.
This Second Summit (Mount Sangkareang) is therefore a perfect alternative to climb the volcano in two days and one night. I am happy to share our experience with you as there is still very little information about this new route. The aim of this story is to make you want to live this indescribable experience which turned out to be the best memory of our stay in Lombok and even in Indonesia!
Day 1: The climb to the crater of Rinjani volcano
After a night in the village of Senaru, we wake up at 6am. We have a good breakfast to get our strength back before our guide, Lim, comes to pick us up to start the climb. For this first day our destination is at 2641m: the crater of the volcano.
We set off rather lightly, as we only have a small backpack with warm clothes and water with us. We are accompanied by a guide, Lim, and two “porters”, two young men who climb ahead of us with camping equipment and food for 2 days.
The climb of 2000 meters is divided into 4 stages: the 4 POS. These are stages that allow us to take a break along the way. The most challenging stage is undoubtedly the last one, which requires a very intense final effort after walking for several hours. In total, it took us 6h30 – including breaks – to reach the crater. The atmosphere is certainly not one of a race and everyone goes at their own pace. I was surprised to see people of all ages.
This is the map you can see everywhere before starting the trek up Rinjani…
We started from SENARU and went up to Senaru Crater (to spend the night). The “Second Summit” is unfortunately not indicated here but it is a summit towards the Sembalun crater (to give you an idea).
I would also like to point out that the times shown on this map are for great walkers and great sportsmen, but no pressure, the main thing is to arrive 🙂
When we arrive at the crater, we are in the middle of the clouds and can’t see much. However, we are very happy to have reached our destination and the atmosphere is unique! Tents are set up on one side of the crater and we are lucky to have a tent for ourselves which is wonderfully positioned (if the sky is clear). From time to time we can see a bit of the view between the clouds, but nothing extraordinary. We regain our strength with the delicious meal prepared by our guides, which we eat around a fire to warm us up. The temperature dropped as soon as the sun went down (about 8 degrees). Although we are very disappointed not to have been able to enjoy the sunset (which apparently is a treat), we are hopeful that we will have better luck with the sunrise.
We are about to spend the night in a tent on the Rinjani crater. The night will be very short as at 3am we start climbing again to reach the Second Summit at 3126m…
Day 2: Sunrise on Rinjani from the Second Summit
It’s 2.50am when Lim comes to wake us up with a coffee. Our first reflex: we put our head over the tent and there… superb… we see the summit of Rinjani under a starry sky! A few minutes later, we are dressed and ready to go with our headlamps. There are only 5 of us, Lim and Math – an Australian – with his guide.
It’s the first time I’ve been on a night hike. Honestly, it’s not obvious at all. You can’t really see where you’re going and, on top of that, the path is not marked. I put my brain on hold and went forward without thinking too much to avoid cracking… In all, we walked for 2 hours in the dark and climbed more than 400m. Finally, at around 5am, we reached the top of Mount Sangkareang – 3126m (known here as the Second Summit). Yes… WE DID IT !
At that moment, a lot of emotions are mixed. The wonder of the sky, which offers us a crazy show while waiting for the sunrise, makes us forget the fatigue and the cold! Lim prepares a fire to warm us up. We live a suspended moment which is difficult to describe… I let you see in pictures.
After having enjoyed the sunrise on the volcano, we went back down by the way we had done at night (and now I sometimes wonder how I was able to climb that in the dark!). At the same time we discovered the magnificent landscape. The sky is so clear that we can see the islands around Lombok and the Agung volcano in Bali. It is magnificent!
Before going back down to the village of Senaru, we went back to the camp to have our breakfast. And we are very happy to enjoy the view that we didn’t have the day before. So in the end… the disappointment is forgotten and we have stars in our eyes!
The return is much easier, even if the knees are much more stressed on the way down. In only 4 hours we finish the descent and we feel our legs 😀 But what a satisfaction!
After a few beers, we head back to our “rest” destination of the trip: Gili Meno.
We are not ready to forget the Rinjani and we will continue to see it from everywhere. It is so high that it can be seen from all over Lombok and also from Bali when the sky is clear.
My opinion on this adventure on the Rinjani in Lombok
These two days of trekking were very (very) intense but what an adventure! We clearly went through all the emotions. In the end, all I remember is the immense satisfaction of having done it, of having succeeded, of having overcome my fears and my limiting thoughts. And it was also beautiful, to be so high, to have this view on Lombok island, on the islands and to see even the volcano of Bali! What a landscape! I often think back to this moment, to these emotions and I clearly discovered a passion for volcanoes! This is the reason why I wanted to go and see the Bromo volcano and the Kawa Ijen on the island of Java.
This is without a doubt one of the most exciting moments of our trip!
Practical information for climbing and trekking Rinjani
How to organise the climb ?
There are many local agencies that offer the trek up to the Rinjani, they have more or less the same price (around 200€/person). The advantage of choosing a good agency tour is that they provide the trekking equipment (tent etc), know the area and the routes and then support the local economy.
We booked our tour with a local eco-responsible agency Jou Trekking and there their organisation and service were GREAT !
They picked us up in Tetebatu the day before and let us sleep at Villa Bambu Rinjani (in Senaru) the night before the climb. We had an amazing guide (Our guide Lim was amazing and friendly !), material and we were also wonderfully well nourished during these two days and that’s very important (as the effort is intense)!
I understand that it is possible to do the climb by yourself. If it’s just to climb to the crater, it’s possible to do it in the same day, so it shouldn’t be a problem. You just have to get the information and pay a ticket to the national park. On the other hand, if you want to climb to the top, I invite you to get information on more professional sites of mountain or volcano hiking 🙂
Is it difficult to climb Rinjani?
Whether you want to climb to the top of Rinjani (at 3740m) or the Second Summit (at 3126m), all testimonies agree that it is an experience that we are not ready to forget (and neither is our body). Yes, because climbing Mount Rinjani requires a (very) good physical condition, a bit of preparation (physical and mental) and a lot of self-transcendence.
Level of difficulty: Difficult (or very difficult)
Can I do it?
Before I did it, I didn’t know if I could do it. And yet, I found that it was not so impossible after all. I even said it was “easy” to our guide when we were coming down. So if I could give you one piece of advice, it would be: Believe in yourself 🙂
You can do it! And you can do it too!
And above all… It’s really worth it!
How to prepare?
Personally, I didn’t really “prepare” myself to do the climb, but I do sport regularly and I like walking. I have already done some mountain hikes. The biggest preparation, from my point of view, was psychological.
What is important is, of course, to be well equipped. As in the mountains, it’s cold at the top, so it’s better to take gloves and something to cover up. And above all, don’t forget your hiking boots. We took some old pairs and left them with our guide (who was very happy as shoes are a very expensive product in Indonesia). This allowed us to travel lighter for the rest of the trip.
For more info on Rinjani National Park, see their official website
What to take with you?
Another question I’ve been asked a lot: what should you pack and take with you for the climb?
Here is a list of what you should take with you:
- Hiking shoes (rather than boots or ordinary sports shoes)
- Pairs of socks (and spares), sports T-shirts, trousers and extra underwear.
- Rain gear (it may rain)
- First aid kit
- A warm jacket and gloves for the night
- If you have room, an extra pair of comfortable shoes for the camp
- Of course, a backpack to put everything in! If you go through an agency, you can leave your big backpack at the agency and take only a small 15-20 litre bag for the 2 days.
Any questions or want to share your experiences on the Rinjani?
Leave me a comment 🙂