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Ascent to Gunung Raung-N rim of crater on 2007-06-26

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adam Helman
Bob Packard
Date:Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Gunung Raung - N rim of crater
    Location:Indonesia
    Elevation:3182 m / 10442 ft
    Remaining Elevation:150 m / 490 ft (6% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Gunung Raung, 3222m, P3069m

Map: No current maps known (we had extracts from old Dutch 1:50k maps - not covering the start point and not v useful)

Stats: mH; 10+10mi

Time: ascent 7+4, descent 3+5hrs. A 2 day affair by all but the most determined...

Accommodation: We stayed at Catimor Homestay, Balawan, on one of the coffee plantations, NE of Raung. we camped one night en route.

Red tape: no permit needed in our experience.

Guide: our driver "guaranteed" us a guide, but in the event there was no-one available and we ended up with 3 family members whe didn't know the way and weren't keen on load-carrying. An amount of shouting en route brought a man out of the fields who knew the way (albeit not to the summit, just to the crater rim), and was OK about load carrying. The original 3 finally deserted us about an hour before camp! I've no clues on how to get guides for this mountain (and Sumbur Ringin is probably not the place to start - see later)

Water: apparently none available en route: we had several gallons carted up with us.

Difficulties: (1) finding a guide? (2) the Sumber Ringin route is not obvious - guide needed. Some relatively exposed scrambling on a rocky rib just below the crater rim. (3) Reaching the summit by this route would involve negotiation c. 2km of loose narrow crater rim, including some apparently vertial sections. (4) Summitpost.com mentions a route from the S, as being hard and long. It mentions no difficulties in negotiating the crater rim from Sumber Ringin, suggests the summit wasn't reached by the writers ... ? See below for more info.

Start: Sumbur Ringin, which is not mentioned on any map we had. From Banyuwangi, a steep road (good surface) runs NW to the Ijen crater trailhead, then continues to W Sempol. Beyond here the road is just passable by normal car. Once down below the pass, a L turn leads to Sumbur Ringin. Once in the village we turned uphill: the road (Jalan Gunung Ruang apparently) deteriorated: we reached a house where our "guide" arrangements were negotiated, then started walking from here. The rough road continues as a cobbled track; the usual arrangement is to get a lift for 2km up here e.g. by motorbike or other suitable vehicle (see summitpost.com)

Route: a wide track leads uphill, turns sharp L then sharp R. It eventually comes to a kind of parking area. Beyond, we forked R (I think) onto a dirt road, then at a T-jct turned R onto a wider dirt track. this bends L and reaches a farmed area. Fork L here - the trail is reasonably unambiguous from here. There are several camp sites. Above the highest ones (we camped at c. 8000ft) the trail is overgrown and hard in places to follow (although you soon know when you've lost it!). The final climb is on fairly decent rock, finishing at the crater rim with no way to reach the summit.

Summit: We only saw it from a distance, at the SW "corner" of the rim, directly opposite where we were, fairly peaked and maybe not simple to ascend.

Trig point: no info

Notes/report:
25 Jun: after procuring our "guide" and porters, we started walking at 08:00, called at a shop for some gallon containers, then stopped at a water tank to fill them. After a long hot walk up the track, our "guide" stopped several times to ask directions (!). We were just about to go down, when a lot of shouting producing an eager-looking man in wellington boots. He took over the guiding: our remaining problem was that the porters had already eaten most of their food. We "sacked" the "guide" and just below camp, all 3 of the original characters headed for home, with a part payment in their pockets (after all they had carried our gear and a lot of water). This left us with a lot to carry: fortunately we were only 30 mins from a campsite, which we reached at 17:30, just before dusk.
26 Jun: started walking 05:15, trail becoming progressively more difficult (overgrown) as we went up. Top edge of vegetation was reached at 0814: from here the trail led steeply upwards on rock, following a rib, exposed enough to do some damage if you fell off. The path ends abruptly at rim of the exceedingly impressive crater. However, AdamH pointed out that there was no way to the summit from here, and he was clearly correct. Our "new guide" insisted this was the "puncak" (top). So we enjoyed the view and some food, and headed down. We were back at the camp about 12:00, and back at our starting point at about 18:00, after dark (Adam on the guide's motorbike, me on foot, Bob later arriving in style on a workers' truck!). The folk in the family house were very friendly, although we never saw our 3 hired hands!

There are 2 internet reports on this peak, neither mentioning any problems. It is evident that neither reached the summit (i.e. the highest point). We encounteed the same problem on Gunung Merapi (Sumatra); i.e. in Indonesian terms, the "puncak" isn't necessarily the highest point - just a point on the crater. Be warned.
2008 update: the only known ascents have been from the south: for details see http://www.cohp.org/personal/southeast_Asia/version_1/Raung_southern_route.html

Weather: Hot and sunny throughout: easier in the shade of the forest.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2495 m / 8192 ft
    Extra Gain:60 m / 200 ft
    Distance:32.2 km / 20 mi
    Route:from NW, Sumbur Ringin
    Trailhead:Sumbur Ringin  807 m / 2650 ft
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Guide, Porters
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Days 



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