// Kerinci

Facts

Elevation: 3,805 m (12,484 ft) Prominence: 3,805 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerSangat Tinggi Province: Jambi
Google Earth: kml Other names:
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Eruptions: 1838, 1842, 1878, 1908-09, 1921, 1923, 1936-38, 1952, 1960, 1963-64, 1966-70, 1990, 1996, 1998-99, 2001-02, 2004, 2007-09, 2013

Photos

KerinciNext »
Kerinci seen from the Gn Tujuh trailhead (Dan Quinn, May 2013)Kerinci seen from the Gn Tujuh trailhead (Dan Quinn, May 2013)
Kerinci seen from the Gn Tujuh trailhead (Dan Quinn, May 2013)
Gunung Kerinci from Kersik Tua (Andy Dean, April 2011)Gunung Kerinci from Kersik Tua (Andy Dean, April 2011)
Gunung Kerinci from Kersik Tua (Andy Dean, April 2011)
Gunung Tujuh from the slopes of Kerinci (Andy Dean, April 2011)Gunung Tujuh from the slopes of Kerinci (Andy Dean, April 2011)
Gunung Tujuh from the slopes of Kerinci (Andy Dean, April 2011)
Gunung Tujuh crater lake (Andy Dean, April 2011)Gunung Tujuh crater lake (Andy Dean, April 2011)
Gunung Tujuh crater lake (Andy Dean, April 2011)

  • English

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Bagging It!

Mount Kerinci is the highest volcano in Indonesia and the highest Indonesian peak outside Papua (Irian Jaya). Much of the Kerinci Seblat National Park is located in the province of Jambi but the mountain itself is on the border with West Sumatra. We are listing it as being in Jambi because local people regard Kerinci as a region of Jambi and because it must be climbed from the Jambi side. Considering its height, Kerinci is not as difficult a climb as you might think and the views from the top are amazing. The closest airport is Padang from where it is a 6-8 hour road journey to the nearest accommodation to the Kerinci trail, at Kersik Tua (also spelt Tuo, 1,519m). Transport can be arranged at Padang airport or by contacting one of the homestays in advance. However, given the length of the journey it doesn’t come cheap so it isn’t recommended unless you have a group of 4 hikers minimum.

Although it is possible to get to the top and back in a very, very long day (minimum 12 hours hiking there and back), it is recommended that you spend a night on the mountain at Shelter 2 (3,040m) or even the more exposed Shelter 3 (3,306m). The summit is usually cloudy after mid-morning so if you want to admire the views it is best to plan on reaching the top for dawn the second day before making the descent back to Kersik Tua. The water sources are not reliable so make sure you take ample supplies.

You need to obtain a National Park permit, available from one of the homestays in Kersik Tua, which currently costs a reasonable Rp 20,000. It is also a good idea to take a photocopy of your passport with you. The best known homestay in the area is the one owned by Pak Subandi, one of many ethnically Javanese who live in the area. He is an expert on flora and fauna and many people stay here to explore the amazing animal and plant life including incredibly rare birds, pitcher plants, Armorphophallus titanium (the tallest flower in the world) and perhaps even elephants and tigers or even the mysterious Orang Pendek, a bipedal ape of Yeti-like reputation. There are plenty of guides available and Pak Subandi will provide you with some excellent meals of local produce both on and off the mountain. Make sure you discuss the cost in advance to avoid being surprised when the bill arrives.

The trail itself starts about 5km west of Kersik Tua, through the tea plantations past the very visible statue of a tiger. At the end of the road at 1,755m there is a dilapidated signpost beside fields of chillis and potatoes. The trail leads past a ranger post and up into the forest. After 30 minutes, Pos 1 (1,880m) is reached and after another 30 minutes you should have reached a rusty old sign (1,988m). There is a shelter at 2,207m and another rusty sign next to a large tree at 2,450m. Sections of the trail are steep muddy gullies which can be problematic when it rains but generally there are no technical difficulties.

At 3,040m there is a small path leading down to Shelter 2 on the left. This is the best camping area on the trail as it offers some protection from the wind and there is often a source of water down in the gully beside the camping area. There are metal frames here so extra tarpaulin would be excellent to keep you extra protected from getting soaked in the usual afternoon rains. It takes 3 hours to the summit from here which means a starting time of 3am if you want to see the sunrise from the top. Alternatively you can camp higher up beyond the treeline at Shelter 3 (3,306m) which will save you an hour in the morning. It is much more exposed but you will have great views of neighbouring Gunung Tujuh and the Gunung Tujuh Lake from your tent.

From the edge of the treeline, the trail is steep and there is plenty of shallow scree to negotiate. It is a good idea to wear gloves and make sure you have a torch you can attach to your head so you have both hands free. The tiny summit area appears quite suddenly and is marked with a cairn and orange flag which lies between two rocky outcrops. Down below steeply to the right is the smouldering crater and to the left is the Indian Ocean. Views are extensive – you should be able to see Gunung Tujuh on your right, Gunung Raya and Gunung Masurai to the south, and Gunung Talang, Gunung Marapi and Gunung Singgalang to the north.

After celebrating havng reached the top of Indonesia’s highest volcano, it is a long walk back down to Kersik Tua and Pak Subandi’s delicious potatoes.

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn

Practicalities

Getting there There are regular flights to Padang’s International airport from Indonesia and neighbouring countries. It is then a long 6-8 hours drive to the starting point. There is public transport and ‘travel cars’ for which you share a car with others but it will take you most of a day.
Accommodation There are several homestays in Kersik Tua and nearby villages.
Permits Available from the homestays in Kersik Tua for Rp20,000 per person (2013) – take a photocopy of your passport photo page.
Water sources Sometimes available at Shelter 2 (3,040m).
Recommended Hotel:
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): padang

Location

Origins and Meaning

The name Kerinci is derived from the word “Kurinci” in Tamil language. A long time ago, the Tamil land was divided into four districts and each one was named after a local flower to characterize the district. The specific flower related to the highlands is the Kurinci flower (Strobilanthes). Therefore, Kurinci also means “highland”. It is the name of the region, the people (tribe), the volcano, and a lake in the region. Over time, the spelling of Kurinci has shifted. Kurinci was changed into Kerinci for formal Bahasa Indonesia. Related words and spellings include Kincai, Kincei, and Kinci. (Dewi Fovilia, 2011)

Links and References

Wikipedia English
Wikipedia Indonesia

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Trip Reports and Comments

3 entries for “Kerinci”

  1. avatar

    stunning views at the top.its a tough climb but worth it. the owner of subandi homestay is very friendly and speaks good english and will organise a guide for you as well as supplies.peering into the crater at the top is not for the faint hearted and if it rains which it did with me you might get a few leeches on you.the day i was at the top you could see the ocean and many more mountains around .you could even see marapi up in bukitinngi.also very scenic tea plantations around the base. i rate this 10 out of 10

    Posted by chris whiting | December 9, 2009, 04:46
  2. avatar

    Some serious eruptions happening at Kerinci this past couple of days. Seemingly rather unexpected. A handful of hikers apparently still unaccounted for. Let’s hope they make it back ok.
    http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/06/02/mt-kerinci-erupts.html

    Posted by Dan | June 3, 2013, 23:10
  3. avatar

    Fantastic website and info source for Indonesian mountains!

    As a solo-traveller it’s not necessary to go with old/unsafe public buses to Kerinci, to keep a low budget. It’s very easy to get one of the hotels/homestays in Padang to book a seat in a travel-taxi (new and modern Toyota Avanza or similar vehicle which takes up to 7 passengers) to Kersik Tua. They will pick you up at the hotel in the morning at no additional cost. The journey to Kersik Tua in travel-taxi takes only 6 hours, is safe and comfortable, and the price I paid was 140.000 rupies. This price was at the end of Ramadan, so maybe it’s cheaper other times of year.

    I recommend Pak Subandi’s homestay in Kersik Tua. The food and services there are great! He will also assist you in flagging down a travel-taxi back to Padang. I paid same price back to Padang (140.000 rupies), even I was the only passenger in the car. The driver took me straight to my hotel in Padang at no additional cost. So easy and comfortable :-)

    Posted by Lyngve Skrede | August 5, 2013, 19:45

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