Soputan

Facts

Elevation: 1,803 m (5,915 ft) Prominence: 1,419 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerKurang Tinggi Province: Sulawesi Utara (North Sulawesi)
Google Earth: kml Other names:  
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Eruptions: 1785, 1819, 1845, 1890, 1901, 1906-13, 1915, 1917, 1923-24, 1947, 1953, 1966-68, 1970-71, 1973, 1982, 1984-85, 1989, 1991-96, 2000-08, 2011-12

Photos

Bagging It!

 

Soputan is an active volcanic system consisting of several mountains. It sits on the southern rim of the Tondano caldera and is perhaps the finest hike in North Sulawesi province. There have been numerous volcanic eruptions, and in the last decade or so Soputan has erupted on at least an annual basis. This means that it is often closed and hiking is sometimes only possible from Pinabetengan to the first crater because it is simply not safe to climb to the top of the cone itself. Pinabetengan is just over one hour’s drive from Tomohon. Buses run from Manado as far as Kawangkoan (2-3 hours) although most people simply stay in Tomohon as it is cooler and closer. Finding a local guide in Pinabetengan may be possible but it would be better to try to arrange it in advance. Note that there is another, slightly shorter, route up the volcano from Tombatu but the official route is the Pinabetengan one.

From Pinabetengan (800m) the wide trail leads up through open plantations and farmland with wonderful views of Tondano Lake and Gunung Klabat in the distance. After crossing a small stream, passing a small ‘pos’ in pine forest (1,200m) and then negotiating a landslide area, the trail turns quite literally into a small river and the smell of sulphur becomes more apparent. After twenty minutes of wading through the river you will reach a cement water pool which was apparently constructed in order to measure the height of the water to see if it was a sufficient source for drinking water in local villages. Unfortunately the sulphur content is just too high to be strictly safe. Beyond the river, the trail leads up to a lovely flat pine forest area known as ‘basecamp’ (1,326m) where hikers often camp. In terms of time this is not necessary, because if you climb very early in the morning with torches in order to enjoy the views from the top at sunrise then it can be done in one long day.  You should have reached the basecamp in under 3 hours.

At the basecamp you will be able to see the smoking cone of Soputan peak itself. It looks close but is actually still 4 kilometres away. Not far beyond the basecamp you will see an old, seemingly dormant crater down to the left (1,460m), with Lokon and Klabat visible in the distance in good weather. From here the trail leads to a brilliant little spot – a perfect viewpoint (1,470m) for the steep summit. If you want to camp and only need space for one or two tents and don’t mind a rather sloping surface then this is by far the best choice. Look out for the carniverous Nepenthes plants in this area.

After the fine viewpoint, the trail drops down about 100 metres or so before you find yourself on the edge of the black volcanic sand (1,400m). Take plenty of suncream because there is, of course, no shade on the higher slopes of the volcano. There are actually two peaks here…. the ‘anak’ (child) and the ‘induk’ (mother). The induk is the true summit which may not be accessible but the smaller induk is usually possible to climb. It takes about half an hour to reach the top of the ‘anak’ (1,590m). Here you will be rewarded with great views to the coastline, Klabat and Lokon in the distance, and Gunung Sempu, a forested nearby peak. There is a volcanic sensor on one side of the ‘anak’ and a nice little loop can be done before descending back down.

Should the volcanic activity be low enough to make a ‘summit attack’ possible, then expect to spend at least another 2 hours scrambling up what appears to be Sulawesi’s answer to Semeru. Two steps forward and one step back. It may actually be easier to climb to the true summit from the far side. As time goes on, this final ascent gets a little harder because apparently the cone is growing in size. You should allow 5-7 hours in total for the outward hike (depending if you want to try for the true summit) and 3-4 for the return.

Public transport in Pinabetengan is not common so it would be a good idea to arrange a pickup in advance.

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn (March 2013)

Practicalities

Getting there It is probably best to try to order ojeks or a taxi from your hotel in Tomohon.
Accommodation Plenty of accommodation in Tomohon. The Lokon Mega Mendung is quite pleasant, with unbeatable views of Gunung Lokon.
Permits None required but take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase and consult locals for advice on volcanic activity.
Water sources Plenty of water just before the ‘basecamp’ but high sulphur content.
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): manado

Location

Links and References

Wikipedia English
Wikipedia Indonesia

12 thoughts on “Soputan

  1. Had planned to give this brilliant volcano a second try last week as the first time it was too active to reach the true summit. Alas, the weather in North Sulawesi was not great, with heavy showers most lunchtimes, so I decided to cancel what would have been a very long day-hike requiring decent conditions. As it turned out, I later climbed to the summit of Lokon from where I could see that a summit attempt at the moment would be impossible due to the amount of gas on the summit cone. Perhaps I’ll be back in 2018….

  2. 28 march 2017
    with 2 climber from swiszerland whose mr benyamin and mr bastian.
    after we clmbed lokon volcano on 25 march 2017 we climbed the summit of this soputan volcano.we started from onong palace resort tomohon.before i would to climd to summit with maekel yaki and with acouple frm denmark but we could not do at the time because seismic volcanic of this volcano made the rocks rolling from the summit so we cancel to do this kind of adventure.but in this time we did even claudy and raining at the time because my client liked to summit point in their experien for this volcano.many people only over the trip only to the point of panorama or sometime to aitsiput or child of soputan volcano or anak soputan.i can guide to summit point but if have not seismic volcanic.
    you can stay in tomohon aslike as mountain view resort,onong palace resort,highland resort,gardenia country inn ,joanie hotel,or other resort in tomohon,i can do trip for camping also ,now my have 10 tents and may all nature of lovers including my adoption son karim yosua lala and his friend and i am their advisor in kaum muda pencita alam tomohon city i tell i have my in the web of mountain view resort.
    camping in the nice spot.
    http://www.volcanoesadventureguide.blogspot.com
    you can hire tent in mountain view resort.
    i dont care where your stay in tomohon.
    this my whatsapp
    +6289515507588

  3. You can get a lot of information about trekking to Soputan (ends at Aeseput volcano on 1.590 m) or to the real peak of this active volcano (close to 2.000 m) at Mountain View Resort.
    Guided one day trips (extrem) or 2d/1n treks with overnight in tents offered by the experienced staff of this resort in Tomohon. The German manager has a lot of experience in mountain climbing around Indonesia.

  4. I am guide jotje lala.
    this the new photos of soputan volcano.if you need me as guide to soputan volcano you have to climb very early in the morning.see the photos.http://soputanvolcanoguide.blogspot.com

    sunrise onthe way is wonderful.
    you can start 00 30oclock from tomohon or from manado around 002o oclock early morning nice walk and nice sunrise so if you to do that you just call me +6281340310671 or email me.guidejotjelala@gmail.com
    this one day tour to soputan volcano.enjoy also the bird on the way to soputan volcano.
    regard from volcanoes and wildlife jotje lala. see you!

  5. In november 2008 I climbed Soputan just after 2 week since it erupted and managed to reach the rim of it’s crater. Used that “red-river” trail and right beyond Anak Soputan descended to a small ravine towards what we call a true summit of the volcano. The sanding surface was just too dificult to follow, but at least there were occasional biger stable stones to grip. Closer to the summit, there was a gas outputs might be blocked the way, but fortunately in another from the route direction and couple of times I had to jump over a small smokey hollows, parts of the slope was overheated. I’m not sure if I reached the very high point, simply because just hurried down to avoid the danger from the crater.

  6. What a wonderful volcano this is. I would say the finest in Sulawesi that I have so far visited. Alas it was a little too active (lots of smoke drifting across the summit cone) for us to safely attempt a climb to the true peak. But it’s the kind of hike that you want to do again and again. If you only climb one in North Sulawesi, I really recommend that you choose Soputan.

  7. 13 november 2011 i guide one girl from canada one boy from when we were on the point stop or onthe pint of panorama after soputan crater one
    we could see and heared the sound of the volcano activities.
    that is the reguler active soputan volcano.we could see 7 times small erution of soputan 2 volcano.
    14 november 2011 i guided mr ibrahim from england tht is same like the before but we only 2 time small eruption.
    they said wonderful volcano inthe woderfull day.

  8. yes soputan is one of ruguler avtive volcano in north sulawesi.yes is right to see org trek from tombatu silian but if you like to real treking.trekk via pinabetengan village.camping recommended for you.posible to onedaytrips to climb to soputan starting 0003,00 early in the morning.from the lodge in pinabetengan village.or you can contac me in >http://happyflowerhomestay.blogspot.com. i guide peole there more than 100 time. my mobile phone:+62 813 40310 671.there is signal on the top volcano and firrst steaming crater soputan lake where i make tent with adventurer tourist many time.
    remember begin trek from pinnabetengan village passing red water river you can see onother crater lake before twin top active soputan volcano.thankyou.

      • The previous comment should presumably read SUNDAY 3RD JULY. More info from the Jakarta Globe here….
        http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/sulawesis-mount-soputan-erupts-no-evacuations-ordered/450454

        Mount Soputan in North Sulawesi erupted on Sunday morning at around 6:03 a.m. local time, sending searing gas 6,000 meters into the air, but officials said it posed no danger yet.

        There were no reports of casualties as of 8:00 a.m. and the spokesman of the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said there was so far no need to order an evacuation.

        “They nearest residents live some eight kilometers from the mountain and so evacuation is not yet necessary,” Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Sunday.

        Iing Kusnadi, a scientist at the volcano’s monitoring post, told AFP that the recommended evacuation zone was set at a six-kilometer radius around the volcano but there’s only forest in that range.

        Sutopo said heat clouds from the mountain were heading west.

        “Last night, at around 11 p.m., the mountain entered its eruption phase,” he said, adding that the local BNPB and the Indonesian Red Cross were collaborating closely in order to prevent damages.

        Soputan, one of Sulawesi’s most active volcanoes, last erupted in 2008 with no fatalities recorded.Additional reporting from AFP

  9. Many thanks to Rudy Rohmansyah for the following info….

    From Tomohon we stayed at the Volcano Valley, escorted by the innkeeper (Bang Stepahan 082 189 686 662) to the nearest village with a G. Soputan (Silian village), from there escorted Jeep owners (Bang Daniel 0812-445-67336).

    We recommend that you stop at Pos Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation in Okoy Road, Kaskasen III. Tomohon.

    Hopefully helpful

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