Ascent of Arjuno on 2012-10-17

Climber: Matthew Nelson

Others in Party:Leslie Mullen
Ben Marcus
Date:Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
    Elevation:3339 m / 10955 ft

Ascent Trip Report

Guided by Sam. There were some "mis-communications" with our guide. We had asked for the group to be only the 3 of us and Sam, but like the previous hike with him, he brought a relative with him, his cousin. Also, he said he could arrange a car for us, but it turned out to be a pickup truck, and we had to ride in the bed.

We left Malang around 4AM in the back of a truck. We expected to be driving for a while, but the trailhead was very close to our guide's house in Batu. We really didn't need the truck. The trail we took doesn't appear to have a name, but starts from the town of Junggo, and appears to be marked by Sam or some other guide with red ribbon. The truck stopped at the Hindu temple Pura Giri Arjuno.

We walked up the road a ways, then where it ends at a field, we continued straight and followed a foot trail right up into the forest.

The Junggo trail starts with a semi-steep section, then levels out for a while, before getting steep again, and from then on it remains pretty steep all the way to the summit, with a few short sections of flat.

There was a forest fire sometime around August 23rd, 2012, that burned out several large sections of the trail. This created a very eerie feel to these sections, and was pretty cool to walk through. For much of these sections, the trail did not get completely burned, but a thin trail of orange grass cuts through the black ash.

We ventured off the path for a while and climbed through the rocks, which were covered in soot, which was very cool.

There was some more steep forest above the burned area, then the trail opened up into a light forest with large trees all around.

This section followed something of a ridge up the mountain, and is just yellow and green grass, with large tress lightly scattered around. All day there was clouds blowing through, and it created a mist here that made it look like something out of a movie, again, a bit eerie, but incredibly beautiful.

This section is still very steep. After the trees cease, the trail opens up to a meadow of various types of grasses, small shrubs, and flowers. The meadow leads up to a camping site right on the main ridge.

From there, the trails leads to the left. There is a sign there that says "Puncek Danyangan".

Further up the ridge, the terrain starts to get even more interesting.

All around this area is various grasses, small shrubs that have bright red leaves, and another shrub that has green and white flowers.

There was a grave of some sort along the trail here.

There are multiple sections of severe erosion that have dug the trail up to 4 feet deep. We stayed above these ruts, frequently hopping over them. The trail winds around scattered boulders exposed by erosion, and is still pretty steep. There were some berry bushes that have what look like small blueberries. Our guide ate some of the ripe ones, I ate some too. Don't know what they are, but they had a fairly tart, but mild flavor, similar to blueberries.

From here the trail leads shortly to the first summit. There is a second summit behind the first, and they appear to be approximately the same height. Someone listed online that their GPS measured the second peak to be 1m higher then the first. To me it seemed the first peak was higher, but we didn't have GPS with us.

Looking down the summit ridge leading towards Weilarung

View of the second summit from the first summit.

We stayed at the summit taking pictures for a little over an hour. Both summits had beautiful views in all directions, but unfortunately the clouds blowing in obscured our view of Semeru. We were just able to see Butak, which is also known as the sleeping princess as the range looks a bit like the profile of a woman sleeping. The second summit has some beautiful views beyond it, as there are some cliffs leading down the north side of the mountain.

It appeared the meadow above the cliffs was also burned out. The low clouds came in and out all morning, giving us various views.

We were mildly affected by the altitude. I never really felt the shortness of breath, but a couple of us got headaches. Some pictures at both summits and we headed back. We followed the same path back as we came up, and it proved very tiring and difficult.

Lots of it was very slick and steep. We got some rain right about at the highest burned area, but it wasn't too heavy and didn't last too long. A bit below that we parted ways with our guide and continued down on our own. We were very tired and sore, but eventually made it back down to the temple and the waiting truck. After about 45 minutes, our guide arrived, carrying his cousin.

The drive out through the fields was beautiful.

They told me my hair looked fine... I feel betrayed...

Unfortunately visibility was pretty low as there was heavy cloudiness all around, so no views of neighboring mountains like Semuru or Butak were seen.

Here are a couple other views of Arjuno from the Surabaya (North side of the mountain)

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Matt, Ben, our guide Sam, and Leslie on the summit of Mt. Arjuno (2012-10-17). Photo by Matthew Nelson.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1690 m / 5542 ft
    Route:Junggo Trail
    Trailhead:Pura Giri Arjuno, Junggo Village  1649 m / 5413 ft
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, Low Clouds
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:4 Hours 9 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 40 Minutes

Other Photos

Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The second summit peak of Mt. Arjuno, seen from the first peak (2012-10-17). Photo by Matthew Nelson.
Click here for larger-size photo.

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