Climbing Gunung/Puncak Rinjani Page 2 (Dec 2005)

On the way up to the rim from the lake we got soaked by rain once again. It was just too darn hot to wear our whole rain suits so we settled on just the pants.

This time we were camped on the Sembalun side of the crater rim. Not long ago there were bandits in this area but the since a big shoot out with police in August there haven't been any problems.

Although we feared the monkey would attempt to steal our belongings like they normally do, this monkey seemed fairly friendly and simply observed us. After my incident with a monkey last time I'm always extremely cautious around them.

Tyson negotiating the most treacherous part of Rinjani!!! Boy does he look intent on succeeding!

Although our rests on the ridge may not have been terribly comfortable, they definately had a view.

The ridge looked incredibly treacherous from far away but it was perfectly safe.

The ridge was the hardest part of the trek. It was comprised of volcanic sand and rock at an incline which made us slide one step back for every 2 steps forward. This was very frustrating, especially since it was the end of the day, we were tired, and we couldn't see the summit through the clouds.

It got so cloudy that we could only see about 5-10 meters in front of us and for hours we had no idea how close we were to the summit. We just kept hiking up the horrible sand hoping that the dark peak in the distance was the summit, but it never was :(

We FINALLY made it to the summit! Although it was Tyson's first attempt at climbing the mountain, it was my FOURTH so I was exceptionally happy :)

Tyson took some phenominal photos of the sunset from the summit.

In the morning the clouds had completely cleared and we got a wonderful view from the summit. If you look closely you can see Rinjani's shadow and if you look REALLY closely to the left of the shadow's peak you can see the 3 Gili Islands.

We got our first full view of ridge we'd climbed in the morning.

View of the tent from the summit.

A couple from Singapore (UK/US expats) summited that morning for the sunrise and we took pictures or ourselves for each other.

Now.. an interesting thing happened the night we slept up here. That night we both intended to sleep outside because we thought it would be unsafe to put up the tents in the wind.

We found an rock enclave which afforded us some protection from the wind and decided it prudent to setup my tent in case a storm came. Unfortunately there wasn't enough room for both of us to sleep outside so I decided to stay in the tent and Tyson was to sleep outside.

After dinner and long after the sun was set we could see storms surrounding us. There was lightning everywhere but luckily we couldn't hear thunder so we knew the storms weren't close to us. Tyson had made his bed outside and we were ready to go to sleep when all of a sudden a good sized rock rolled down from above us and hit Tyson's sleeping area. If it had been an isolated incident then we wouldn't have thought anything of it, however, a few minutes later another rock came rolling down from above us and hit nearly the same place. "I guess you are sleeping in the tent tonight eh?" I said to Ty :) "Uhh Yep!"

So we both squeezed into my tent which is NOT comfortable with 2 men inside it but under the circumstances we had no other choice. I was just about to fall asleep when I heard a rock barreling down from above and all of a sudden it struck my arm through the tent wall! I was startled to say the least and woke Tyson up when I jumped.

After another hour or so had passed, I was sound asleep and another rock slammed into my left arm in the same place as the last time and I jumped and yelled "OUch!!!!" waking Tyson up yet again. This time I rolled up my pants and put them between my arm and the tent wall.

Many more rocks hit the side of the tent that night and Tyson and I had no choice but to stay there since there was absolutely no other place we could have moved the tent. We were very paranoid about any larger rocks that might have come rolling down the hill but asside from about 10 other small ones hitting my padded arm that night, we were fine.

The next morning we talked to the Singapore couple's guide and we concluded that it was probably a Monkey that had been throwing the rocks since it seemed VERY unlikely they just came loose in the middle of the night for no reason. We made a few jokes about "The Ghost of Rinjani" :)

People rarely, if ever, sleep on the summit of Rinjani.
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