Salak Halimun Mountain National Park Experience

Salak Halimun Mountain National Park Experience, Bogor

Black ash sprayed as high as 50 thousand feet from the summit of Mount Salak, January 5, 320 years ago. The eruption in the late 16th century also brought massive damage to buildings throughout Bogor to Batavia (now Jakarta).  The eruption covered the atmosphere of Bogor and Sukabumi. The flow of hot lava and volcanic material such as rocks through the Cisadane River and Ciliwung River to the Jakarta Bay.

The big event was recorded in the Indonesian Volcano Basic Data (Second Edition). The next eruption of Mount Salak occurred no more than a century after the first eruption, namely in 1761 and 1780. However, the two eruptions in the 17th century did not have the scale of the eruption as large as the first eruption. Finally, Mount Salak erupted volcanic activity in 1938 in the form of a phreatic eruption that occurred in the crater Cikuluwung Putri. At present Mount Salak still holds the status of being the most active volcano. For hundreds of years since the great eruption in 1699, Mount Salak is still asleep today.

Geologically, Mount Salak is an ancient volcano that consists of several peaks. The highest peak of Mount Salak or often referred to as the Peak of Salak 1 has a peak height of 2,211 meters above sea level (masl). Volcanic activity on Mount Salak is included in the category type A Stratovolcano (mountain which shows its activities since 1,600 years). Now, there are recorded several active craters on the summit of Mount Salak, the largest crater called Ratu Crater (Queen Crater) then Cikaluwung Putri Crater and Hirup Crater which are also part of the volcanic system of Ratu Crater. The name Mount Salak itself comes from Sanskrit, "Salaka" which means silver.

Mount Salak encircles almost part of Bogor Regency in the west.  Parts of Mount Salak are also included in the southeastern part of Sukabumi Regency. Access to Mount Salak is easily accessible from Ciampea, Tenjolaya, Pamijahan, or Leuwiliang. If you depart from the city of Jakarta, Mount Salak can be the choice of climbing locations closest to Jakarta. But prepare your stamina and mentality, because this mountain which is not too high has a very challenging and extreme track.

When the weather is sunny, this active mountain can be seen very clearly from the capital of Jakarta. The topography is slightly widened with 3 peaks on it, making anyone curious, like what the top peak is like. Mount Salak has an altitude of 2,211 meters above sea level, visitors and climbers of Mount Salak are not as busy as Mount Gede, which is usually climbed by hundreds of people on weekends, even on holidays, climbers who want to explore the tropical rainforest and reach the summit of Mount Salak can still be counted on the fingers,if we talk about forest vegetation, this mountain in Sukabumi and Bogor is still very natural. At some point, the paths that climbers often take are often passed by leopard cruising trajectories. For climbers, there are two alternative official routes that can be passed, namely through Cidahu in Sukabumi and Pasir Reungit in Bogor. 

There are some climbers who use the Cidahu Path, I will explain to you if you depart from the Cidahu path, the road to the summit has a length of 9 kilometers, where every 100 meters has been mounted and signs neat enough by the management of the Mount Halimun Salak National Park. Before starting the climb, the climbing professional crew from the Java Private Tour will register the climber at the national park management office. There are several categories of registration, including climbing, camping ground, or research.

The first climbing stage, which is a smooth paved road from the office of the national park manager to the Jungle Gate.  Although asphalted, but do not underestimate, because the road is fairly uphill. Its length is about 1.5 kilometers with a slope reaching 45 degrees. Some climbers consider the asphalt road as a warming before trying the real Salak route. Then we will continue the journey to the jungle gate to the Pos, which is called Bajuri Post. After walking far enough on the asphalt road, climbers will arrive at the Jungle Gate which is the entrance to the climb. Old and mossy metal boards add a spooky impression of Mount Salak. It was from this door that the actual climbing of the Salak had just begun. The path is not too steep, with contours of rocks arranged neatly as a path. Climbers will pass the track along 1 km more ramps up to the resting place called Bajuri. From the entrance gate to the Bajuri intersection, several track points are also found in swamp and mud roads. The heaviest obstacle is the number of fallen trees that lie across the hiking trail and the mud is quite deep.  From this Bajuri intersection, climbers can choose to continue their journey to the Peak of Manik, or to the Ratu Crater.

Many of Mount Salak climbers do not continue to the summit, there are several reasons why the climbers do not continue the journey, such as fatigue, or deliberately just to see the crater of the Queen, the crater of the Queen is a crater which is a caldera that ejects sulfurous gas and water natural heat. Along the way you will find small rivers, the water flow dries up during the dry season. At the Bajuri Post there is also the last spring, so that climbers can use it to replenish their water supply before continuing the long journey to the summit.

After passing the Bajuri post, then the Mount Salak track will be more extreme, the path is much more extreme than the previous track. Compared to other mountains that are usually climbed, the Salak Mountain route can be said to be one of the most unfriendly paths for climbers, your energy and mental readiness will be completely drained here.  Along the path many steep tracks are found with a slope of almost 90 degrees, which certainly makes the guts of climbers become weak, and to pass it must use a flat rope or webbling to climb.

But there are things that really help climbers on this path, because the national park manager has marked every 100 meters with wooden pegs, namely with the writing HM 1 starting from the Bajuri Post, to HM 50 when it is at the peak of Mount Salak. Some pathways even have to pass through mud tracks which can reach one and a half meters deep, swamps, and slippery muddy tracks uphill so hands must hold on to the roots of trees, then from that your stamina must be prepared before choosing to climb this mountain.

If it rains it can make the terrain more challenging, because the mud is slippery on some slopes, and don't underestimate the leech population that hangs above the trees that are commonly found along the swamps and tropical rain forests, when it has entered HM 35 to the Post  named the Peak Shadow Post, climbers will find a track that needs high concentration. Along the left and right side of the path is a deep ravine that only leaves footpaths less than one meter.  In addition, there is also a steep incline, can be called a cliff, because the slope is almost 90 degrees or perpendicular, so you have to use webling to get through it. The extreme path continues, besides being steep, climbers often have to face fog that can come suddenly. Along this path also, the roots of the tree enough to help climb.

Unlike the previous track, if the weather is clear, on the path to this peak, climbers can look towards the valley, including the Crater of the Queen, and a wide deep Gorge will be a stunning and terrible sight.  But this virgin forest will be quite refreshing to the eye, after passing through several monitoring posts, the sun's rays can penetrate the dense jungle of Mount Salak.

From this point too, it can be seen clearly the steep cliffs hit by Sukhoi aircraft a few years ago (see here about the accident of Sukhoi superjet 100 aircraft on Mount Salak). Because of the terrain, many climbers choose to set up tents along this path, and wait for dawn to hunt sunrise on Manik Peak, Mount Salak.

With a normal journey of about 2 hours from the Peak of the Shadow, the climber finally can reach the Peak, which is called the Peak of the Manik. The peak at an altitude of 2,211 mpdl is actually only in the form of a land area that is not too broad. Only a signboard used as a selfie can be the most interesting object on the peak. This is because the scenery around Puncak Manik is only a valley, wilderness, or the peak of Salak 1 opposite that has not been touched by humans.

Do not expect to also be able to take pictures with a background 'on the clouds' because the peak is not too high, and more often foggy. However, even though this mountain is short, climbing it takes about 10 hours to climb to the top of Mount Salak, even for experienced professional climbers. In addition, because of the extreme path, the journey down also requires a very hard struggle.

If usually on other mountains, climbers can go down from the peak to the base camp an average of half of the journey when climbing, then at Mount Salak it takes at least almost two-thirds of the time uphill. How?, Do you want to try adventure with the Java Private Tour at Mount Salak?

 

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