Tebak

Facts

Elevation: 2,115 m (6,939 ft) Prominence: 1,150 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerTinggi Sedang Province: Lampung
Google Earth: kml Other names: Tangkit Tebak, known locally as Gunung Abung (on the western side)
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Photos

Bagging It!

 

The strangely-named Gunung Tebak (‘tebak’ means ‘guess’) is one of the most mysterious mountains in Sumatra, with no trek reports to be found online and no local information on there being any sort of trail to the true summit, despite it being the second-highest peak in Lampung.

It is actually a large range with numerous different peaks. There are two main places that a hike onto the densely-forested range could begin. In the east, less than one hour from Kotabumi, is Tanjung Raja. From the centre of Tanjung Raja (200m), there is a minor road running higher up the slopes of the mountain to around 600m above sea level. One student group attempted to climb Tebak from here in 2014 but, even with local help, they found it very difficult. Apparently, locals said they had climbed to the top in about 4 hours, but after 12 hours this 2014 team gave up short of the ‘summit’.

It is almost impossible that it would only take 4 hours to reach the true summit of the range from the Tanjung Raja side, not only because any trail is so infrequently-used that it would be re-cutting, but also because the highest point is several kilometres further west, beyond other peaks and considerable drops/ cols. It is therfore most probable that the locals were talking about the 1,700m-plus peak at the eastern end of the range which on some maps is known as Gunung Ulusabuk.

On the old US military maps of Indonesia, it appears that there is a triangulation pillar at the true top of Tebak near the western end of the range, and if so then locals must have been up there in the early twentieth-century at least. An approach from the western end would begin from the small road – Jalan Raya Tri Budisyukur – running down south from the main road at Sumber Jaya (about 1hr 20min by car or motorbike from Kotabumi) down 8km or so to Purawiwitan / Kebun Tebu.

There is actually a very interesting megalithic site called Batu Berak (or Batu Brak) which consists of many tens of standing stones and other ceremonial collections of rocks apparently many hundreds of years old. There is also a very lovely old weeping fig tree (‘beringin’). This spot is very much worth a visit in its own right, yet is not well known outside of Lampung. It takes about 20 minutes to reach from the  Soekarno Monument at the junction on the main road at Sumber Jaya. The western end of Gunung Tebak is seen from here, but finding locals who know much about hiking up to the top is very difficult. However, some folk have recently been up a couple of hundred metres above the valley to a spot they call Gunung Abung (does this refer to the lower slopes only or the whole range?) and a waterfall beneath the mountain.

It is hoped in a few years there will be some expeditions here.

Bagging information by Dan Quinn (April 2018)

Practicalities

Getting there The closest main town is Kotabumi which has a train station and one executive train each evening from Bandar Lampung / Tanjung Karang).
Accommodation Kotabumi is the obvious place to find a bed for the night before or after the hike. A small number of simple hotels here.
Permits Unknown
Water sources Unknown
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): bandarlampung

Location

Links and References

Wikipedia Indonesia

2 thoughts on “Tebak

  1. It appears that a local group may have reached the top in late 2018. A series of photos was published on Facebook but it remains unclear where they started from and the location of the peak they regarded as the sunmit. Either way, it may get slowly easier to hike this one as more groups give it a try….

  2. Well, ‘Guess Mountain’ really does leave you guessing. Residing as I do in Jakarta, it’s my closest unbagged Ribu, and will probably remain so for a long time. I had seen it from a distance before, both from the top of Gunung Pesagi and also from the main road between Kotabumi and Sumber Jaya when me and Heri did a mad trip on his bike from Bandar Lampung to Danau Ranau. The day we drove past on the road it was hazy/cloudy, and this past weekend when I went back for a closer investiagtion I didn’t get any better luck with the weather… just low cloud obscuring a decent view of the range.

    I had tried and tried to find any local hiking clubs who knew anything about the range. Very little information. I finally found one student no longer resident of Lampung who had tried to climb Tebak from the eastern side at Tanjung Raja but had little else to go on. After inviting them to join me on an investigative trip to Tebak, the Mapala at the main Lampung university demanded that I visit their university in Bandar Lampung once I had arrive at the airport on Friday night, an hour-long backtrack diversion and something I found bizarre and not reasonable given I was booked on a train to Kotabumi just an hour after arriving. My suggestion to meet in Kotabumi early on the Saturday was not acceptable to them, for whatever reason. So, anyway…..

    After the usual chaos at CGK with incorrect information on the information screens, I flew from Jakarta to Bandar Lampung on Friday night (just a 23-minute flight in which the aircraft doesn’t get higher than, say, Kerinci or Rinjani before descending again). From the upgraded airport (another one…. full marks Jokowi for pushing ahead with all this much-needed infrastructure improvement work… proof he has the interests of the country and people close to his heart which is sadly a rare thing in politics) I got an ojek to Rejosari (15min towards Bandar Lampung and then down a dusty track) the closest train station serving executive class trains. They could really do with an airport train station as the line is very close to the airport.

    I got on the Sriwijaya train heading to Kertapati (Palembang’s train station) and got off at Kotabumi around 11pm. This was much less traumatic that the hideous pot-holed mess of Lampung’s main roads and frankly if I come to this area again I will do my best to stick to the train where possible.

    The next morning I tried using the Grab app to find an ojek guy who would take me to Batu Berak to the west of the range so I could ask around. No luck. The locals in the hotel showed little initiative, despite me offering Rp300,000 for half a day’s outing on a motorbike (probably only needing Rp50,000 fuel or so). ‘Tidak ada ojek disini’ came the reply. I continued to search and finally found one at the fuel station by Tugu Payan Mas near the friendly traffic police chaps. They were surprised by someone wanting to go 70km on the back of a bike but the local ojek guy agreed to Rp300,000 for half a day.

    It took us just over an hour on a terribly pot-holed road to reach SUmber Jaya and the Sokarno statue junction. On the way there, all views of Gunung Tebak were disappointing…. low, low cloud. Also, the ojek chap insisted I let him keep my bag down at the front near his knees. Lampung and South Sumatra still have a reputation for thievery on the roads. As if the pot-holes aren’t enough…. I wouldn’t recommend anyone using a motorbike on this road after dark….. the holes number in the hundreds and are deep enough to cause fatalities.

    From Sumber Jaya the minor road snakes up over a minor hillside before descending past lovely rice paddies towards Purawiwtan. I though I saw a sign for Hotel Anugerah here, but the hotel didn’t look open or busy, but might be worth investigating as it might be a better base to find info than Kotabumi.

    Batu Berak was very impressive. Entry by donation. There were lots of Ibus from SUmberjaya and their children or students so I got completely mobbed for photos – very few tourists or foreigners come here. I also spoke to the very friendly Pak Ristiyo Widodo, the guide at the megalithic site. I asked him about Gn Tebak, known to him as Gn Abung. He didnt know much but later told me one friend of his had tried to climb it but even with 2 or 3 days he had found it difficult and returned due to a lot of rocks making progress really tough. I asked about tigers… apparently local people report seeing them from time to time. Not surprising given how infrequently humans enter this large area of forest.

    On the way back we made a detour to Tanjung Raja at the east side of the range, where there is now an Indomaret. Not much information to be found here, and equally poor weather for photos of the mountain. I think the west side is a much better prospect, if local folk can be found to spend a few days up on the range.

    Back at my hotel in Kotabumi the Ibu was complaining that I had only booked for one night but it was after 12 noon. I explained that I had booked twice, two bookings each for one night. She seemed utterly confused by this. I decided to leave. In any case, Kotabumi is not the most interesting town. I got a yellow angkot to Puspa (the tiny bus terminal) for Rp4,000 where as luck would have it there was a seat in a shared car for Rp50,000 to Bandar Lampung. Hopped in. Terrible journey though, nearly 3 hours, with lengthy areas of total chaos, dirt tracks, roadworks and stuck behind trucks travelling at 15 miles an hour over a road that resembled the craters of the moon. Classic SUmatra.

    Anyway, I hope someone else has a proper try at climbing this mountain from the west.

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