Hall of Fame 2018

“Gunung Bragging!” – The Hall of Fame List 2018

Below is the ninth edition of the Hall of Fame (for end of 2018). A new edition of the list is published at the end of every year. Please contact us if you wish to be listed next year.
Links to previous years… 2017; 2016; 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012; 2011; 2010

  Ranking    Name   Nationality     Year of Birth    Number of Ribus    Number of Spesials 

1

 Daniel Quinn

British 1981

79

38
Ribus Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Batukaru, Bawang, Besar (Halau Halau), Bukit Raya, Bukittunggul, Bulu Nti, Bur ni Kelieten, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Doro Dindi, Ebulobo, Fatu Timau, Galunggung (Beuticanar), Gamalama, Gamkonora, Ili Boleng, Ili Labalekang, Ili Mandiri, Ili Ujolewung, Inerie, Jailolo, Kahung, Karang, Keli Lepembusu, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Klabat, Lamongan (Tarub), Lawu, Liman, Marapi, Masurai, Mekongga, Merapi, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobatang, Mulu, Muria, Murud, Mutis, Pangrango, Papandayan (Malang), Penanggungan, Pesagi, Pesawaran (Ratai), Poco Ngandonalu, Rajabasa, Ramelau, Rantemario, Raung, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Saran, Sawal, Semeru, Seulawah Agam, Sibuatan, Sinabung, Sindoro, Singgalang, Slamet, Sorikmarapi, Sumbing, Talakmau, Talang, Tambora, Tampomas, Tanggamus, Tompotika, Trusmadi, Ungaran, Wanggameti
 Spesials  Anak Krakatau, Banda Api, Batur, Bawakaraeng, Bongkok, Bromo (Pananjakan), Burangrang, Dieng (Prau), Guntur (Masigit), Iya, Jantan, Kelam, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Kerenceng, Lokon, Malabar (Puncak Besar), Manglayang, Manado Tua, Nokilalaki, Parang, Patuha, Penrissen, Poco Ranakah, Pulau Bawean (Gunung Besar), Pulosari, Pusuk Buhit, Rakata, Raksa, Rakutak, Samosir, Sangga Buana, Sebesi, Sibayak (Pintau), Sidole, Tajam, Tangkuban Parahu, Telomoyo, Wayang-Windu
Notes
  “Overall, 2018 was a combination of great trips mixed with cancellations and disappointment. The best hikes were probably Gunung Murud in Sarawak and Gunung Kahung in South Kalimantan – both led by excellent local guides. Bukit Raya was the most significant hike, but the ludicrous costs of doing it alone was one factor that made it less enjoyable than it should have been. The planned Christmas and New Year trip to Sulawesi turned into a shambles when after three months of planning the guide cancelled the very morning we were due to fly out there from Jakarta. I ended up have a couple of days exploring the Derawan islands instead.It was obviously a very bad year for Indonesia, with numerous natural and human-made disasters causing immense loss of life. I crossed paths with a few of these locations though luckily at different times, starting the year with some hikes near Palu (and boarding the same late-afternoon Batik Air flight that just made it out several months later as the horrendous earthquake hit), a trip to Pulau Bangka on the same early morning Lion Air flight that later became 2018’s worst global air disaster, and finally camping on Rakata opposite Anak Krakatau on a Saturday night just one month before an estimated 15-30 metre-high tsunami wave hit it with less than one minute’s notice and then continued to the mainlands of Sumatra and Java killing over 400 people. So, it’s been a very sobering year – one of dodging bullets and staying lucky. Thankfully all my guide friends in affected areas survived without injury. 

I managed to increase my Ribu total by five in just one morning from an office in Jakarta when Andy agreed with me that we should treat Malaysian and East Timorese peaks with over 1,000 metres of prominence in exactly the same way as Indonesian peaks. Thus 5 of my non-Indonesian peaks that were previously just Spesials got promoted to full-on Ribu status! A great morning of bagging! In truth, if I have a secret for staying ahead in the Hall of Fame list (other than insanity) it is the MSM sulphur tablets that I have taken every day since 2012 and which are also given to champion racehorses!

Now lots of near misses and failed attempts to reach the highest points, including some hilarious anecdotes which didn’t seem quite as funny at the time! -…. vegetation on Ijen-Merapi (07/2010) too dense and guide worried (08/2017), too scared to climb to highest point of Egon (08/2010), no trail to highest peak of Salahutu (12/2010), guide failed to turn up for an ascent of Cyclops (01/2011) so the hike was aborted, got to the summit cliffs of Kelud (02/2011) but had no ropes, got to within stone’s throw of the highest point, Pangulubao trig point only (08/2011), failed to find correct trail on Seminung (10/2012), there is no route to the true summit of Ringgit (12/2012), Karangetang simply far too active to hike (02/2013), the trail to Awu leading up the wrong side of the rim (02/13), a smoking Soputan preventing a summit attempt (02/2013), not enough time to hack through the bushes on Ambang (02/2013 and again due to poor weather, 06/2017), despite Pak Subandi’s help, lack of time and a trail hindered summit attempts on Tujuh (04/2013), lack of trail on Pura (07/2013), columns of sulphurous smoke on the summit cone of Lewotolo (07/2013), cloudy conditions and lack of time to reach the absolute highest point of Lewotobi (07/2013), a trail which avoids the summit on Curunumbeng (07/2013), overgrown distant high point of Kaba with no apparent trail to it (08/2013), insufficient time to get to true summit of Ranai (09/2013), no trail to real summit of Pantaicermin (10/2013), insufficient time to reach true summit of Tondongkarambu, vertical cliffs on Bukit Jempol (11/2013), local people preventing access to Matebean Mane (12/2013) due to it being ‘a bit windy up there’, the sheer vertical cliffs of Daik (03/2017) meaning a summit attempt was never on the cards, a visit only to the more-frequented second-highest peak of Gunung Maras (Bui) on Bangka island (05/2017), lack of time and knowledge for the summit cliffs of Ruang (06/2017), lack of time and knowledge for Gunung Beratus (08/2017), no knowledge of a trail to the true peak of Sebatung (10/2017) or the highest point of Colo on Pulau Una-una (12/2017), northern pillar peak only on Gunung Gawalise (01/2018), col below summit on Pulau Weh (Cot Kulam) (02/18), second highest peak on Santubong (06/18), Serapi viewpoint peak only (10/18), Gading peak only on Gading (Perigi) (10/18), Gunung Botol on Halimun (10/18), Gunung Biru on Anjasmoro (11/18), to edge of restricted areas on both Gunung Jerai and Western Hill (12/18), didn’t even step foot on Gandangdewata when after 3 months of planning, the guide decided to cancel the morning of departure!”
Has also climbed Tandikat (03/2018) and Bur ni Telong (04/2018) both of which would definitely be Spesials if only the col between them and neighbouring parent peaks were a bit lower.

 

Ranking Name   Nationality  Year of Birth  Number of Ribus  Number of Spesials 

2

John Hargreaves

British  

47

10
Ribus

Agung, Arjuno, Batukaru, Bukittunggul, Bulu Nti, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Fatu Timau, Gamalama, Gamkonora, Jailolo, Karang, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Lamongan (Tarub), Lawu, Masurai, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobatang, Muria, Mutis, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rajabasa, Rantemario, Raung, Rinjani, Salak, Sawal, Semeru, Sibuatan, Sinabung, Sindoro, Singgalang, Slamet, Sorikmarapi, Sumbing, Talakmau, Talang, Tambora, Tampomas, Tompotika, Ungaran, Wanggameti

Spesials Anak Krakatau, Banda Api, Batur, Bongkok, Bromo (Pananjakan), Kaba, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Lokon, Sangga Buana, Sibayak (Pintau)
Notes

An unstable work situation deterred any hikes in the early part of the year. But the later part of the year was brighter. Although a plan to hike Argopuro in East Java was stifled by forest fires, I was able to visit the adjacent Gunung Tarub, finding the trail little used but reaching the summit in under 4 hours. Even better was the ascent of Gunung Talang, an active volcano overlooking three lakes in the West Sumatra highlands, and with the additional joy of meeting Sumatra’s black gibbon, the siamang, at close quarters.

Other notes : also climbed to East Peak of Binaiya. Reached crater areas of Marapi (W. Sumatra), Soputan, Ambang, Kie Besi, and Awu, but without summiting.

 

 Ranking    Name    Nationality Year of Birth Number of Ribus Number of Spesials

3

Mykhailo Pavliuk 

Ukrainian 1980

44

10
Ribus Arjuno, Batukaru, Benum, Bintang, Bukittunggul, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Ebulobo, Ijen (Merapi), Inerie, Karang, Kerinci, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Korbu, Lawu, Liman, Masurai, Merbabu, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Pesagi, Rajabasa, Rantemario, Raung, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Semeru, Seulawah Agam, Sibuatan, Sinabung, Singgalang, Slamet, Soputan, Sorikmarapi, Sumbing, Tahan, Talakmau, Talang, Tambora, Tanggamus, Ungaran
Spesials Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Guntur (Masigit), Kaba, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Manglayang, Patuha, Poco Ranakah, Seminung, Telomoyo
Notes Mykhailo is a keen and successful mountain marathon runner who won the 2018 Rinjani marathon in 6hrs 35min! He has to be one of the very few hikers to have ever hiked to Gn Loser alone. He has also climbed Santubong, Bandahara and to Laut Tinggal but did not reach the true summits.

 

   Ranking  Name   Nationality   Year of Birth   Number of Ribus   Number of Spesials

4

Heinz von Holzen

Swiss  

35

5
Ribus Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Batukaru, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Ebulobo, Galunggung (Beuticanar), Gamalama, Ijen-Merapi, Ili Boleng, Inerie, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Kinabalu, Lawu, Merapi, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobatang, Muria, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Ramelau, Rantemario, Rinjani, Salak, Semeru, Sindoro, Singgalang, Slamet, Sumbing, Talang, Ungaran
Spesials Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Dieng (Prau), Kaba, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point),  
Notes
No news for 2018.

Visited Kemiri, Raung, Tambora and Marapi but didn’t get to the true summits. Has climbed Agung 54 times! Got to within 300 metres of the summit of Papandayan (Malang) in October 2011. Also to Egon and Lewotobi rims in 2013 but “any step further and we would have been cooked.”

 

 Ranking Name   Nationality   Year of Birth   Number of Ribus   Number of Spesials

5

Hendri Agustin

Indonesian  

30

9
Ribus Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Binaiya, Bukit Raya, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Kerinci, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Klabat, Lawu, Merapi, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobattang, Pangrango, Rantemario, Rinjani, Salak, Semeru, Sinabung, Sindoro, Singgalang, Slamet, Sumbing, Talakmau, Talang, Tambora, Tampomas, Ungaran
Spesials Anak Krakatau, Bawakaraeng, Burangrang, Bromo (Pananjakan), Guntur (Masigit), Manglayang, Patuha, Pulosari, Rakutak
Notes No news for 2018.

 

  Ranking  Name   Nationality   Year of Birth   Number of Ribus   Number of Spesials

6

Nicholas Hughes

Australian 1947

29

4
Ribus Tambora (2009/2015), Klabat (2010), Argopura (2010), Kie Matubu (2010, 2011), Merbabu (2010), Galunggung (Beuticanar, 2010), Gamalama (2010, 2011, 2015), Gamkonora (2011, 2015), Jailolo (2011, 2015), Semeru (2011), Butak (2013), Ciremai (2013), Ili Ujolewung (2013), Lawu (2010), Salak (2012), Kerinci (2013), Penanggungan (2013), Leuser ‘Tanpa Nama’ (2014), Ebulobo (2014), Inerie (2014), Mutis (2014), Fatu Timau (2014, 2015), Keli Lepembusu (2014), Sindoro (2015), Arjuno (2015), Muria (2016), Ramelau and Matebean Mane (2018), Karang
Spesials Banda Api (2007), Bromo (1985), Dieng (Prau, 2014), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point, 1975/2009)
Notes Another 31 summits have been attempted – total 67. Usual reasons for not reaching true summits: did not attempt – prior to seeking to bag summits; dangerous/too difficult; possible but time limited; guides took us up the wrong peak.
2018 observations: mountains of Timor Leste are great but extensive travel required; the Portuguese wine is excellent.
I agree with Dan’s comments posted under his 2018 achievements. Well done Dan!
Several related observations:
Over the years we are seeing a steady degradation of forest on many mountains especially in more densely populated areas. This is largely due to increasing pressure for local building materials and agricultural land. National Parks and other reserve areas are slowly being encroached upon and degraded. Park Rangers have a daunting task attempting to control this encroachment.
Second, local authorities are beginning to realise that they must control the number of climbers on mountains. For Ijen and Pangrango, for example, I understand that web-based systems are being introduced to queue climbers.
Third, I have observed on several mountains, such as Ijen, Sundoro and Kaba, that local authorities are realising that ‘their’ mountains are an asset to the local communities, and have started to charge prescribed fees and, in turn, have a the resources and incentive to keep the mountains clean.
Reasons for not reaching summits:
Prior to ‘bagging’ summits: Cyclops (1975), Agung (1976), Pangrango (1975), Slamet (2011), Dempo (2011)
Dangerous/too difficult: Merapi (1975, 2013), Raung (2011), Lewotolo (2013), Lokon (2010), Anak Krakatau (2011), Karangetang (2013), Dukono (2015)
Possible but time limited: Manuk (2007), Ijen-Merapi (2013), Baluran (2012), Ibu (2011); Arfak (Umsini, 2012), Sirung (2013), Pulosari (2013), Lewotobi-Perempuan (climbed Lewotobi-Laki2 by mistake, 2014), Pura (2013), Awu (2013), Pura (2013), Sumbing (2015), Papandayan, Mundo Perdido (2018).
Others: crossed Jayawijaya Range east of Baliem valley at 3,700 ms (X-Chain?, 2009), Rantemario (reached Pos 5 – sick; 2009), Batu Tara (oceanic volcano, eruption observed from boat, 2010), Curunumbeng (forbidden due local beliefs, 2013)

 

  Ranking  Name    Nationality    Year of Birth    Number of Ribus    Number of Spesials

7

Andy Dean

British 1977

27

3
Ribus Agung, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Ebulobo, Fatu Timau, Gamalama, Inerie, Karang, Keli Lepembusu, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Klabat, Lawu, Merbabu, Mutis, Palung (Ponti), Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Semeru, Singgalang, Slamet, Tambora, Tampomas
Spesials Bromo (Pananjakan), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Lokon
Notes No news for 2018.
Notable attempts: Pangulubao trig point (02/2010), Butak, Papandayan, Anak Krakatau, Raung rim (07/2011).

 

  Ranking     Name    Nationality    Year of Birth    Number of Ribus    Number of Spesials

8

Gill Dean

British 1977

25

3
Ribus Agung, Cikuray, Dempo, Ebulobo, Fatu Timau, Gamalama, Inerie, Keli Lepembusu, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Klabat, Lawu, Merbabu, Mutis, Palung (Ponti), Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Semeru, Singgalang, Slamet, Tambora, Tampomas
Spesials Bromo (Pananjakan), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Lokon
Notes No news for 2018.
Notable attempts: Pangulubao trig point (02/2010), Butak, Papandayan, Anak Krakatau, Raung rim (07/2011). No news for 2017.

 

   Ranking    Name    Nationality    Year of Birth    Number of Ribus    Number of Spesials

9

Taufan

Indonesian 1970

24

5
Ribus Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Binaiya, Bukittunggul, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Kerinci, Lawu, Merapi, Merbabu, Pangrango, Rajabasa, Raung, Rinjani, Salak, Semeru, Sindoro, Slamet, Sumbing, Talakmau, Tambora, Ungaran
Spesials Bawakaraeng, Burangrang, Malabar, Pulosari, Tangkuban Perahu
Notes “I just have some hiking repetition at some mountains:
1. April 4 – Mt Sumbing
2. April 12 – Mt Kerinci via newly open route – Solok Selatan (awesome trail to the top of Kerinci)
3. April 28 – Mt Binaiya
4. May 10 – Mt Semeru
5. July 10 – Mt Raung Puncak Sejati
6. Dec 1 – Mt Semeru
7. Dec 3 – Mt Ijen”

 

  Ranking     Name   Nationality    Year of Birth     Number of Ribus    Number of Spesials

10

Roman Gerber

Swiss  

24

3
Ribus Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Batukaru, Butak, Ciremai, Dempo, Ebulobo, Inerie, Kerinci, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Lawu, Liman, Merapi, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobatang, Muria, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rinjani, Semeru, Sindoro, Slamet, Sumbing
Spesials Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point)
Notes

No news for 2018.

Visited Kemiri, Raung, Tambora, Ijen-Merapi and Marapi but didn’t get to the true summits. Has now climbed Agung 52 times!

 

    Ranking    Name     Nationality     Year of Birth     Number of Ribus     Number of Spesials

11

Jan Smeenk

Dutch 1945

23

12
Ribus Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Batukaru, Bukittunggul, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Klabat, Lamongan (Tarub), Lawu, Liman, Merapi, Merbabu, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rajabasa, Rinjani, Semeru, Sindoro, Slamet, Sumbing, Ungaran
Spesials Anak Krakatau, Banda Api, Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Burangrang, Dieng (Prau), Guntur (Masigit), Halimun (North), Kelimutu, Kelud, Patuha, Tangkuban Parahu
Notes

No news for 2018.

Has also visited Papandayan crater, Egon crater rim (2009), Puncak Trikora area (2008), Lokon crater (2010) and Angkasan in the Leuser range (2010).

 

  Ranking  Name   Nationality   Year of Birth   Number of Ribus   Number of Spesials

12

Wolfgang Piecha

German  

22

5
Ribus Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Ciremai, Dempo, Egon, Gamalama, Gamkonora, Ijen-Merapi, Jailolo, Kerinci, Lawu, Liman, Merapi, Merbabu, Pangrango, Rinjani, Semeru, Sindoro, Slamet, Sumbing, Tambora
Spesials Anak Krakatau, Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Sebesi
Notes

No news for 2018.

Has stayed two nights on the crater base of Tambora (2012), also climbed to the craters of Raung, Kie Besi, Salahatu (without reaching the true summits), visited Papandayan and Kelud

 

   Ranking    Name    Nationality    Year of Birth    Number of Ribus    Number of Spesials

13

Paul Lemaistre

French  1985

21

5
Ribus Kerinci, Rinjani, Semeru, Lawu, Agung, Arjuno, Merbabu, Pangrango, Cikuray, Kinabalu, Klabat, Sindoro, Singgalang, Salak, Muria, Merapi, Bukittunggul, Ungaran, Tampomas, Batukaru, Penanggungan
Spesials  Tangkuban Parahu, Batur, Parang, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Bromo
Notes No news for 2018.

 

   Ranking    Name    Nationality    Year of Birth    Number of Ribus    Number of Spesials

14

Hélène Terrenoire

French  1983

20

7
Ribus Batukaru, Bukittungul, Cikuray, Ciremai, Ebulobo, Gamkonora, Inerie, Karang, Kerinci, Klabat, Lawu, Merbabu, Muria, Mutis, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rinjani, Semeru, Tambora, Ungaran
Spesials Batur, Dieng (Prahu), Lokon, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Patuha, Sidole, Tangkuban Prahu
Notes No news for 2018. Other ribus/specials visited without reaching the true summit for some reason (active, too dangerous, miscellaneous…) :       

 

-Ribus : Agung (rim, Pura Pasar Agung route), Egon, Gamalama, Ijen (Kawah), Ili Wukoh (first summit Ili Ledo), Lewotobi Perempuan (rim), Papandayan (Tegal Alun), Salak (Kawah Ratu)

 

-Specials : Anak Krakatau, Bromo (Seruni Point), Dukono, Kaba, Pulau Weh (Cot Kulam), Tujuh

Why Have a Hall of Fame?

Although looking at lists of mountains like the Ribus is always secondary to the actual experience of being out there in the mountains – enjoying the fresh air, the scenery and the exercise – there is an undoubted pleasure in keeping track of the peaks you’ve visited. Unlike in several other countries where mountain climbing is equally – or more – popular, there has not to our knowledge been any attempt to create a record of people’s hiking achievements in Indonesia and Malaysia. The Ribus are based on objective criteria (i.e 1,000 metre prominence) and so we hope to utilise this to keep a record of people’s hiking achievements – if they want to be included. Given the immensity of the challenge of climbing all the Ribus (and the fact that nobody knew where they all were until now) it is pretty much impossible that anyone will have climbed all 226 of them! Indeed, we think that at present no single person has reached the top of more than about 70 Ribus, although it is probable that at least 150 peaks on the list are relatively accessible and have been climbed on at least several occasions (though many requiring a week-long trek or more). Perhaps 50 Ribus or more are visited by hikers on at least a weekly basis during the dry season.

Since the full introduction of all Ribus in Malaysia in 2018, Malaysian hikers might like to note that it is possible to get into the Hall of Fame with Malaysian peaks alone, as there are over 20 Malaysian Ribus (32 in total, but not including border peaks in Borneo such as Berumput / Kanyi which is listed in West Kalimantan). However, a handful of these are pretty obscure! We look forward to adding you to the list soon!

Hall of Fame Criteria

If you have climbed 20 or more Ribus (excluding Spesial peaks) you can join the Gunung Bagging Hall of Fame. If you would like to be added, please contact us with a list of your bagged Ribus and Spesials, and including any “significant attempts” when you came close but failed to reach the absolute summit for some reason. There can be many reasons for failing to reach the summit:

  • Volcanic activity (or the weather) can make it too dangerous to reach the highest point. The trek to Merapi (Central Java) is an example of a relatively straightforward hike to the summit area of a volcano, but not to the summit itself (which was completely altered, in 2006 and most recently in the 2010 eruption). Hikers who visited the highest point prior to 2006 (Garuda’s Wing) can reasonably claim to have reached the summit if they managed to get their head above the highest point of the huge piece of rock. Between 2006 and 2010 however, the highest point was part of a new lava dome which was simply too dangerous and utterly irresponsible to visit. However, since the 2010 eruptions, the summit area is vastly different once again – with a new 400m wide crater. Hikers are now encouraged not to visit the summit due to the dangers.
  • Technical climbing skills are required. Gunung Raung (East Java), Puncak Trikora (Papua) and Egon (East Nusa Tenggara) require climbing ropes and/or intermediate rock-climbing skills in order to reach the highest point.
  • Dense vegetation / jungle / no trail. Some peaks are covered in dense vegetation. Occasionally, finding a route to the top can be very difficult, if not impossible. Trails become overgrown quickly and if tops are not visited for a number of years the vegetation can become so dense that there is no visible trail and/or the vegetation is just too dense to walk through. Papandayan and Galunggung (Beuticanar), both in West Java, are notable examples of overgrown trails. Marapi in West Sumatra is not baggable by any conventional route, although a handful of hikers have opened up a new trail which does reach the true summit. We hope this site will help encourage new hiking routes and the regeneration of old, forgotten trails.
  • Mystifying legal reasons. There are a number of peaks in Java (and elsewhere) officially closed to the general public. This a fairly recent problem – peaks which were often climbed in the past have been closed by Forestry or National Park authorities, mainly because they do not have sufficient resources to maintain a network of trails in the short-term even though in the long-term the amount of tourism revenue would probably be high if people knew of their existence. Annoyingly, waivers stating you are entirely responsible for your safety and behaviour (which you would be normally, anyway) are rarely granted except to scientists conducting research. It’s a lose-lose situation but in general Indonesian hikers don’t seem to mind and the media have bigger fish to fry. You can either enter the lengthy and expensive process of negotiation with authorities or just get on with it and try to climb them anyway.
  • Not knowing where the summit actually is. A less common and more humorous reason for not reaching the highest point will be simply that you didn’t know where the very top was, perhaps due to excessive vegetation or a very flat mountain top with several peaks of seemingly similar elevation. Even a guide might not actually know where the true summit is and they can even get you lost. Liman, Palung (Ponti) and Rajabasa fall into this category but we have tried to provide information on this site which specifies the likely highest point.

Of course, reaching the highest point is not the most important part of going for a hike and considering the dangers you may face it is occasionally unwise to attempt at all. However, we want to keep this list as stringent and professional as other mountain lists worldwide. For Gunung Bagging purposes, (and despite probable accusations of pedantry!) this means that if you haven’t reached the highest point then you can’t claim to have ‘bagged’ it. However, be sure to mention such attempts in your email to us so that other hikers know what to expect on tricky or particularly active peaks.

Known Difficult Peaks

Many of the Ribus and Spesials are very hard to conquer! This is due to a number of reasons. The highest point may be in dense vegetation with no path whatsoever, part of an active lava dome, on a knife-edged crater rim or ridge, in a tribal conflict area or require moderate rock climbing skills or a hike of two weeks or more! Here is an initial list of some of the trickier summits that we know about so far – please see individual mountain pages for more details. N.B. Most peaks in Kalimantan and Papua are likely to be very difficult. We hope to make updates as and when we have new information. We also hope to conduct expeditions to these summits if/when it is safe to do so.

Java:

  • Papandayan (Malang) – The true summit is in moderately dense vegetation although one group from Bandung reached the top in June 2015 and we reached the top in June 2017.
  • Parang – The summit is in dense vegetation but we finally reached the top in June 2017.
  • Kelud – The summit rocks require rock climbing skills – ropes are probably needed.
  • Liman – this remote mountain is difficult to reach given the terrain (rarely-used) and lack of local knowledge about what is a very complex range of peaks. But it’s getting easier as more local hikers explore this mountain.
  • Lamongan (Tarub) – The summit is rarely visited and overgrown. In October 2008, local hiking enthusiast Pak Iwan Erfanto led what was one of only a handful of recent expeditions to the summit of Tarub from Klakah via Lamongan, taking 4 days there and back. Gunung Bagging went to Tarub in January 2011 from Ranu Gedang.
  • Ijen (Merapi) – Whilst Ijen crater is very popular with visitors, the top of the massif, Gunung Merapi, is hardly ever visited. It is a great place – there are several sandy craters to explore. The highest point is covered in dense vegetation. Java Lava either reached the summit or got very close indeed in 2006 but since then most attempts have been thwarted by the density of the vegetation. However, two hikers reached the old trig point which marks the true peak in 2013 and one hiker allegedly bagged the summit in 2017.
  • Baluran – None of our requests to hike to the summit have been granted by the Park. Technically not a difficult peak to reach, but bureaucratically a very difficult one.
  • Sumbing – The highest point of the crater rim is mildly difficult to reach. Confident scramblers should have no difficulty.
  • Raung – The highest point of the crater rim is difficult to reach. It requires a long hike in and ropes for rock climbing.
  •  Merapi– technically not allowed to go beyond Pasar Bubrah now due to the dangers (but loads of hikers do go anyway).

Sulawesi:

  • Karangetang – The volcano is incredibly active and dangerous.
  • Tondongkarambu – Reaching the ridge of this mountain is easy enough from local villages. But the summit is about 4km away!
  • Gawalise – Locals at Desa Kalora are hostile to hikers. A very sad situation for such a (in normal circumstances) accessible mountain. The true summit is also very rarely visited. Try via Salena instead.

Sumatra:

  • Bukit Jempol – Only roped rock climbers dare attempt ascend the vertical summit cliffs.
  • Kaba – There is a great trail around the active double-crater. But the highest point of the massif appears to be in dense vegetation to the west.
  • Pangulubao – The trig pillar is visited at least once a year but the true highpoint likely 1.8km along a densely forested ridge from there.
  • Pantaicermin – A hunter’s trail snakes through the forest but misses out the true summit. You’d need several days to cut a fresh trail along to it.
  • Tujuh – The climb to the summit is very steep and has apparently only been climbed once or twice.

Maluku:

  • Salahutu – Although local hikers climb to a lesser nearby top, the highest peak of the range is rarely visited and if there is a trail it is likely to be very vague.
  • Binaiya – Despite being one of Indonesia’s “Seven Summits”, the true peak of Binaiya is also known as the forbidden peak because technically it is a nature reserve so hiking is not allowed beyond the second-highest peak (which is where all the ‘summit’ signs are) .

Nusa Tenggara Timur:

  • Curunumbeng – There appears to be no trail to the summit, at least not from the eastern side of the mountain.
  • Egon – The highest point of the crater rim is difficult to reach. It requires good scrambling skills over very exposed and slippery terrain. Rob Woodall made a complete circuit of the rim in August 2010 and Wolfgang Piecha reached the summit on a Java Lava trip in April 2009.

Kepulauan Riau

  • Daik – Apparently it is a very difficult rock climb and only the second-highest rock pillar has been successfully bagged.

Papua:

  • Puncak Trikora – Ropes are needed for a rock climb at the very top.
  • Arfak (Umsini) – There is a current conflict between two neighbouring tribes which makes access to the peak rather difficult.
  • Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid) – Indonesia’s highest mountain is very expensive – especially for foreigners – and rock climbing skills are needed.