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“Amazing trip”
Review of Mount Kerinci

Mount Kerinci
Ranked #1 of 32 things to do in Jambi
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing trip”
Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

Did a trip with a local guide from the nearby town of kersik tuo. The guide was Endatno Een. You can find his contact in some of the posts below. Een is fantastic as a guide and has climbed the mountain more than 200 times. Een took care of everything and also prepared custom food for me since i am a vegetarian.

The trek up to high camp is not easy. It starts out smoothly. After that it is really a steep climb. The path is muddy and it gets worse if it rains (like it did for us). The mud really sucks your shoes inside making walking really tough.

We stayed at the high camp 2 overnight. Een came in all well organized. But the place is a mess from litter left from campers. Needed to clean up the place before we could pitch tent.

The next day, got up at 3am to climb the summit. The final climb is quite hard as you climb through loose ash and gravel. You take two steps forward and slide one step back. Towards the summit, you are hit with sulphurous smoke from the crater. Its practically unbreathable.

So Een and myself circumvented the crater and reached the summit. I must say, it was the most wonderful view and experience i have ever come across. All the hardship is really worth the view and the satisfaction of standing on the summit.

I did this over a 2 day period excluding the time taken to travel between padang and kersik tuo, which is about 7 hours. Flew in from singapore through tiger airways.

I really must thank Endatno Een for all his help. He made the trip so much fun while t the same time educational. Ive already made plans with Een to climb some of the surrounding mountains.

I have some pictures of the trip im my blog. Climbreport.wordpress.com. Pls check them out to see what i am alking about.

Visited February 2013
1 Thank Prasanna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Suwon, South Korea
Level 6 Contributor
70 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“Dreams of adventure come true!!”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

Our 2-day trek to Mt. Kerinci was definitely a highlight of our trip to Sumatra!! In fact I was a bit hesitant about writing this glowing review, but finally we felt that it is important for the local people to develop ecotourism in the area... So here is our experience, and some tips not only about the trek but also about transport, accommodation, what to pack etc. (sorry, it came out long).

We have been planning to go on a trekking trip in South East Asia for a few months, and from the moment I found out about Mt. Kerinci instantly I knew it was out thing! Imagine a 3805 m volcano covered in thick rainforest, inhabited with exotic plants and birds, standing amongst tea plantations and peaceful villages, far away from everywhere and untouched by mass tourism! This is all true; we did not meet a single person during our 2-day trek!! WOW!

So, we forgot about over-crowded and littered Mt. Rinjani and about overcrowded and over-priced Mt. Kinabalu and started on reading everything we could find on Mt. Kerinci.

1) Where to begin and Transport:

We came to the city of Padang by an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur (only 1 h) and got our visa on arrival. Upon coming to West Sumatra we sent messages to several guides whose cell phone numbers we found on the web, and in a few minutes we got a call from a friendly guy named Endatno (Een). He confirmed that he had a room for us to stay and could take us to the Kerinci top and some other treks. So we went right away!

The trip to Kersik Tua, the village where the trek to Mt. Kerinci starts, took us about 7 h and 1 000 000 IDR in a chartered car. We went in the daytime, and on our way we had a chance to see the beautiful scenery of West Sumatra. The road is not that bad all the way from Padang to Kersik Tua. It is an asphalted road, not a dirt road, but it is narrow and windy. Some parts of the road were under construction near Padang, and it was the slowest part of our journey and also the craziest, as many cars including ours were constantly passing in the oncoming lane.

2) Accommodation:

In Kersik Tua we were met by Een in a most welcoming and hospitable manner. We were placed in a homestay “Family” (150 000 IDR for the best room with a double bed, some furniture and cold water bathroom with mandi and western toilet without flush, separate review). In the morning we were served breakfast of fried rice and eggs and a cup of hot tea.

3) Guide

We are more than happy with our guide Endatno Een (his email and phone: endatno@gmail.com, +6285266266992) and recommend him to everybody! He is a most friendly, humorous and well-natured person and most professional guide! We felt 100% safe with him!! And he is also an environmentally aware and responsible person, he packed all garbage to take it down and told us about his educational projects for the local community (and he speaks English! Not many people do at this remote area). His hospitality, tact and attentiveness to our needs really touched us. We are so grateful to people who posted his contact details on a popular travel forum. Een was not only our guide for treks, but he would come to take us to dinner and help to make orders as we do not speak Indonesian, he would show us pictures and tell tons of funny stories, and take care about pretty much everything. The trek for the two of us cost us 800 000 IDR including everything (guide, porter, camping equipment, food etc.).

4) Trek, rain, summit:

On the morning of our trek our guide Een and porter Yan took us to the beginning of the trail (~1755 m) by motorbikes (20 min) and we began our ascent on this sunny and nice day around 9.30 am. There is no need to start earlier if you are going to do it in 2 days like we did as you only need to get to 3000 – 3200 m at your first day. If you start earlier you will just spend more time in a base camp before the final part of ascent.

The first part of trail is easy enough, it is wide, and the slope is gentle. On the way Een showed us many plants like wild orchids, wild ginger flowers, pitcher plants etc. and some birds like white-eyes and others. We saw a siamang a day before during our trek to Gunung Tujuh Lake. Een amazed us by his deep knowledge and love for the jungle, his abilities to name everything, also in Latin, and to recognize every little sound of the jungle! He even has all the bird and animal voices recorded in his cell phone, and that is hundreds! He kept our pace slow enough so that we could enjoy ourselves.

From some point the trail narrows and you basically follow gullies – we did realize it to the fullest when it began to rain!! We were wearing rain ponchos and for some time tried to jump from one edge of the stream to another, but it proved of no use and very quickly we were completely wet. We reached our camping site, “Shelter 2” at ~ 3000 m at around 4 pm (6 – 7 hours from the gate). Een and Yan quickly set up our camp – a canopy and two good tents under it. But do not be deceived by the term “shelter” – there is no actual shelter in there, in fact, this place is just a flat ground with some old rusty carcass usable to fix a camp.

Only at this point when we were soaked and not moving much did we begin to feel cold. After changing to all new dry clothes and eating delicious Een’s dinner cooked on site we tried to go to sleep. But it was cold!! In an hour I was lying in a sleeping bag and wearing about every piece of dry clothes I had (3 fleece jackets, 2 pairs of warm stockings and pants, 2 socks and a balaklava) and still shivering! Yes, Mt. Kerinci is in tropics, but it is 3000 m!! The temperature in the night felt down to 4C and maybe even lower as we saw ice on the top! But what was unbelievable and fantastic is to have this mountain, this jungle all to our own! Nobody there!

We woke up at 2.30 am, drank hot tea and set up for the summit! Ufff, it was unpleasant to be wearing the wet boots again, but following Een’s advice, we first put plastic bags on, and then the boots, so it got a bit better. We left our belongings at the campsite and proceeded up in the darkness. From shelter 2 and up the trail is steeper and more difficult. As we saw Shelter 3 at ~3200 m we were very glad with Een’s decision not to camp there as it is very exposed and if we were so cold at our Shelter 2, I do not know how we would survive at that windy and open site. The vegetation becomes thinner and gradually disappears. Then you climb on rocks and follow cracks made by melting lava. It took us 3 hours to reach the summit from shelter 2.

The top is a quite narrow edge of the deep volcano crater. We saw sparks of red lava and clouds of gases rising up from the crater! But it is impossible to stay there for long because of the smell!! We tried to cover our faces and so we spent there about 10 minutes. The view was cloudy after yesterday’s raining, like what you can see from a plane, only here you stand in these clouds! At some points the sky cleared and we could see the Seven Mountain Lake (Danau Gunung Tujuh).

The way back from the top to the camp at Shelter 2 took us around 2.5 hours and back to the entrance around 5 hours.

5) Equipment, food, water:

All the camping equipment was provided by Een, and contrary to other reports, it was in excellent state! The size of the tent was totally adequate (I could almost stand up in there), and it was not leaking. He also provided us with mats and sleeping bags. He had all necessary cooking utensils like gas stove and carried all food for us and them. All meals we had up there were of perfect quality, nobody was sick or anything like in other reports. On the evening of the first day we had a 2-course dinner, can you imagine, our lovely guide and porter actually peeled some vegetables and made a noodle soup for us up there! Also they kept supplying us with hot teas which was very very good, remember, it is COLD up there! And after we did it to the top and came back, they cooked us banana pancakes with chocolate, wow that is at 3000 m!

As for water, during our 2 day trek the couple of us together drank five 1.5 l bottles of water. 2 were carried by Een, the rest by us. Following Een’s practical idea, once we drank the first one, we hid another one for descent. Plus we had lots of hot tea from boiled water.

What we had with us and found useful: good trekking boots, hats, 2 complete sets of clothes (one you are wearing, and one is packed so you can change for the second day), gloves (a must for descent), headlamps, raincoats, fleece balaclavas (smell and wind on the top!), some medicine including band aids and antiseptic, waterproof camera, copies of our passports (gave to Een to arrange for permits).

What we did not have and wished we brought it: more warm clothes!!

6) Physical fitness and altitude sickness:

You do not need any specific skills in mountaineering to get to the top! If you want to do it and reasonably fit, you can get there! I am not an athlete just love outdoors, take a few aerobics classes a week, and did squats on everyday basis specifically for this trip one month before leaving. I did not have any muscle pain the next day except for some back and arm (did not expect to use them so much, but I had, on the descent especially).

For me it was the first time going to such heights, and I was quite worried about unpredictable organism reactions, but everything went fine. We did not experience any altitude sickness at all, no headaches, no nausea, nothing. Probably we adapted well as we did it in 2 days and stayed for the night at 3000 m. But we did hear the stories of people who were suffering from it at Kerinci.

Overall, fantastic experience, and thank you Een!! It wouldn't have been the same without you! Good luck everybody with your climb!!

Visited October 2012
24 Thank Katja_nsk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“impressive drive through Sumatra, and a TOUGH climb to Mt. Kerinci”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

fly to Padang, then drive from Padang to the foot of the mountain to enjoy Sumatra, then a tough two day climb to the peak, starting at 1750 meters, camp at 3300 and peak at 3805, then all the way down. The path requires use of hands often, so bringing gloves is highly recomended. It does get COLD on the mountain. People in Kersik Duo can arrange porters, food, etc

Consider Rinjani on Lombok as an alternative (with a night at the beach after the trek....)

Visited September 2012
5 Thank drarbee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level 5 Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Journey to the top of Sumatra Gunung Kerinchi”
Reviewed January 28, 2012

Day 1 KL - Padang - Kersik Tuo Subandi Homestay

Short 1 hour flight via Air Asia, uneventful. Drive from Padang Airport to Kersik Tuo via scenic long and winding road. Those who has motion sickness, take some pill before the journey and always carry a an airsick bag. Traffic was bad and with our cautious driver, the journey took 9 hours ! Basic amenities at the homestay but the food was yummy.

Day 2 Homestay - Camp 2 (Easy walk and a long sleepless night)

Early morning jeep journey to trail head. Nice relaxing trek at the beginning, a bunch of monkeys checking us out and the guide show us different birds, plant etc. Reached camp 2 with plenty of daylight. Suppose to camp at Camp 3 but was told that the campsite was occupied by a group of local students. The tent supplied was too small and the roof of the tent keep hitting our face. Miserable, cold and Sleepless night.

Day 3 Summit - Camp 2 - Homestay

Started the trek in the dark with extremely strong wind. New experience trekking in trenches (unlike Semeru and Rinjani). Reached the summit with no impressive sunrise / lava flow. Spotted Kerinchi lake and Gunung Tujuh clearly. The wind was still howling and the smell of the sulfur was overwhelming so didn't not spend much time on the summit . Temperature dropped as the wind continue to howl. Rush down the mountain and back to the homestay with a bucket of hotwater awaiting us. Essential items to bring - torch light, warm clothing, glove, mask, sunglasses, cap, sunblock and a sturdy pair of shoe and your own snack (energy bar, biscuits etc). We expected the first class service similar to our trek to Semeru and Rinjani so we didn't bring much personal snack and deeply regretted that decision. Both the lunch and dinner were precooked and prepacked comprised of some vegetable curry, deep friend chicken, tempe and rendang. 2 of us stomach it as we wanted to have the necessary carbo for the trek and both of us had bad diarrhea at 3am in the morning ! We also ran out of bottled water so the porter have to boil some spring water which tasted really funcky ....

Day 4 - Long drive to Padang Airport - Kuala Lumpur

There were 8 of us. Cost us IDR 1,615,000 per pax for the entire trek inclusive of transport, food, logging, guide, 2 porters and camping equipment.

If I ever go back again, will skip the camping and do it in one day. Long walk but sure beat spending a sleepless night shivering in the tent at 3000m.

Visited January 2012
13 Thank lixT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Mt. Kerinci and Amazing experience”
Reviewed September 16, 2011

Since it took me a while to find how to get to Mt. Kerinci and find a guide and everything I thought I would post my blog here in case you are also wondering who to contact or what the trip entails. Best flight option for us coming from Singapore was into KL and then to Pedang. It is a solid 2 days of travel to get there and then you need 2 days to climb. If you want a challenge for an amazing expierience, this is it! Definately not a climb for those who only do short hikes and aren't at a reasonable level of fitness. Guide was about $100 each for a group of four and included - ride to/from airport, homestay 2 nights, food at homestay and on hike, tent, sleeping bag, guide and porter. Enjoy if you go!

Visited August 2011
13 Thank weazelksu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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