First rays of light when the wind slows down and you feel the warming power of the Sun.
Woke up at 3 am to start the attempt, no head lamps, only the big Moon. The big mountain and you. And the stars. I am speechless.
The direction is only one – up. Inhale, exhale, take a rest. It becomes more and more difficult as dust and small deep gravel takes you back on each step. Or when the wind blows you off the track… Just step forward. Inhale. Exhale. Step forward.
And it’s marvelous at the top. With the first rays of Sun caressing your face. And revealing the surroundings – the crater lake, Gili islands, Mt Agung, Bali.
The way back is much easier – it’s like skiing, sliding down, you don’t feel any pain in your knees and you try to encourage the people who are slower to go to the top. Then eat some banana pancakes with hot coffee in the base camp. Say goodbye to the monkeys and start the long descend down to the village.
I will now go in more details how to climb Mt Rinjani 3726m
Best time to climb Mt Rinjani is April-November dry season but I did it in the end of December.
Either booking a trip with an agent, or do it yourself. Yes, it is perfectly fine to climb Rinjani on your own. The track is well marked and it’s not difficult.
I got a tour guide because back then on all internet resources everyone said that you cannot go on your own. It’s a lie. I managed to haggle a good price for 2 nights 3 days climb. And I must admit that is really nice someone to carry your baggage and to cook for you, and serve, and wash the dishes, and open your tent.
Day 0 – Transfer
Тransfer to the village Senaru where you stay 1 night in a guest house.
The other possible entry point is Sembalun Lawang (1,150 m), on the eastern side, which is closer to the summit. But most visitors arrive via Senaru (600 m), on the northern side of the mountain and is closer to the main resort areas.
Day 1 – Trek to the crater rim
Start early in the morning, pass the National park’s gates and trek up to the crater rim (approx 2,700 m).
There the views of the crater lake are mind blowing. Awesome sunset with a view towards Gili islands and Bali.
Day 2 – Trek to the Summit’s base camp
Enjoy delicious breakfast and superb sunrise! Then go down to the lake. Undress. Swim naked…
Dry yourself. Dress up. Go up to the rim. On the way visit the waterfall. Reach the base camp Plawangan II at 2,638m. Have dinner and beer and play with the monkeys.
Day 3 – Attack the summit 3, 726 m
Wake up in the night, dress, forget about the cold and just do it. Step by step. To meet the sunrise at the summit. Unforgettable experience.
Then go down all the way to Sambalun Lawang. It’s a bit challenging in one day to climb 1,100 m + descend 2,800m but it’s worth.
That was my first ever volcano and the highest summit.
In the comments you can ask me additional questions.