Location: South 07.30039, East 109.99625 (GPS on the crater rim, highest point?)
Difficulty: (YDS) class 2
Climbed July 18, 2015
How to get there:
The road going up is nicely paved, but quite narrow with some sharp
curves and rather steep hills.
As you drive up into a wide col with the peak up on your left, the trailhead is near
the highest point of this road. There is a rough road used by the Tea-growers forking off
to your left. A fairly new bench has
been put into the same location. The GPS coordinates
are S07.27090, E109.98609, and the elevation is about 1820 meter. There is a small turnout
with space for at least one car, just a few meter onwards.
This is a quick summary and reference to climbs made in the summer 2015.
From the trailhead, walk a very short distance up
the farmers road, go right at the first branch, then
very quickly you will see a trail that heads
between the tea-plants.
Follow this trail
uphill, you will pass one station (a building with a roof, but no walls), then a bit higher, you
see a similar structure again. this is the single point to be careful with navigation, do not continue
straight uphill, rather go right, then follow a trail that has a sign (it does not say Punjak), uphill
through some dense vegetation. Continue up to a point where the trail crosses a tea-plantation road, this
is at location S07.28168, E109.98825, elevation about 2120 meter.
Here, there is a trail that runs up the
middle, with roads on either side. There may be a small sign saying Punjak here. Do take the trail, from
here on there should be no more navigational issues. Always follow the most natural trail that heads
uphill. There are several small Punjak signs along the trail, but they do not contribute much.
The trail gets slightly steeper as you gain elevation, climbing steadily until you reach a more level
area pretty close to the crater.
A short section and you have reached the crater rim. It is an easy hike to
circle the rim. This volcano emits sulphur gas, so take care, the conditons may obviously change with
level of activity as well as the direction of wind etc.
We started from the MesaStila resort at 0615. I had succeeded to get a driver, Mr. Susanto and he had taken
his son, Andi, age 19, along for the drive. As we were getting close to the trailhead, Andi asked if he could
do the hike with me. He looked like a pretty strong boy and I had no reservations, in fact, it would
be very nice to have (unexpected) company.
We started out at 0740, walked up across the
tea-plantation and got to the second weigh-station (for tea harvesting).
There, we continued straight uphill, what turned out to be a mistake. Quite a lot higher, the tea-plants stopped and
so did the trail. I realized that we should have forked right way down by the weigh-station. Well, the best option seemed
to be to traverse right, following smaller tracks and traces of old trails. This turned quite
adventourous, at times there was really only bush and no visible trail to follow. The time was already close to
0840 when we finally recovered the proper trail. The good news was that we had climbed about 600 meter vertical
despite this trouble.
As I continued uphill, it became clear that the speed should be reduced in order for Andi to keep up and
have a good experience. We really had plenty of time, so a somewhat more leisurely walk was perfectly
I still arrived at the crater rim by 1010, so 2.5 hours up, not at all bad for more than 1300 meter of
ascent. The crater was roaring and big sulphur smoke was coming up. Fortunately, we had a slight breeze that
kept the sulphur away from the crater rim itself. There were several
this small crater,
difficult to say which one was higher.
The crater was roaring and sulphur gas came
out in good quantities, not a dead volcano.
However, it was an easy matter to walk around, thus visiting all
possible candidates. I also passed the trail coming up from
near the saddle towards Sumbing.
Next, we rested a bit downslope from the rim itself. Thus, we spent 50 minutes on top, before
starting our descent at 1100. The walk back down was nice, with very good views all around. We were back
by the main road and the car very shortly before 1300.
Many thanks are due to Andi for good company.
This was his first big mountain, I do hope that he will
do some more in the future!