// Sumbing


Elevation: 3,371 m (11,060 ft) Prominence: 2,628 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerSangat Tinggi Province: Jawa Tengah (Central Java)
Google Earth: kml Other names:
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Eruptions: 1730(?)


SumbingNext »
Sumbing rising above the clouds at dawn, as seen from Sindoro (Chris Whiting, October 2012)Sumbing rising above the clouds at dawn, as seen from Sindoro (Chris Whiting, October 2012)
Sumbing rising above the clouds at dawn, as seen from Sindoro (Chris Whiting, October 2012)
The tricky cliff section near the true summit of Sumbing crater (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)The tricky cliff section near the true summit of Sumbing crater (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)
The tricky cliff section near the true summit of Sumbing crater (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)
Sumbing crater at dawn (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)Sumbing crater at dawn (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)
Sumbing crater at dawn (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)
Sumbing crater as seen from the true summit (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)Sumbing crater as seen from the true summit (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)
Sumbing crater as seen from the true summit (Daniel Quinn, October 2010)

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Bagging It!

This huge mountain is separated from its similarly conical neighbour, Gunung Sindoro, by the Kledung Pass (1,404m) and is the second highest peak in Central Java. Its only known eruption was in 1730 but there is still minor volcanic activity in the crater. It is most commonly climbed from the north from the basecamp at Garung village, which is very near to Kledung where there is a decent hotel. Public transport from Yogya is frustratingly slow so the area is better approached from Semarang if you are not using a private car. There are frequent buses through Kledung which run between Semarang and Purwokerto.

Garung village is just fifteen minutes on foot from Kledung. Guides can easily be arranged at the Garung basecamp or Kledung Pass hotel. Take the road leading south from the main road through Kledung next to a mosque and BRI bank. The basecamp is on your left (1,420m) and permits can be arranged there if your guide hasn’t already dealt with it. You can also ask for a basic map and route description (in Indonesian).

From Garung, the road leads up through Garung village and the trail through farmland begins at approximately 1,478m. You will almost certainly be able to get an ojek to the end of the road. There are actually two routes – old and new – that you can take (‘jalur lama’ and ‘jalur baru’) and they join together at two possible places further along the hike. The new route (baru) is more slightly more west than the old route but the distance between them is not great. However, this can lead to confusion as there are no signposts and guides have known to become lost themselves on minor farm tracks on the lower slopes! The new trail has presumably been opened to combat erosion on the old route, which is steeper and more slippery. Your guide is likely to take you up the new route (‘jalur baru’) which is a wise decision – even more so for the descent, which is slippery whichever route you take!

Experienced hikers should be able to reach the crater rim in 5-6 hours because although the trail is steep it is only 7 km long. ‘Jalur baru’ (new route) is better for water sources as a stream runs parallel to it on the west. On ‘jalur baru’ (new route) the last place for water is a large stream on the edge of farm plantation at 1,900m. Jalur baru has Pos 1 (1,932m) and Pos 2 (2,234m) which are both very basic wooden frames. They will protect you from rain but are of little merit as places to actually camp. There are numerous places to pitch a tent on the way up but most places can only accommodate 2 or 3 tents at most. At 2,317m is a monument to a hiker who died on Sumbing and a slightly larger camping area. Beyond this, the forest becomes thinner and thinner and views over to Gunung Sindoro become correspondingly magnificent. After the two different routes have met, the first major landmark on the hike is ‘watu kotak’ (stone box) at 2,876m. The trail leads along the left side of this and a second rocky cliff of considerable length (known simply as ‘tebing’) a little higher up at 3,000 – 3,040m. This is near the area known to guides as ‘tanah putih’ (white land).

As you near the crater rim there are two destinations for hikers. Almost all hikers simply continue to the top of the rim. The peak is known as Puncak Buntu (3,008m) and and in good weather conditions hikers are rewarded with the tremendous view over to Merapi and Merbabu. Down below is the large crater – smoke may be billowing from the middle section and there is a large pool of water on the eastern end of the crater complex. It is possible to explore the crater by descending into it from the rim but be very careful of the gases and do not camp there.

The highest point of Sumbing mountain is a steep rocky part of the crater rim further south-west. Most hikers are happy to consider the crater rim as their destination. Although the real summit is not far away, it is slightly difficult to reach and not often visited. Indeed, if this is your plan you must mention to your guide before setting off that you want to climb to ‘puncak sejati’ or ‘puncak tertinggi’ (the highest peak). Just below Puncak Buntu, there is a trail skirting across the mountain, just 20 metres or so below the top of the rim. It leads up to a rocky part of the rim with an Indonesian flag (October 2010). This is where hikers are most able to descend into the crater itself should they wish. From here you will be able to see two further rocky peaks on the rim, further west. The second one is the true summit. Getting to the first one is fairly easy but the terrain is dangerous because there are sheer drops and a little mistake would have terrible consequences. Indeed, by following the very crest of the rim you will encounter drops that are impassable without ropes but can be avoided slightly lower down from the top of the rim. The most difficult section which must be negotiated is an awkward step between the true summit and the rocky peak preceding it. Unless you are a very confident scrambler it is difficult and dangerous to attempt alone. However, if you are with others who can give you a hand you should be able to manage it. Please be careful.

After the tricky section, all you need to do is follow the trail round the side of the true peak and then up onto the top of it (don’t attempt to climb directly up the steep cliffs!). There is a tiled cairn with Javanese Edelweiss at the very top and the views are – understandably – even better than from Puncak Buntu. To reach the true summit from Puncak Buntu and the main Garung trail takes about 45 minutes each way. It could also be reached from the trail from Cepit – see below – if hikers climb up to the part of the rim with the flag on it.

To descend the same way to Garung from the crater rim takes about four and a half hours.

Sumbing is also climbed from another basecamp at Cepit (near Pagergunung village) which lies 7km from Parakan. This route leads directly into the crater but it is a longer trail. It is requested that you register and pay a small fee at the basecamp. There is no water along this route so take plenty with you. The route (which takes about 7 hours) goes via forest and savanna before reaching Batu Kasur (Stone mattress) and Batu Lawang (Stone door). After these landmarks you reach the caldera and sulphuric gases and also some caves, the biggest of which is called Jugil. There are also local ancestral tombs, known as Ki Ageng Makukuhan.

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn.


Getting there Buses between Purwokerto and Semarang run through Kledung. From Yogyakarta, take a bus to Magelang and a second bus to Wonosobo. Kledung is just under 3 hours from both Yogyakarta or Semarang by car.
Accommodation The Kledung Pass Hotel is the obvious place to stay for the more popular Garung route.
Permits Sign the book and pay Rp 3,000 per person, available at both basecamps, take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase.
Water sources According to the basecamp map: Jalur baru – available fairly near the trail up to 2,350m, Jalur lama – available at 1,900m and none higher up.
Recommended Hotel: MesaStila Resort
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): semarang


Origins and Meaning

Mount Hare-Lip. The “mouth” of this volcano, or the “lip” of its crater, has a cleft in it like a hare-lip. (George Quinn, 2011)

Links and References

Wikipedia English
Wikipedia Indonesia

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Trip Reports and Comments

13 entries for “Sumbing”

  1. avatar

    It’s nice mountain.. i’ve been there twice… ^^

    Posted by yokie_decrete | December 9, 2009, 03:49
  2. avatar

    Been there, but didn’t have a chance to get to the summit due to weather condition. I was there on December 2007. It was rain a lot! the fog was quite thick, and it was windy and very cold :D, but you know what, that was i call experience!!! So, don’t miss climbing this one!

    Posted by Firman | December 9, 2009, 09:56
  3. avatar

    Successfully reached the rarely-visited true summit yesterday morning. It’s a bit difficult but with help from others to – quite literally – give you a hand on the awkward drop between the highest and second-highest peaks on the rim most confident hikers should be able to reach the true top. The views are much better. Merapi was smoking more than usual but we didn’t see any major activity.
    The guides (from Garung basecamp) were very good, but we did have the usual problems – having to wait around for them to get ready even though we had arranged to start at a particular time, asking for more money for the second guide (even though we had specifically asked for just one and the second guy had come along presumably to try to get us to pay them more!). But they knew the routes well and helped us get to the true summit – something you definitely have to specify in advance! Not bad for a late October hike – good luck to Liz and Zubs who are continuing on to Sindoro, Merbabu and maybe even Lawu too later this week…

    Posted by Dan | November 1, 2010, 00:01
    • avatar

      Thanks for letting us tag along Dan! It was a GREAT experience, a lovely mountain and a sweaty climb! :)
      Merbabu and Lawu were a breeze after the race to the true summit of Gn Sumbing!

      Posted by Liz | January 10, 2011, 03:26
  4. avatar

    hello, i’m Indonesian..I live in Magelang,not far from Sumbing Mountain. Sumbing is nice mountain, you can climb it from Kaliangkrik Basecamp(Magelang).From this road you will be able to see nice scenery and many of waterfall. so, if you want to go there, you can contact me. I will accompany you to get the nice experience.not as guides or porter, but the partner..

    Posted by Eko Santoso | June 1, 2011, 20:05
  5. avatar

    The hike from Cepit has an advantage. You will have to walk through the Segarawedi (Sandsea) caldera before the summit. Segarawedi is surrounded by 200m cliffs and the air is mythical. In the dawn, the cliffs are blue and in the early morning they are gold colored. Just unforgettable. You would miss a unique beautiful place if you hike from Garung and do not descend to the caldera. If you plan to hike G Sumbing, I recommend an ascent from Cepit and descent to Garung.

    I recommend Ragil (081328096081) as he is a superb guide.

    Posted by Handjono | August 29, 2011, 17:24
  6. avatar

    I’ve been climbed this mount 3 times but only reach puncak buntu. My last effor to reach the real summit is stoped at the ridge (i haven’t confident enough hehe) Next month i will try to reach the highest point.

    Posted by Ricky | October 18, 2011, 14:22
    • avatar

      Hatihati Ricky, you definitely need another 1 or 2 people with you to help. It would be very difficult if you tried to do it alone. Some of the guides at Garung know the way but they don’t go there often.

      Posted by Dan | October 18, 2011, 14:27
      • avatar

        thanx Dan, im not going alone there. I’ll go with some friend (hope they have enough courage hahaha).

        Posted by Ricky | October 18, 2011, 14:32
  7. avatar

    The climb was just 2 hours 20 minutes. One of my favorite mountains here.

    Posted by Alfred | June 21, 2013, 13:08
  8. avatar

    Anyone has the HP number of the Bowongso basecamp leader, please? I heard the Bowongso route/ trek leads hikers to the true peak (3371). Is it true?

    Posted by Handjono | September 1, 2013, 17:01
    • avatar

      Bagged Gunung Sumbing on 27th Aug 2013. Went up from Garung village and came down to Cepit. I would suggest to bring all the water you need for the climb. It is a dry mountain. The guide told me that the names of various areas at the top of the mountain are Puncak Buntu and then next to it is Puncak Kawah and then further & higher are Puncak tertinggi and Puncak Abadi. I camped at Puncak Kawah and went up to Puncak Tertinggi. The guide said that Puncak Abadi is the highest peak but to get from Puncak Tertinggi to Puncak Abadi (both peaks are next to each other), the guide said that it would requires one and a half day of hiking and additional porters (4 porters were mentioned) to carry the required the water supplies I guess this Puncak Abadi is the 2nd peak of the “…two further rocky peaks on the rim, further west. The second one is the true summit.” mentioned in Dan’s bagging information about Gunung Sumbing? Anyone is able to clarify this?

      The Kledung Pass Hotal’s full name is Dieng Kledung Pass Hotel & Restaurant and is located by the Kledung Pass’s main road directly in-between Gunung Sumbing and Gunung Sidoro. The hotel area is rather large with garden and the rooms are clean and price is reasonable. It is a good hotel to sleep in with both Gunung Sumbing and Sidoro keeping you in their views!

      Posted by Anthony Tan | September 17, 2013, 21:31
  9. avatar

    To Dan. Kumpul is an excellent guide living in Garung (northern approach). He knows the other approaches including the less hiked Kaliangkrik route. His number is 0853 255 779 77.

    Posted by Handjono | July 29, 2014, 15:57

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