// Arjuno

Facts

Elevation: 3,339 m (10,955 ft) Prominence: 2,811 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerSangat Tinggi Province: Jawa Timur (East Java)
Google Earth: kml Other names: Arjuna, Arjuno-Welirang, Arjuna-Welirang
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Eruptions: Welirang 1950, 1952

Photos

ArjunoNext »
Gunung Welirang from the air (unknown photographer, 1920-1935) Courtesy TropenMuseum ArchivesGunung Welirang from the air (unknown photographer, 1920-1935) Courtesy TropenMuseum Archives
Gunung Welirang from the air (unknown photographer, 1920-1935) Courtesy TropenMuseum Archives
Welirang and Arjuno with Semeru in the background from the air (unknown photographer and date) Courtesy TropenMuseum ArchivesWelirang and Arjuno with Semeru in the background from the air (unknown photographer and date) Courtesy TropenMuseum Archives
Welirang and Arjuno with Semeru in the background from the air (unknown photographer and date) Courtesy TropenMuseum Archives
Gunung Welirang (unknown photographer, 1890-1930) Courtesy TropenMuseum ArchivesGunung Welirang (unknown photographer, 1890-1930) Courtesy TropenMuseum Archives
Gunung Welirang (unknown photographer, 1890-1930) Courtesy TropenMuseum Archives
Gunung Welirang from Widodaren (unknown photographer, 1907-1931) Courtesy TropenMuseum ArchivesGunung Welirang from Widodaren (unknown photographer, 1907-1931) Courtesy TropenMuseum Archives
Gunung Welirang from Widodaren (unknown photographer, 1907-1931) Courtesy TropenMuseum Archives

  • English

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Bagging It!

This peak is the highest point of the enormous Arjuno-Welirang range, located just 50 kilometres south of Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya. The lower Welirang peak is active and still mined by local sulphur collectors. Arjuno (also spelled and pronounced ‘Arjuna’) itself is dormant and therefore perhaps a little less interesting than Welirang. The twin Kembar peaks nestle between them and a traverse of the entire range is one of the finest hikes in Java. It’s a huge area so camping for a night or two is absolutely necessary. If time is not an issue, then the best thing to do would be to visit both main peaks for dawn (i.e two nights on the mountains) but strong hikers could complete the range in two very long, strenuous days.

A guide is necessary for all routes (except Tretes to Welirang peak only, which is, for the most part, a wide stone track that jeeps sometimes use) as the navigating many of the paths can be very difficult indeed on the higher slopes because there are just so many of them and not many signs. Unfortunately, finding good guides seems to be quite difficult for this mountain range and there have been several reports of guides with little knowledge of the range climbing totally unprepared. Therefore it is best to try to arrange guides in advance rather than just turning up at the starting point. The little permit office in Tretes is perhaps your best bet if you can’t arrange in advance but definitely need a guide.

There are several routes – permits should be easy to arrange at all of them (if not, just tell your hotel where you’re going and when you’ll be back) – the most popular and well-defined being from the mountain resort of Tretes (760m) to the north of the range. This trail leads up a wide stone track to the sulphur collectors’ huts (roughly 5 hours) and then on to the fascinating crater area of Welirang (3,156m, another 3 hours to the highest point of the rim on the far side of the active Kawah Jero summit crater). Be warned that although navigating this route is relatively easy, it is not particularly pleasant on your feet (especially when descending) and it is a substantial climb of over 2,400m in elevation gain. That is why the Sumber Brantas/Cangar route is growing in popularity (at 1,750m it’s by far the highest starting point).

The Tretes trail leads up through sparse pine woodland and an outlying peak, Gunung Ringgit (approx 2,477m high according to the basic map given to us at the Tretes office), is clearly visible on the left of the trail. Notable landmarks after the office at the trailhead (812m) include joining the main wide track (950m – waypoint it if you have a GPS for the return journey as it is not marked!), Pet Bocor Warung (970m), Pos Pantau / Pos Jaga (1,000m), Pos Kokopan (1,650m) which has a good water source and a shelter, a hut with seats (1770m), a small stream (2,115m), a flat area suitable for 2 or 3 tents (2,210m), before arriving at the cluster of sulphur collectors’ huts (2,450m). After the huts, there is a popular camping area (2,485m).

At around this point you either stay to the right for Welirang or veer leftwards towards Arjuno. This spot is pretty much equidistant between Welirang and Arjuno but it takes a little longer to reach Arjuno. Onwards to Welirang, the main col is reached (2,965m) where you turn right along a very pleasant, near-flat track offering great views down the other side of the mountain (in the direction of Cangar and towards Gunung Anjasmoro). Further along, a small trail leads off to the left. This is the sulphur collectors’ trail and you should be able to see them on a smokey side crater of the mountain, surrounded with sacks of large yellow rocks.

The trail to the summit of Welirang bends round a little to the right, passing an old, dormant crater full of vegetation on the left before leading across a rocky plateau where many local student hikers have written messages on the patches of flat volcanic sand using rocks. Finally you reach the summit crater – Kawah Jero – complete with an active sulphur fumarole. A circuit of the rim can be done fairly easily in about 30 minutes or so. The highest two tops both offer incredible views of Penanggungan (the ‘little’ mountain that looks so big from Tretes!) and if you are lucky all of the peaks from Lawu in the west to Raung, hiding behind Argopuro in the east. In fine conditions at first light this is one of the finest viewpoints in the whole of Java.

It takes about 6 hours to return from Welirang summit to Tretes for those not continuing on to Arjuno. For those climbing from Welirang to Arjuno, you can ‘bag’ the two Kembar peaks en-route but be warned this is the area which it is easiest to become lost in. For those climbing Arjuno from Tretes (but missing out Welirang and just skirting the Kembars) then notable landmarks include Lalijiwo Pleteau (Lembah Kijang) at 2,530m and Batu Gede (2,790m).

The range is also accessible from Selekta/Selecta in the south-west near Batu and from Sumber Brantas/Cangar to the west. This latter route is especially useful for anyone wishing to quickly climb either Welirang or Arjuno as it starts pretty high up and leads to a pass between the Kembars. Hikers can then choose to turn left (north) towards Welirang or right (south) towards Arjuno. Sumber Brantas is 11km beyond Selekta and the hike begins at two cement pillars (1,750m) just before the road descends to Cangar air panas (hot springs) at 1,628m. The start of the trek is a farm track leading through fields of carrots and potatoes. There are plenty of track junctions so local knowledge is essential. At 2,022m the trail enters forest and at 2,110 make sure you turn left rather than heading up to the right. There is a tiny camping area at 2,153m before a reight turn at 2,200m. There is a lot of dense vegetation here so it can be difficult navigating the correct path. The route leads under several large tree trunks before emerging at a slightly larger camping area (2,357m) marked with a large boulder. From here the Kembars are clearly visible in good weather.

The route continues through pine woodland, a right turn at 2,571m (follow the yellow and blue string). After another camping area you will encounter some hot steam emerging from beneath boulders in the middle of the pine woodland (2,644m). The forest ends at 2,900m and the truly great views begin. Soon the trail reaches the top of the pass (2,910m) between the Kembars. This is an excellent and popular place to camp.

To reach Arjuno, take a right turn (south) here. The trail is quite difficult to see at this point so simply follow the contour of the mountain ridge and you will find the correct trail. The first peak you reach is Kembar (south) and from here you can enjoy the fantastic panorama to many other mountains both near and far. There are shallow, grassy craters and lots of sulphur vents on this peak so take care not to inhale the gases. From this peak, the trail dips steeply to the col between Kembar south and Arjuno – now clearly visible as an impressive, narrow and steep mountain just ahead of you. The trail leading down from Kembar south is very steep so take you time and be careful not to head down one of the very dangerous cliff areas. Beyond the col is a large and incredibly wild area of huge volcanic boulders scattered across a minor peak. It’s a confusing area and easy to get lost here in bad weather. To avoid this area and head straight to the climb to Arjun0, head round to the left (east) and pick up the trail up the steep pinewood slopes of Arjuna at a green sign (2,851m). It’s a long haul up the slopes but the views are incredible – Gunung Butak to the right, Gunung Penanggungan to the left and Welirang behind (north).

There are plenty of place to camp all over Arjuna mountain so finding a spot even at weekends should not be a problem here, especially above 3,100m. The first top you will reach on Arjuno is crowned with a regional boundary marker (3,315m). The trail then descends slightlyu before heading up to a wider summit area. This is a very similar height to the final top – which most people consider the true summit – and may even be a metre or two higher. From this top Semeru is visible right infront of you. The final top is a very narrow, impressive and boulder-strewn peak and there is a green sign to inform you that you have finally reached the top of Arjun0. This summit itself is known as ‘puncak ringgil’.

If not returning the same way, there are routes down to Lawang and Purwosari in the east. Both are long, long hikes which take a minimum of 6/7 hours. Just below the narrow summit with the sign is a trail heading east (in the direction of Semeru). It leads down through pine woodland to a tree with signs on it (3,100m). Here take a left for a route down to Purwosari (which eventually leads to some ancient monuments) or a right turn for Lawang. The Lawang trail is very overgrown but if you keep the huge mountain range of Semeru infront of you it is difficult to get truly lost. Notable landmarks are Shelter 3 (‘Pos Mahapena’, 2,179m), a border stone at 1,910m, Shelter 2 (‘Pos Lincing’, 1,597m) which has an actual hut before the trail leads down through the large tea plantation at Wonosari. You finally reach a road at 925m and ojeks can easily be arranged at the security post for the 4km journey to the main Surabaya-Malang road at Lawang.

However, if you have time you can actually stay at Wisata Agro Wonosari – a popular weekend retreat at the tea plantation where there is a good range of accommodation available.

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn (updated July 2013)

Practicalities

Getting there Lots of transport options from Surabaya and Malang – taxis, shared cars, buses, ojeks, angkots.
Accommodation Tretes and Batu are the best places to stay. The most convenient hotel in Tretes is the Tanjung Plaza which is just metres from the trailhead.
Permits Easy to arrange at the more popular starting points such as Tretes – take a photocopy of your passport photo page. Non-Indonesians pay Rp25,000 each.
Water sources Depends on the route but definitely wise not to rely on sources – take plenty of bottled water with you. The Tretes route up to the sulphur collectors’ huts has several reliable year-round water sources (see above).
Recommended Hotel:
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): surabaya

Location

Origins and Meaning

Arjuno is the Javanese pronunciation of Arjuna. Arjuna is the middle (third) of the five Pandawa brothers who are heroes of the Indian Mahabharata epic and the plays of the wayang purwa, the classical Javanese shadow theatre. Arjuna is renowned as the handsome, invincible warrior of the shadow play, so perhaps the mountain is named “Arjuno” because it is as beautiful and impressive as the shadow theatre character. (George Quinn, 2011)

Gunung Welirang means ‘Sulphur Mountain’ – for obvious reasons.

Links and References

Wikipedia English

Wikipedia Indonesia

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Trip Reports and Comments

21 entries for “Arjuno”

  1. avatar

    What a great site! I’ve been living in or visiting Indonesia since 1979 but have bagged hardly any peaks – although Gng Merapi (in 1981) was one of them! Now, I just try to encourage others. Earlier this month my son and a friend climbed Mt. Arjuna, in East Java. I’ll ask them to do a trip report. For arranging trips up the mountain (best done as a 3-day hike) I can thoroughly recommend the Village Tourism Association in Tambak Sari, on the slopes of Arjuna. A good contact is Agus Sugiarto (Sugi), suge_eling@yahoo.co.id.

    Posted by Janet Cochrane | August 25, 2010, 02:33
  2. avatar

    Some extra detailed info courtesy of Teddy and Juri…..

    Tretes is connected by angkot to Pandaan (6000 Rp). Trailhead is at 900 masl (permit – 20 000 Rp per foreigner), there is an asphalt road to the right of the park office hut (ojeks go up for another 1-2 km) and a cobbled road to the left (shortcut). After passing another hut with a barrier (after 30 minutes), the road goes up through a forrest, inhabited by monkeys. 3 hours from trailhead is Pos 1 (1700 masl) with a shelter and flowing water. Another 3 hours up is the sulphur collector’s shelter (2450 masl – flowing water), where the sulphur bags are weighed and stored for collection by a very robust looking jeep once a day (seems a bit impossible, having seen the condition of the track). Here the paths diverge – left and up the slope for Arjuno and straight forward for Welirang. The left path leads to a perfect camping area after 20-30 minutes (flowing water). It starts gentle up the slopes (turn right when you reach the fork) and rises abrupt shortly before the ridge between Kembar 2 (south) and Arjuno. The path is very eroded and there are a lot of loose stones – a rockfall would bowl all the way down and could have grave consequences for the hikers behind and below you. There is a green sign, when reaching the ridge, where you turn left and continue, as described above. Total time from sulphur collector’s shelter up and down to Arjuno should be around 6-7 hours at a quick pace. The path to Welirang is well-defined and eroded by the frequent activity of the workers. There are actually several paths, that always join together and turn into a single track, when reaching the saddle between Kembar 1 (north) and Welirang (2 hours). There is only one junction after this point. Turning right (after 30 minutes) takes you to the peak and crater area, while the straight forward and bigger track leads to the fumaroles and sulphur clouds (~200 meters below puncak area). Total time up and down is not less than 4 hours. Spending 1 night in this mountain should be the minimum, as going either to Arjuno or Welirang on the same day, when starting from Tretes is a long hike. Same applies for returning down from the other peak. According to Junaedi (local guide, tel. 085855622874) it can take 12 hours, starting from the collector’s shelter, up to Arjuno, traversing the ridge (and the two Kembars) to Welirang and going down to the shelter again. But generally speaking, this mountain offers a huge diversity, the two peaks having totally different characters (alpine Arjuno and volcanic Welirang), so every day spent in there is well worth it.

    Posted by Dan | July 13, 2011, 07:11
  3. avatar

    Try this approach and you will fall in love. Start the hike from Junggo’s Hindu pura (temple). Ascent is straight and steep. After 7 – 8 hours you will get to the Arjuna Peak 1 or Penyancangan Jaran (Horse Station). If possible camp over there and make yourself astonished by the almost 360 degree views. Semeru and Bromo are visible. Then another 1 hour of steep trek to the real Arjuna Peaks. Jagalabilawa (Peak 2) and Ogalagil (Peak 3).

    From Arjuna to Welirang is an easy 6 hours hike. Descent to the saddle between the 2 summits. Hike across the foot of Kembar 1 and try to feel the mystical atmosphere near the Kuburan Asu (Hounds Graveyard).

    When you get to the Lapangan Kotak (Square Plain), turn right to Kembar 2 peak. Steep 1/2 hour trek, then descent to the sulfur miner’s “road” to/from Welirang. To the right is the trek to Tretes. Ascend a little further along the “road” then turn right. You will soon see the large cave with water drops from its ceiling. The cave is only a few meters deep and good to camp in. Freezing in the night. The famous sulfur mines and the summits are only 15 minutes away.

    Descending, you could take the 4 hours trek to Sumberbrantas or the longer trek to Tretes. Tretes route is at least 7 hours and definitely only for them with steel knees and ankles. The trek is paved with loose soccer ball stones. Good for 4 WD jeeps but not for our knees and ankles.

    Sumberbrantas offers you hot spring bath in nearby Cangar but transportation is scarce. Ojek is available. Tretes is a small town only 1 hour from Surabaya airport, then cars are many.

    Posted by Handjono | August 27, 2011, 18:02
  4. Posted by ferry | May 18, 2012, 13:24
  5. avatar

    Experience about Welirang and Arjuna mountain.
    I am a Civil Engineer from Doha,State of Qatar.
    On April 2012 I already gone to Welirang and Arjuna mountain from Tretes on my leave and as of on April 26, 2012 We ( KEO team ) were arrived on the peak of Arjuna mountain.
    The mountains have a very nice aview, reserve areas of mountain wildlife park which wild deers and pigs can be seen and also good for hiking and trekking.

    Regard,

    Ony Tjahjono
    E-Mail : ony.tjahjono@KEOIC.COM

    Posted by ony tjahjono | May 20, 2012, 22:46
  6. avatar

    Will climb this mountain on 20 August 2012. We will starting from tretes and take 2-3 day’s there. Can anyone tell how to reach tretes from malang using public transportation ?

    Posted by Ricky | August 6, 2012, 19:12
    • avatar

      Ricky,

      It is very easy go to Tretes from Malang city by public transport ( it has many options ).The route is by public transport from Malang to Pandaan and the last from Pandaan to Tretes.
      When you already arrived at Tretes, you must to be registration on the Ranger’s Office at Tretes and you can asking everything about it and the Ranger’s Officer will be answered your question.Location Ranger’s Office is in the front side of Tanjung Plaza hotel at Tretes, it is very easy because every body already known it.What do you plan on your climb? For go to Welirang and Arjuna mountain, need minimum 3 days and 3 night and if you have 2 days only i think not enough.
      It is possible maybe I also want to go to Welirang mountain only on interfal time 20 to 24 August 2012 after come from Doha-Qatar on 18 August 2012.I will go to Welirang mountain with my family and waiting an answered from 4×4 Vehicle Ride driver is have schedule or not going to Pondok Welirang from Tretes.Some kids are very interesting to hiking and climbing and for minimixe a risk by 4×4 Vehicle Ride is requirement.
      And if you want to contact me please to see on the below.

      Regard,

      Ony Tjahjono
      E-Mail : ony.tjahjono@keoic.com
      Mobile # +974-66186275

      Posted by ony tjahjono | August 7, 2012, 11:53
      • avatar

        Thanx for your info, it really help me. My plan is first day we will start hiking to reach pondokan and take a camp there. The the next morning, we’ll try reach the welirang summit, back to pondokan and continue to hike mt arjuna. We will take 2nd camp in pasar dieng, reach arjuno summit the next morning and go down.
        Because its take one day to reach tretes from my home town, we will start hike at 22 August. i climb with my 2 friends, we are from central java.

        email : ricky.overmind@gmail.com

        Posted by Ricky | August 11, 2012, 19:37
  7. avatar

    Comment to Ricky :

    For going to Arjuna mountain, I have experiences and already tried 2 routes, the 1st from Tambak Watu and the 2nd from Tretes and I knew problems.Not as like at Semeru mountain which it has a lot of water on Sumber Mani the last base camp at Kalimati ( prior going to peak of Semeru mountain ).
    In Arjuna and Welirang mountain area, the last area which you can to get a potable water and proper to drink on Pondok Welirang only.
    And on pondok Welirang have a lot of water so you possible to cook, wash your body / clothes and fill in an enough water to your water storage on this area.
    To prepare and bring an enough potable water prior to go to peak of Arjuna mountain I think is requirement.
    When the last hikking and trekking to Arjuna mountain, we ( KEO team : 7 peoples ) have problem ( not enough water to drink and cook a food ) so only 4 peoples go to peak of Arjuna mountain.
    Safety is first, I don’t want a risk on my KEO expedition and for make safe on trip, prepared all as per standard of hikking and treking is requirement for minimize a risk.
    Oke, it is my info for your trip.

    Regard,

    ONY TJAHJONO
    E-Mail : ony.tjahjono@KEOIC.COM
    Mobile # +974-66186275

    Posted by ony tjahjono | August 15, 2012, 03:32
  8. avatar

    My Arjuno route ascended from Sumber Brantas and descended to Tawangargo village in the Karangploso district.

    From Sumber Brantas it took 5 hours to reach the Kembars pass, 7 hours to the green sign at the start of the final hike up to Arjuno summit region and 9 hours total to the summit.

    At the Kembars pass my guide Pak Sukamat, a Sumber Brantas villager, did not head up and over Kembar Selatan. Instead we followed the well-defined path that goes straight over the pass and begins to descend on the east side. This path leads around the north and east sides of Kembar Selatan, descending gradually from 2910m to 2790m. There are a few dry gorges and prickly plants but no serious obstacles and the path leads around to the grassy crater and boulder area on the south side of Kembar Selatan, as described by Dan. It continues directly along the left edge of the boulder area up to the green metal sign, which appeared to be facing in the wrong direction when I saw it.

    According to my GPS, the east (Ogalagil) peak is higher by a metre- 3346m to 3345m- than the west (Jagalabilawa) peak.

    Descending, our first plan was to go down to Junggo. For this route, the path begins between the main summit camping area and the west peak, heading down 100m to the right, toward a subsidiary pike and a long ridge stretching away toward the southeast. The pike itself offers good views to the west and has a cave for bad-weather camping, but the descent path passes to the left side of it toward the top of the long ridge. At the top of the ridge (3160m) is a fork, with the right path leading down steeply toward Junggo.

    Smoke from forest fires burning on the Junggo route persuaded us instead to take the left fork, which follows the ridge down toward Singosari. This seems to be a long but pleasant path, with a fairly gentle gradient.

    However, we opted to turn off to the right at about 2540m, where there is a metal “Puncak Arjuna” sign nailed to a tree, and follow a steeper path heading directly south. This path is good initially, passing through a grassy meadow studded with pine trees, but once it enters the forest at about 2060m it becomes steep, slippery and eroded, with intermittent patches of sharp-bladed elephant grass. After 5 hours total descent we reached a pine sap plantation and some houses at 1230m, a ten-minute ojek ride above the main road in Tawangargo. Although it is fairly direct, this Karangploso route cannot be recommended because of the poor condition of the trail in the forest section.

    Whichever route you take, sun cream is vital for paleskins as long stretches of the trail and most of the campsite area are exposed to the sun.

    Posted by John Hargreaves | August 23, 2012, 09:02
    • avatar

      Dear John

      thanks for the great description, I feel this is the best route up. You mention a GPS, do you have a file you could send me in case we do not find a guide or the guide does not find your track? We want to go up next weekend…

      My contact is werner_brandt@hotmail.com.

      Posted by Werner Brandt | June 24, 2013, 10:45
  9. avatar

    In pre-war years the pondok Lali Djiwo (altitude 2524 m) was very popular as a shelter in between the climb between Tretes and the one to the summit of the Arjuno. Does anyone have any information on this place? Does it still exist? It must be a little bit up from the sulphur collector´s camp, but more to the left (seen from Tretes). More information on Lali Djiwo (in Dutch), with lots of photo´s: http://javapost.nl/2012/11/16/lali-djiwo-vergeet-uw-ziel/

    Posted by Bert Immerzeel | November 26, 2012, 17:40
  10. avatar

    Hello there please help me we want to climb arjuno via batu how actually we get there ? it’ll be good if i have someone to contact in batu. thanks

    Posted by Muh. Cahara Adhi S | February 19, 2013, 02:29
  11. avatar

    Comment to Muh.Cahara Adhi S,

    Regarding many tropical mountains in Java island already became a International tourist object I advised to you for come and arranging your trip on Ranger’s Office prior to action.On Ranger’s Office which it provided professional and educated personnels, they will be help you everything from registration, give more info included qualified guide and they coordinated with Basarnas ( Indonesia Search And Resque )for monitoring your trip. And for their jobs I think Ranger’s Office is very responsible.
    And for your trip I tell you if now I also have plan to hikking and trekking in Indonesia ( as per my big bos ordered which he likes nature and archeology photos in the mountain areas )and maybe we will go to Semeru mountain for follow.
    For preparation on my trip,everyday I always monitoring weather report, Semeru mountain condition etc prior to make a exactly schedule.
    Don’t thinking the mountain in Java island and the meaning is safe area.Remember on the mountain areas which have a reserve area of mountain wildpark you not only can be seen wild deers and pigs, maybe you can met predators as like as a python or a tiger.
    Safety is first so you come on the Ranger’s Office is the best option and they will be make to you a happy ending.

    Regard

    ONY TJAHJONO
    Doha, State of Qatar
    Mobile # : +974-66186275
    E-Mail : ony.tjahjono@KEOIC.COM

    Posted by ony tjahjono | March 11, 2013, 15:48
  12. avatar

    Just completed a wonderful (and wet) climb of Arjuno via the Purwosari route. It took us two nights and three days to complete the hike. Unfortunately because of time and logistics constraints we could not complete a traverse down to Tretes. Also the guides explained that the Purwosari route is steeper and harder to navigate in the less than ideal weather conditions that we found ourselves in. The traverse will have to wait for another time!

    In short, our route: begin at Tambak Watu village; continue onto four well marked posts of Onto Bogo; Tampuoono/Elang Sakri; Eang Semar; Makuto Romo; spent the night at Makuto Romo; departed early the next day via Candi Sepilar temple and the fifth post at Jawa Dipa; after that still another 5 hours to the summit. Be sure to hire a guide because of the many small routes circling the mountain, and also the less than well marked trail after reaching Jawa Dipa.

    Benefits of Purwaro/Tambak Watu route were the chance to explore the fascinating Hindu temples of Candi Sepilar and Candi Wesi at the Makuto Romo (Pos 4) shelter where we spent the first and second nights. Definitely worth a visit if you are on that side of the mountain.

    Posted by Paul L | March 12, 2013, 14:50
  13. avatar

    Just did 3d/2nt from Tretes (start 8am) -> Lembah Kidang (nice campsite day 1, reached 2.20pm walking moderate pace) -> Arjuno summit (left camp 5am, reached top 7.45am walking semi-fast) -> Kembar north -> Welirang fumaroles (noon) -> Pondokhan (sulfur campsite day 2, reached 2pm) -> scenic descent to Dayu Rejo, exit at Kaliandra resort (4hrs).

    The sulfur gases near the top were too strong for me to want to summit Welirang, but otherwise the hike in all was beautifully diverse and not technically difficult. Was told best time to summit Welirang is morning when the fumes blow downslope, whilst by the afternoon they blow up and it’s better to observe the fumaroles from just below.

    Lovely flowers throughout the trek, especially on the way down to Dayu Rejo. Brilliant red birds at Pondokhan in the morning. Dead black monkeys found bound on trail down to Dayu Rejo, probably hunted.

    My local guide Mamad was completely off with his elevations (turned out Lembah Kidang is over 2300 masl, not 1500 as he thought, and saddle between Kembars was close to 3000, not 1800), and he inexplicably forgot to provide lunch on the first day, but otherwise he was knowledgeable with the trails. This was important as it sometimes became almost bush bashing, especially after turn off to Dayu Rejo not far down from Pondokhan (trail is marked by “Bukan jalur pendakian” sign).

    I arranged the hike, a local guide and porter through Agus Sugianto (suge_eling@yahoo.co.id), who was responsive and helpful.

    Posted by Tom T | May 13, 2013, 14:18
  14. avatar

    The first time I visited this rang,e back in 2010, I had real trouble finding anyone in Cangar / Sumber Brantas to guide me up both of the peaks. I ended up going with a couple of local boys who had never been to the peaks before – only the saddle between the Kembars. I thought that would be good enough. They grabbed some carrots from the farm fields and off we went – slowly, very very slowly. They had trouble finding the correct trail to the saddle and we ended up camping below the col which was a bit of a disappointment given the really high trailhead on this side (1750m). The following morning, we ascended for about another hour to the saddle. It was there that they asked me for more of my Beng Beng chocolate bars before saying they would have to go back to the village because they didn’t have enough food with them. Effectively they were abandoning me, or completely buggering up my plans.

    So I shot off alone, in the early morning, with two backpacks. Clearly there wasn’t going to be enough time to visit both Welirang and Arjuno so I opted for the latter because of its height and Ribu status.
    By 4pm I was down in the tea plantations at Wonosari, utterly shattered! Fabulous hike though, despite being abandoned. I later got a phone call from the ‘guides’ saying they would report me to the tourist police if i didn’t pay them 500,000 rupiah! Ridiculous but because of the nature of the legal system and law enforcement in Indonesia (especially when it comes to ‘rich’ foreigners) I ended up sending them 200,000 rupiah for eating my chocolate bars and then abandoning me.

    This visit this weekend from the Tretes side to Welirang was much much better (we didn’t take a guide). With petrol prices going up, chartering a vehicle from Surabaya airport to Tretes is a bit more expensive. About 250,000. The Tanjung Plaza Hotel just across from the trailhead was booked up for the weekend so I ended up at the basic but friendly New Srikaton – only Rp100,000 a night.

    Myself and Jonathan had a couple of beers on the main street before setting off at 9pm on Saturday evening with torches. Apart from knowing the unmarked junction where you join the main track all the way up to the sulphur collectors’ huts it seemed pretty straightforward, and offering some great views over the silhouette of Penanggungan, the lights of Tretes, Sidoarjo and beyond. With it being ‘malam minggu’ there were quite a few others hikers camping out at various points. Water certainly isn’t much of a problem on this route.

    We reached the sulphur huts (more like a small village) in just under 5 hours. It was freezing so we decided to continue slowly rather than rest. It did seem that it was warmer higher up the trail, so perhaps the sulphur collectors’ huts is a particularly cold spot.

    Beyond the huts, you should see tiny fragments of sulphur on the ground which have been dropped by the collectors. This is a good sign that you are on the right trail, although we didn’t even spot the other trail across to Arjuno!

    Once you reach the delightful, Edelweiss-covered col between the Kembars and Welirang you imagine it is a short, steep hike up to the summit. Infact, the trail skirts round the other side and is not very steep at all.

    After a poor start to the ‘dry’ season we got lucky and had a fabulous panorama from about 5am to 7am. All major mountains from Lawu to Raung were visible. My general impression is that Welirang is an even better viewpoint and more photogenic (due to the fumarole and sulphur areas) than the higher Arjuno. But a travese of them both would be better still than doing them individually.

    We didn’t have time for that this time so it was back down to Tretes in time for lunch at the Surya Hotel (amazing mashed potaotes – perhaps the best in Indonesia). All in all, we had climbed then descended 2,400 vertical metres and had been hiking with almost no pauses for 16 hours!

    If you hike these mountains from the Tretes side, you will encounter signs referring to the mountain conservation area called Taman Hutan Raya R Soerjo. This area, which encompasses some, if not all, of the range, is presumably named after the famous Indonesian journalist… http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirto_Adhi_Soerjo

    Posted by Dan | July 1, 2013, 12:57
  15. avatar

    This was my actual experience:
    Day 1: Start 8am from Tretes pos jaga at ~800m elevation. Turn left when trail hits road after ~15mins. Go straight up road.
    Reach Pos 2 Kokopan 10.45am. Clean water source. Thinner, pine forest.
    Reach Pos 3 Pondokhan 1.40pm. Bracing temps. Walk past sulphur workhuts through field of yellow flowers.
    Reach beautiful meadow campsite 2.20pm at lembak hijang. Water from foothill stream to right.
    Day 2: Depart 5am, reach ridge 6am. Start ridge walk 6.15am, reach Arjuno peak 3339m at 7.45am. A little rocky.
    Reach saddle ridge 9am. Rest till 9.50am, reach rest stop between two kembars 10.50am. Skirt Kembar 1, reach Kembar 2 at 11.15am. Reach rest stop for Welirang 11.40am. Half hour walk from here to fumaroles of Welirang. Need a gas mask.

    Posted by Tom | July 24, 2014, 14:01
  16. avatar

    To Dan. Mas Sam is an excellent guide living in Batu, Malang. His numbers are 0888 033 220 95 and 0888 058 072 33. He knows very well the Junggo and Sumberbrantas approaches.

    Posted by Handjono | July 29, 2014, 15:42
  17. avatar

    And Mas Sam speaks English (basic).

    Posted by Handjono | July 29, 2014, 15:44

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