1. THE MOST DIFFICULT PART COULD BE THE DESCEND.
You’ve probably heard that climbing to Mt Rinjani’s summit is like taking a step forward, and two steps back due to a lethal combination of steep terrain and loose volcanic soil. But you probably don’t hear people talk about descending. Because hey! The whole trip’s about getting up there and looking at the jaw-dropping scenery right? No.
Think about it. Getting up there’s half the fun, it’s when you turn around and realize that you’re at 3,726m above sea-level and there’s no dense forest to hide that fact that your legs kind of turn numb.
Lower plains of Mt Rinjani
2. YOUR PORTERS ARE YOUR HEROES IN SLIPPERS.
Remember the porters I talked about? They undertake the same journey that you are undertaking again and again, carrying 25 kg worth of equipment on bamboo sticks.
Many cows to greet you
3. IT’S THE TROPICS, BUT IT’S COLD.
I don’t know why it didn’t hit me the first time I climbed Mt. Rinjani that it would be cold. So all I went with was a windproof jacket, and a normal sweater. So lo and behold, when it rained on my last leg of ascent to the first campsite, I was left cold, wet and pretty much went about shoeless at the crater rim campsite while I waited for my boots to dry. Not much fun if you think about the possible locations of previous toilet tents.
4. TREASURE THE MOUNTAIN
Mt. Rinjani is breathtaking. The scenery is absolutely worth the hard trek, and that’s why so many people have made it a choice destination.
But there’s a price to pay for the increase in tourism dollars. And that’s rubbish. Rest stops have quite literally become a rubbish dump – it doesn’t stink, but it does mar the stunning beauty that surrounds it. And that’s one way we filtered down a list of trekking operators (there’re just so many of them) to just a handful. Responsible guides bring the rubbish down the mountain instead of disposing them on the mountain where, quite obviously, there isn’t a rubbish collection facility.
5. TAKE YOUR TIME.
Honestly, it’s taken so much effort to climb Mt. Rinjani. So why not see more while you’re there? Hot springs to soothe your aching muscles, caves to explore, a huge crater lake to swim in… If you take your time, it’s not just less stressful, but gives you more time to enjoy the mountain too.