|Elevation:||2,219 m (7,280 ft)||Prominence:||1,362 m|
|Ribu category:||Tinggi Sedang||Province:||Lampung|
|Google Earth:||kml||Other names:|
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This mountain is the highest in Lampung and offers some of the most challenging yet rewarding hiking in the province. Unlike most peaks in this area there are actually some wonderful open views on the higher slopes of the mountain and both flora and fauna remain relatively undisturbed. Lying just under an hour’s drive from Danau Ranau it makes a great long weekend trip from either Palembang or Bandar Lampung.
The two most popular routes to the top are from Pekon (‘kampung’) Hujung and Pekon Bahway. Both require between 5 and 6 hours for fit hikers and a little less for the descent. The Bahway route starts, unsurprisingly in Bahway which is well sign-posted off the main road between Liwa and Kota Bumi just ten minutes outside Liwa. The road to Bahway is bumpy but most vehicles will have no problems and you should be there in about 15-20 minutes from the main road. A unmarked junction (left turn) is where the hike starts and finding some friendly local people to guide you to the top should be no problem at all. It is essential because it is easy to get lost near the beginning. Also, this is tiger country so it is best to be in a group of 3 or more.
From Bahway (900m), the trail initially leads up and down past a couple of small, old pavillions and through pleasant coffee plantations. After approximately one hour you will reach the entrance to the forest (1,200m) and a couple of nice rocks to sit on and admire the view. The trail for the first five minutes in the forest is somewhat overgrown but it soon becomes much clearer. Be warned that there are leeches here so make sure you check your boots every five minutes or so. The trail climbs steadily for an hour or so after which you should find a flat area (1,480m) clearly sometimes used for camping.
After another hour and a half of hiking up through the forest is a steep section where you will need to use both your hands in order to clamber up to a second flat area used by hikers (1,750m) which offers some excellent views into the valleys. Chances are you will also hear the call of the siamangs. From this point, the hike is magnificent and you may find orchids and pitcher plants if you are lucky. No longer are you in danger of being sucked by leeches as the forest gives way to different types of bush, plants and small trees. Note that a little trail down to the left of the path leads to a water source and is the last reliable one. It becomes clear at this point why the mountain is called ‘square mountain’ or ‘mountain of four corners’ – there are lesser tops both left and right of the main peak which appear to be at right angles.
The trail climbs steeply up a narrow ridge (be careful here) to another cluster of flat rocks (1,965m) ideal for resting on. This little section actually offers perhaps the finest views on the entire hike. Indeed, you can see the lovely shape of Gunung Seminung, towering above Danau Ranau. The terrain becomes somewhat tougher from this point to the summit as fallen, slippery tree trunks block the path. It is difficult hiking for perhaps an hour as you negotiate each and every tree, climbing under or over as appropriate.
Finally your determination pays off as you reach the summit area. The first building you will see on the Bahway route is the little mosque. Then a few more simple shacks come into views. You may even hear the sound of hens and other animals! A large poster of a local politician adorns the branches of a tree. This is because for the last eight years, on and off, a local man named Pak Somad has called the summit of Pesagi his home. He is a very friendly and eccentric fellow and will undoubtedly be pleased to chat with you!
The summit is also crowned with a large cement pillar with various hikers’ graffiti on it. Two additional trails lead down from the summit. To the left is an infrequently used route about which there is not much information. On the right is the trail to Pekon Hujung and sometimes a source of water can be found just a couple of minutes below the peak. It is said that there are seven small wells near the peak that sometimes emit a fragrance similar to perfume. Alas, on our visit we were not able to obtain any water. The views from the very top are actually a little more limited because of the height of the trees, but you should be able to see Gunung Tebak, sometimes called ‘Tangkit Tebak’ in the distance to the east.
After bidding farewell to the fascinating Pak Somad and his chickens you can either descend the same way to Bahway (in under 4 hours) or alternatively descend to Hujung and take an ojek back round to Bahway.
Bagging information by Dan Quinn (October 2012)
|Getting there||There are regular buses from Bandar Lampung (Rajabasa terminal) to Liwa. There is even a bus all the way from Jakarta. There are also plenty of buses from Palembang via Batu Raja. If driving, if can take between 4 to 6 hours to reach Liwa from both Palembang and Bandar Lampung.|
|Accommodation||Available in Liwa or, better still, near Danau Ranau. Wisma PUSRI overlooking the lake is a nice place to stay.|
|Permits||Not required but take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase.|
|Water sources||Available just off the main path at 1,800m on the Bahway route and sometimes available just below the summit on the Hujung route.|
|Relevant adverts from Google:||Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm):|
Origins and Meaning
Possibly ‘four corners’ or ‘square’. So, “Square Mountain” might be a reasonable translation. See also Peuet Sague in Aceh.