Racked with nerves in the lead up to this challenge I actually began to dread it and felt my enthusiasm slowly withering away. Knowing I get vertigo even when standing on a staircase, I still wanted to climb a volcano that stands at 3,726 meters / 12,408 feet high. Mount Rinjani is Indonesia's second highest volcano last erupting in 2010. What the ****! I found 3 other crazy fools Charlie, Maz & Adam to join me on this adventure and what an adventure it turned out to be!
I was asked (a lot) why I was doing this and the simple answer without sounding too cliche is because you only live once. I wanted to challenge myself, see how far I could be pushed physically and mentally. I decided to combine this trip with raising awareness for Mental Health, a matter I feel is extremely important and often gets over looked. I want to help break down the stigma that surounds this type of illness and use this opportunity to help others. I chose the chairty SANE to donate my sponsorship to, in hope it would help contribute towards research into the causes and treaments of illness such as depression, schizophrenia and suicide.
We arrived on the beautiful island of Lombok the day before we were due to start the 4 day trek. Sapri, the owner of the trekking company Galangijo Expeditions was on hand to drive us 3 hours from the airport to Senru village, near the starting point of Rinjani. We were briefed the night before by Sapri on what to expect when climbing this mountain and were told this was no easy climb. The mountain was broken down into 7 hills with each one getting steeper until you reach the top of the crater rim at 2,700 meters high. The description of the summit climb did not sound pleasant. A 3am climbing start after a full day of trekking up 7 rather large hills, believe me when I say these were no "hills", not the kind of hills we are use to. When I heard the words "the summit is dangerous" and "there is a 1000 meter drop on the one side" from Sapri I thought holy shit what have I got myself into!
After the summit climb you descend down to the crater lake Segara Anak Lake where Gunung Baru (the new volcano) lies. The 2nd night is spent at the lake and then another steep climb back up the crater walls and descend back down the other side of the mountain where the 3rd nights camp is be. Sounds easy eh!