// Seminung


Facts

Elevation: 1,881 m (6,171 ft) Prominence: 958 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerSpesial Province: Lampung
Google Earth: kml Other names:
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Photos

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Gunung Seminung as seen from the shores of Danau Ranau at Lombuk (Dan Quinn, October 2012)Gunung Seminung as seen from the shores of Danau Ranau at Lombuk (Dan Quinn, October 2012)
Gunung Seminung as seen from the shores of Danau Ranau at Lombuk (Dan Quinn, October 2012)
Gunung Seminung as seen from Wisma Pusri (Dan Quinn, October 2012)Gunung Seminung as seen from Wisma Pusri (Dan Quinn, October 2012)
Gunung Seminung as seen from Wisma Pusri (Dan Quinn, October 2012)
Looking down on Danau Ranau from the lower slopes of Gunung Seminung (Dan Quinn, October 2012)Looking down on Danau Ranau from the lower slopes of Gunung Seminung (Dan Quinn, October 2012)
Looking down on Danau Ranau from the lower slopes of Gunung Seminung (Dan Quinn, October 2012)
One of the many trails through coffee plantations on Gunung Seminung (Dan Quinn, October 2012)One of the many trails through coffee plantations on Gunung Seminung (Dan Quinn, October 2012)
One of the many trails through coffee plantations on Gunung Seminung (Dan Quinn, October 2012)

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Bagging It!

Seminung is one of the most strikingly beautiful mountains in Lampung and is well-known by those who visit Danau Ranau, the lake beneath the mountain and second largest body of water in Sumatra (after Danau Toba). The mountain is the remains of an ancient volcano which erupted, supposedly turning a wide river flowing at the foot of the volcano into the large lake we see today. There is still volcanic activity on Seminung and most people who come to Danau Ranau visit the hot springs at the base of the mountain. A local guide who has climbed the  mountain recently is essential because there are many, many tracks on the lower half of the hillside and no signs whatsoever. Despite being famous in the local area it is not climbed as often as you might imagine and so expect overgrown sections of trail on the higher slopes. As usual in Sumatra, it is best to hike with a minimum of two other people just incase you should be unlucky enough to meet one of the very few remaining tigers in Lampung. Before hiking, remember to visit Kota Batu and ask to be directed to the house of the person who you must ask permission to climb the mountain.

In order to reach the start of the trail at the hot springs you must hire a small boat to take you across to ‘Air Panas’ from either Kota Batu or Wisma Pusri. Arranging a boat is very easy. From Wisma Pusri the crossing takes just under 30 leisurely minutes and is a wonderful way to see the Ranau area. From Air Panas (530m) it is over 1,300 metres straight up the coffee-covered hillside to the peak which is marked with a tiny metal shelter. Apparently there is still edelweiss near the top. In the humid early mornings this climb will take a minimum of 4 hours and even longer if you start hiking later in the day when the sun is at its most ferocious. If the mountain has not been climbed for several months the hike could take a full day (to the top and back).

Local people live as far as 1,000 metres high up the mountain and the area is wonderful for wildlife. You are highly likely to see chipmunks and gibbons and will probably hear the beautiful call of the siamangs. Views of the lake and nearby mountains are stunning. From the top, return the same way in 3-4 hours to the pier and enjoy the (somewhat poorly-maintained) hot springs before taking your boat back across the lake.

Bagging information by Dan Quinn (October 2012)

Practicalities

Getting there There are regular buses from Bandar Lampung (Rajabasa terminal) to Liwa (where you can change) and one bus per day direct to Ranau. 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 from between 6 to 8 hours to reach Danau Ranau from both Palembang and Bandar Lampung. Boats across the lake from Wisma Pusri to ‘Air Panas’ cost about Rp 135,000 return but are more expensive if you plan to cross at night for a dawn ascent.
Accommodation Wisma PUSRI overlooking the lake is a nice place to stay. You will have to pay two fees of approximately Rp5,000 to enter the complex. Otherwise there are one or two losmen in Kota Batu or, further away, Banding Agung.
Permits Not required but take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase. You are requested to report to villagers in Kota Batu to let them know of your plans to climb the mountain. You may have to pay a small fee at the ‘Air Panas’ pier.
Water sources None seen. Take plenty with you.
Find a local guide:
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): bandarlampung

Location

Links and References

Wikipedia Indonesia

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Trip Reports and Comments

One entry for “Seminung”

  1. avatar

    Well what a weekend it was. The plan was a warm-up with Seminung before hitting my 50th Ribu on Gunung Pesagi. I got the DAMRI bus from Gambir station to Bandar Lampung on Thursday night. Huge amount of traffic at Merak – people returning home for the Idul Adha weekend. We arrived in Bandar Lampung at about 6.30am and Heri met me at around 7am with his trusty morobike. Off we headed towards Danau Ranau, via Kota Bumi and Liwa. By mid-morning most villagers were cutting up cattle for the celebration and whilst the roads were clear of traffic for the most part, there were tons of pedestrians wandering around, finely dressed.

    We got a good glimpse of the mysterious Gunung Tebak and were in Liwa after about 5 and a half hours on the bike. Another hour and we were near Danau Ranau. Neither of us knew much about the area so we first headed down to Lumbok after asking a local chap who was sitting by the side of the road in a trance if the left turn did indeed take us to the lake. However I think he would have nodded at anything we said.

    The road did indeed take us up the hillside and back down steeply to the lake itself but on arrival we were informed that the main places to stay were near Kota Batu (‘Stone City’) back the other way towards Muara Dua. After chatting with locals in Kota Batu about how long it might take to reach the summit of Seminung (ideas ranged wildly from 1 hour to 6 hours!) and asking official permission at a village house to climb the peak the following morning I was beginning to grow quite irritable, having had very little sleep. Luckily we found Wisma Pusri overlooking the lake and about 3 or 4km outside Kota Batu, presumably in the direction of Banding Agung.

    The staff at Pusri agreed to find us a boatman who could take us over to the starting point at the hot springs ‘air panas’ leaving at 3am from the hotel pier. The plan was to reach the top just after dawn so as to enjoy the best of the views before the haze kicked in.

    The following morning it was pouring with rain but we set off anyway. Heri had been unable to find a local who had climbed the peak and was willing to lead us up to the top but seemed unconcerned after we were told it was a straighforward track with no junctions or route-finding issues. We ended up waiting til after 5am to set off hiking because the rain was persistent and it was immediately difficult to work out the correct trail from the hot springs pier in the darkness.

    Eventually we found what appeared to be the right trail, leading up from the hamlet to the left of the pier up through coffee plantations. Every ten minutes was another hut, many of them lived in but vacant perhaps due to Idul Adha festivities nearby.

    It was a sweaty ascent and the ‘wise words’ that route finding would not be a problem soon turned out to be some of the most useless advice I have ever received. The lower slopes are covered with farm tracks criss-crossing each other. We were invited in to a wooden house (at about 950m) by a pleasant Sundanese chap who gave us a drink and told us we had gone the wrong way. He also started telling stories about some sort of spiritual link between the hills in Lampung and those in Banten.

    He agreed to show us the route, and we both imagined he would take us to the top. He led us across a ‘jalan potong’ (short cut) which was barely a track at all and up to a small cluster of wooden houses.

    Here, he made his excuses and told us he was off to the market and pointed us in the right direction. “If I’m not mistaken, it’s about half an hour from here to the top”, he said. Considering we still had almost 1,000 metres to climb this seemed highly implausible to say the least but I gave him Rp40,000 for his help and we parted ways.

    After another 30 minutes of climbing we were, of course, nowhere near the top and had, in fact, come to a dead end by a small collection of logs. Nobody was in at any of the other houses but we descended a little way to see if there was an alternative route. We climbed up again, reached another junction and retreated once more.

    The weather was poor and by this time we had spent over 3 hours ascending and descending, trying to find the correct trail. I was completely fed up and annoyed that we hadn’t been able to find a local guide and at Heri’s confidence that we wouldn’t need one. Given that we would be climbing Gunung Pesagi the same evening and that Seminung was supposed to be a straightforward warm-up for that I decided we should forget it and make our way back down to the pier and then the hotel.

    The weather remained poor so in retrospect we wouldn’t have enjoyed the fabulous views that can be seen from the higher slopes of Seminung anyway.

    A poor start to the trip’s hiking activites but one to definitely go back to (and with a local guide who has climbed it recently and genuinely knows what he is talking about!) Luckily Pesagi turned out to be much more successful (and finer weather)

    Posted by Dan | October 30, 2012, 22:09

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