Hall of Fame 2019

“Gunung Bragging!” – The Hall of Fame List 2019

Below is the tenth edition of the Hall of Fame (for end of 2019).

A new edition of the list is published at the end of every year.

Please contact us if you wish to be listed next year. Links to previous years… 2018; 2017; 2016; 2015; 2014; 2013; 2012; 2011; 2010

  • Ranking: 1
  • Name: Daniel Quinn
  • Nationality: British
  • Year of Birth: 1981
  • Number of Ribus: 84
  • Number of Spesials: 41
  • Worldwide Ribus: 5
  • Ribus: Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Batukaru, Bawang, Berumput (Kanyi), Besar (Halau Halau), Bintang, Bujang Melaka, Bukit Raya, Bukittunggul, Bulu Nti, Bur ni Kelieten, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Doro Dindi, Ebulobo, Fatu Timau, Galunggung (Beuticanar), Gamalama, Gamkonora, Ili Boleng, Ili Labalekang, Ili Mandiri, Ili Ujolewung, Inerie, Jailolo, Kahung, Karang, Keli Lepembusu, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Klabat, Lamongan (Tarub), Lawu, Liang, Liman, Marapi, Masurai, Mekongga, Merapi, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobatang, Mulu, Muria, Murud, Mutis, Ophir / Ledang, Pangrango, Papandayan (Malang), Penanggungan, Pesagi, Pesawaran (Ratai), Poco Ngandonalu, Rajabasa, Ramelau, Rantemario, Raung, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Saran, Sawal, Semeru, Seulawah Agam, Sibuatan, Sinabung, Sindoro, Singgalang, Slamet, Sorikmarapi, Sumbing, Talakmau, Talang, Tambora, Tampomas, Tanggamus, Tompotika, Trusmadi, Ungaran, Wanggameti
  • Spesials: Anak Krakatau, Banda Api, Batur, Bawakaraeng, Bongkok, Bromo (Pananjakan), Burangrang, Dieng (Prau), Guntur (Masigit), Iya, Jantan, Kelam, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Kerenceng, Lokon, Malabar (Puncak Besar), Manglayang, Manado Tua, Nokilalaki, Nuang, Parang, Patuha, Penrissen, Poco Ranakah, Pulau Bawean (Gunung Besar), Pulosari, Pusuk Buhit, Rakata, Raksa, Rakutak, Rembau, Samosir, Sangga Buana, Sebesi, Sibayak (Pintau), Sidole, Tajam, Tangkuban Parahu, Telomoyo, Wayang-Windu, Yong Belar
  • Worldwide Ribus: Ben Nevis (Scotland, UK), Carrauntoohil (Ireland), Doi Inthanon (Thailand), Pulag (Philippines), Snowdon (Wales, UK)
  • Notes: “2019 was once again a mixed bag, with some excellent hikes and also some really disappointing cancellations due to flight problems and/or unreliable or downright thieving guides. I completed the Welsh Marilyns (158 hills in Wales with 150m or more of topographic prominence) on Mynydd Enlli, Bardsey Island off the Lleyn peninsula with my dad on August 19th after 2 weeks of dashing round to hike my final 33. This trip went smoothly, aside from the fickle British weather, but it was bookended by two truly horrendous trips to Johor that didn’t go to plan. One saw me spending my weekend making a police report about a guide who never appeared and stole my money, leaving me stranded. It is now being investigated by Interpol as it turns out he was swindling others and not just for hikes in Malaysia. The moral of the story is to never, ever send money upfront unless you are sure it is going to an official account such as that of a National Park. The other Johor trip was cancelled after the numerous flight changes meant that my schedule was unworkable and I didn’t think it worthwhile to continue throwing good money after bad. I lost a lot of cash on non-refundable bus tickets, ferry tickets, accommodation and a return flight that Malindo would not refund. There are many airlines in Southeast Asia who advertise a service that you pay for in good faith, only to completely change the details on the day of travel. It’s then your job to spend hours chasing any refund you are entitled to and desperately try to work out a Plan B or simply go home and wait 5 months for your next holiday and hope for better luck. Moral of the story is tread with caution when being ambitious and consider something closer to home that could be accomplished with the increasingly reliable Kereta Api.
    Things improved later in the year with numerous trips to explore East Java’s fascinating Anjasmoro range. I also launched Gunung Bagging Premium and then got married in November. I hope to reach 90 Ribus total by the end of 2020, including a few more in Malaysia and one or two obscure mountains in Eastern Indonesia.” Now lots of near misses and failed attempts to reach the highest points, including some hilarious anecdotes which didn’t seem quite as funny at the time! -…. vegetation on Ijen-Merapi (07/2010) too dense and guide worried (08/2017), too scared to climb to highest point of Egon (08/2010), no trail to highest peak of Salahutu (12/2010), guide failed to turn up for an ascent of Cyclops (01/2011) so the hike was aborted, got to the summit cliffs of Kelud (02/2011) but had no ropes, got to within stone’s throw of the highest point, Pangulubao trig point only (08/2011), failed to find correct trail on Seminung (10/2012), there is no route to the true summit of Ringgit (12/2012), Karangetang simply far too active to hike (02/2013), the trail to Awu leading up the wrong side of the rim (02/13), a smoking Soputan preventing a summit attempt (02/2013), not enough time to hack through the bushes on Ambang (02/2013 and again due to poor weather, 06/2017), despite Pak Subandi’s help, lack of time and a trail hindered summit attempts on Tujuh (04/2013), lack of trail on Pura (07/2013), columns of sulphurous smoke on the summit cone of Lewotolo (07/2013), cloudy conditions and lack of time to reach the absolute highest point of Lewotobi (07/2013), a trail which avoids the summit on Curunumbeng (07/2013), overgrown distant high point of Kaba with no apparent trail to it (08/2013), insufficient time to get to true summit of Ranai (09/2013), no trail to real summit of Pantaicermin (10/2013), insufficient time to reach true summit of Tondongkarambu, vertical cliffs on Bukit Jempol (11/2013), local people preventing access to Matebean Mane (12/2013) due to it being ‘a bit windy up there’, the sheer vertical cliffs of Daik (03/2017) meaning a summit attempt was never on the cards, a visit only to the more-frequented second-highest peak of Gunung Maras (Bui) on Bangka island (05/2017), lack of time and knowledge for the summit cliffs of Ruang (06/2017), lack of time and knowledge for Gunung Beratus (08/2017), no knowledge of a trail to the true peak of Sebatung (10/2017) or the highest point of Colo on Pulau Una-una (12/2017), northern pillar peak only on Gunung Gawalise (01/2018), col below summit on Pulau Weh (Cot Kulam) (02/18), second highest peak on Santubong (06/18), Serapi viewpoint peak only (10/18), Gading peak only on Gading (Perigi) (10/18), Gunung Botol on Halimun (10/18), Gunung Biru on Anjasmoro (11/18), to edge of restricted areas on both Gunung Jerai and Western Hill (12/18), didn’t even set foot on Gandangdewata when after 3 months of planning, the guide decided to cancel the morning of departure! (12/18), blocked by bureaucracy and nasty ‘no entry’ signs on Malaysia’s Gunung Irau (01/19), Ulu Kali (02/19) and Raya Langkawi (02/19).”
    Has also climbed Tandikat (03/2018) and Bur ni Telong (04/2018) both of which would definitely be Spesials if only the col between them and neighbouring parent peaks were a bit lower.
  • Ranking: 2
  • Name: John Hargreaves
  • Nationality: British
  • Year of Birth:
  • Number of Ribus: 49
  • Number of Spesials: 10
  • Worldwide Ribus: 3
  • Ribus: Agung, Arjuno, Batukaru, Bukittunggul, Bulu Nti, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Fatu Timau, Gamalama, Gamkonora, Jailolo, Karang, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Klabat, Lamongan (Tarub), Lawu, Masurai, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobatang, Muria, Mutis, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rajabasa, Rantemario, Raung, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Sawal, Semeru, Sibuatan, Sinabung, Sindoro, Singgalang, Slamet, Sorikmarapi, Sumbing, Talakmau, Talang, Tambora, Tampomas, Tompotika, Ungaran, Wanggameti
  • Spesials: Anak Krakatau, Banda Api, Batur, Bongkok, Bromo (Pananjakan), Kaba, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Lokon, Sangga Buana, Sibayak (Pintau)
  • Worldwide Ribus: Ben Nevis (Scotland, UK), Carn Eige (Scotland, UK), Snowdon (Wales, UK)
  • Notes: “I added two ribus to the list in 2019, in both cases opting for a two-day hike with one night near the summit. The first was Klabat in North Sulawesi. This peak could be an early target for anyone beginning a ‘ribu-bagging’ career. It’s only 30 minutes from Manado, which is a good tourist centre, has a clear trail, and affords wide vistas across the whole North Sulawesi peninsula and nearby islands. And we also spotted some rare Celebes crested macaques! The second peak bagged was Sago in West Sumatra, another fairly accessible mountain, just over an hour from the Minang tourist centre of Bukittinggi. No monkeys here, but we did see the fearsome long-tailed Giant Rat of Sumatra, alluded to in the Sherlock Holmes story ‘The adventure of the Sussex vampire’… For extra satisfaction, a summer vacation in Scotland enabled me to complete the whole set of 3 ribus in the United Kingdom! I braved the wind and rain on Ben Nevis and Carn Eige, to add to my previous ascent of Snowdon/Yr Wyddfa in Wales. Let’s hope 2020 will bring up a half-century of Southeast Asian ribus!”Other notes : also climbed to East Peak of Binaiya. Reached crater areas of Marapi (W. Sumatra), Soputan, Ambang, Kie Besi, and Awu, but without summiting.
  • Ranking: 3
  • Name: Mykhailo Pavliuk
  • Nationality: Ukrainian
  • Year of Birth: 1980
  • Number of Ribus: 46
  • Number of Spesials: 13
  • Ribus: Arjuno, Batukaru, Benum, Berumput (Kanyi), Bintang, Bujang Melaka, Bukittunggul, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Ebulobo, Ijen (Merapi), Inerie, Karang, Kerinci, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Korbu, Lawu, Liman, Masurai, Merbabu, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Pesagi, Rajabasa, Rantemario, Raung, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Semeru, Seulawah Agam, Sibuatan, Sinabung, Singgalang, Slamet, Soputan, Sorikmarapi, Sumbing, Tahan, Talakmau, Talang, Tambora, Tanggamus, Ungaran
  • Spesials: Batur, Belumut, Bromo (Pananjakan), Guntur (Masigit), Kaba, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Manglayang, Nuang, Patuha, Poco Ranakah, Semangkok, Seminung, Telomoyo
  • Notes: No news or updates for 2019. Mykhailo is a keen and successful mountain marathon runner who won the 2018 Rinjani marathon in 6hrs 35min! He has to be one of the very few hikers to have ever hiked to Gn Loser alone. He has also climbed Santubong, Bandahara and to Laut Tinggal but did not reach the true summits.
  • Ranking: 4
  • Name: Heinz von Holzen
  • Nationality: Swiss
  • Year of Birth:
  • Number of Ribus: 35
  • Number of Spesials: 5
  • Ribus: Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Batukaru, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Ebulobo, Galunggung (Beuticanar), Gamalama, Ijen-Merapi, Ili Boleng, Inerie, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Kinabalu, Lawu, Merapi, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobatang, Muria, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Ramelau, Rantemario, Rinjani, Salak, Semeru, Sindoro, Singgalang, Slamet, Sumbing, Talang, Ungaran
  • Spesials: Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Dieng (Prau), Kaba, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point)
  • Notes: No news for 2019. Visited Kemiri, Raung, Tambora and Marapi but didn’t get to the true summits. Has climbed Agung 54 times! Got to within 300 metres of the summit of Papandayan (Malang) in October 2011. Also to Egon and Lewotobi rims in 2013 but “any step further and we would have been cooked.”
  • Ranking: 5
  • Name: Hendri Agustin
  • Nationality: Indonesian
  • Year of Birth:
  • Number of Ribus: 32
  • Number of Spesials: 9
  • Worldwide Ribus: 6
  • Ribus: Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Binaiya, Bukit Raya, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Kerinci, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Klabat, Lawu, Masurai, Merapi, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobattang, Pangrango, Puncak Jaya (Carstenzs Pyramid), Rantemario, Rinjani, Salak, Semeru, Sinabung, Sindoro, Singgalang, Slamet, Sumbing, Talakmau, Talang, Tambora, Tampomas, Ungaran
  • Spesials: Anak Krakatau, Bawakaraeng, Burangrang, Bromo (Pananjakan), Guntur (Masigit), Manglayang, Patuha, Pulosari, Rakutak
  • Worldwide Ribus: Elbrus (Russia), Fuji (Japan), Hotaka-dake (Japan), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Kita-dake (Japan), Mera Peak (Nepal)
  • Notes: Several hikes in Japan in 2019 plus Gunung Masurai in Indonesia. Pak Hendri is the creator of the Seven Summits of Indonesia concept.
  • Ranking: 6
  • Name: Nicholas Hughes
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Year of Birth: 1947
  • Number of Ribus: 29
  • Number of Spesials: 4
  • Ribus: Tambora (2009/2015), Klabat (2010), Argopura (2010), Kie Matubu (2010, 2011), Merbabu (2010), Galunggung (Beuticanar, 2010), Gamalama (2010, 2011, 2015), Gamkonora (2011, 2015), Jailolo (2011, 2015), Semeru (2011), Butak (2013), Ciremai (2013), Ili Ujolewung (2013), Lawu (2010), Salak (2012), Kerinci (2013), Penanggungan (2013), Leuser ‘Tanpa Nama’ (2014), Ebulobo (2014), Inerie (2014), Mutis (2014), Fatu Timau (2014, 2015), Keli Lepembusu (2014), Sindoro (2015), Arjuno (2015), Muria (2016), Ramelau and Matebean Mane (2018), Karang
  • Spesials: Banda Api (2007), Bromo (1985), Dieng (Prau, 2014), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point, 1975/2009)
  • Notes: “Attempted Gn Sabatai, Morotai Island, northern Halameraha, September 2019 – failed. Useful reccy.” Reasons for not reaching summits:
    Prior to ‘bagging’ summits: Cyclops (1975), Agung (1976), Pangrango (1975), Slamet (2011), Dempo (2011). Dangerous/too difficult: Merapi (1975, 2013), Raung (2011), Lewotolo (2013), Lokon (2010), Anak Krakatau (2011), Karangetang (2013), Dukono (2015). Possible but time limited: Manuk (2007), Ijen-Merapi (2013), Baluran (2012), Ibu (2011); Arfak (Umsini, 2012), Sirung (2013), Pulosari (2013), Lewotobi-Perempuan (climbed Lewotobi-Laki2 by mistake, 2014), Pura (2013), Awu (2013), Pura (2013), Sumbing (2015), Papandayan, Mundo Perdido (2018). Others: crossed Jayawijaya Range east of Baliem valley at 3,700 ms (X-Chain?, 2009), Rantemario (reached Pos 5 – sick; 2009), Batu Tara (oceanic volcano, eruption observed from boat, 2010), Curunumbeng (forbidden due local beliefs, 2013)
  • Ranking: 7
  • Name: Andy Dean
  • Nationality: British / Canadian
  • Year of Birth: 1977
  • Number of Ribus: 28
  • Number of Spesials: 3
  • Worldwide Ribus: 3
  • Ribus: Agung, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Ebulobo, Fatu Timau, Gamalama, Inerie, Karang, Keli Lepembusu, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Klabat, Lawu, Merbabu, Muria, Mutis, Palung (Ponti), Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Semeru, Singgalang, Slamet, Tambora, Tampomas
  • Spesials: Bromo (Pananjakan), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Lokon
  • Worldwide Ribus: Kosciuszko (Australia), Pico Turquino (Cuba), Snowdon (Wales, UK)
  • Notes: “I finally climbed another Ribu! The underrated Gunung Muria in Central Java, which combined with Semarang makes a great weekend trip from Jakarta”. Notable attempts: Pangulubao trig point (02/2010), Butak, Papandayan, Anak Krakatau, Raung rim (07/2011).
  • Ranking: 8
  • Name: Gill Dean
  • Nationality: British / Canadian
  • Year of Birth: 1977
  • Number of Ribus: 25
  • Number of Spesials: 3
  • Worldwide Ribus: 2
  • Ribus: Agung, Cikuray, Dempo, Ebulobo, Fatu Timau, Gamalama, Inerie, Keli Lepembusu, Kerinci, Kiematubu, Klabat, Lawu, Merbabu, Mutis, Palung (Ponti), Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rinjani, Sago, Salak, Semeru, Singgalang, Slamet, Tambora, Tampomas
  • Spesials: Bromo (Pananjakan), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Lokon
  • Worldwide Ribus: Kosciuszko (Australia), Pico Turquino (Cuba)
  • Notes: No news for 2019. Notable attempts: Notable attempts: Pangulubao trig point (02/2010), Butak, Papandayan, Anak Krakatau, Raung rim (07/2011).
  • Ranking: 9
  • Name: Taufan
  • Nationality: Indonesian
  • Year of Birth: 1970
  • Number of Ribus: 24
  • Number of Spesials: 5
  • Ribus: Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Binaiya, Bukittunggul, Cikuray, Ciremai, Dempo, Kerinci, Lawu, Merapi, Merbabu, Pangrango, Rajabasa, Raung, Rinjani, Salak, Semeru, Sindoro, Slamet, Sumbing, Talakmau, Tambora, Ungaran
  • Spesials: Bawakaraeng, Burangrang, Malabar, Pulosari, Tangkuban Perahu
  • Notes: “The only new mountains that I climbed in the last three years were Mount Sesean in Toraja, Mount Kelud (via Tulung Rejo route) in East Java. Other than that just a climbing repetition of some mountains that I’ve climbed before.”
  • Ranking: 10
  • Name: Roman Gerber
  • Nationality: Swiss
  • Year of Birth:
  • Number of Ribus: 24
  • Number of Spesials: 3
  • Ribus: Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Batukaru, Butak, Ciremai, Dempo, Ebulobo, Inerie, Kerinci, Kinabalu (Low’s Peak), Lawu, Liman, Merapi, Merbabu, Moncong Lompobatang, Muria, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rinjani, Semeru, Sindoro, Slamet, Sumbing
  • Spesials: Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point)
  • Notes: No news for 2019. Visited Kemiri, Raung, Tambora, Ijen-Merapi and Marapi but didn’t get to the true summits. Has now climbed Agung 52 times!
  • Ranking: 11
  • Name: Jan Smeenk
  • Nationality: Dutch
  • Year of Birth: 1945
  • Number of Ribus: 23
  • Number of Spesials: 12
  • Ribus: Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Batukaru, Bukittunggul, Butak, Cikuray, Ciremai, Klabat, Lamongan (Tarub), Lawu, Liman, Merapi, Merbabu, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rajabasa, Rinjani, Semeru, Sindoro, Slamet, Sumbing, Ungaran
  • Spesials: Anak Krakatau, Banda Api, Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Burangrang, Dieng (Prau), Guntur (Masigit), Halimun (North), Kelimutu, Kelud, Patuha, Tangkuban Parahu
  • Notes: No news for 2019. Has also visited Papandayan crater, Egon crater rim (2009), Puncak Trikora area (2008), Lokon crater (2010) and Angkasan in the Leuser range (2010).
  • Ranking: 12
  • Name: Wolfgang Piecha
  • Nationality: German
  • Year of Birth:
  • Number of Ribus: 22
  • Number of Spesials: 5
  • Worldwide Ribus: 7
  • Ribus: Agung, Argopuro, Arjuno, Ciremai, Dempo, Egon, Gamalama, Gamkonora, Ijen-Merapi, Jailolo, Kerinci, Lawu, Liman, Merapi, Merbabu, Pangrango, Rinjani, Semeru, Sindoro, Slamet, Sumbing, Tambora
  • Spesials: Anak Krakatau, Batur, Bromo (Pananjakan), Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Sebesi
  • Worldwide Ribus: Avachinsky (Russia), Iztaccihuatl (Mexico), Malinche (Mexico), Nevado de Toluca (Mexico), Ras Dashen (Ethiopia), Tacana (Mexico), Tolbachik (Russia)
  • Notes: “Mexican volcanoes on an average are 1.500 m higher than Indonesian, but easier to access. Mountains are much more dry. Apart from (melting) glaciers above 5.000 m some snow in northern wintertime. Risk of criminal assaults even at high campsites around Mexico City. No porter services at all, though local guides are available at some mountains.
    Kamchatkan volcanoes are fascinating and many active ones, shield- as well as stratovolcanoes. Altitudes and cones are, on an average, similar to Indonesia, but even in northern summer covered by some snow, the higher you get. Taiga and  in higher parts tundra. Sometimes you have to cross creeks of melting water without bridges – best in the early morning, before the sun starts melting. Tours are based on robust 4X4 buses with guides.”

    Has stayed two nights on the crater base of Tambora (2012), also climbed to the craters of Raung, Kie Besi, Salahatu (without reaching the true summits), visited Papandayan and Kelud. “Kilimanjaro I hiked to the second highest point, only, Gilman’s point at 5.685 m (2014)”

  • Ranking: 13
  • Name: Paul Lemaistre
  • Nationality: French
  • Year of Birth: 1985
  • Number of Ribus: 21
  • Number of Spesials: 5
  • Worldwide Ribus: 1
  • Ribus: Kerinci, Rinjani, Semeru, Lawu, Agung, Arjuno, Merbabu, Pangrango, Cikuray, Kinabalu, Klabat, Sindoro, Singgalang, Salak, Muria, Merapi, Bukittunggul, Ungaran, Tampomas, Batukaru, Penanggungan
  • Spesials: Tangkuban Parahu, Batur, Parang, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Bromo (Pananjakan)
  • Worldwide Ribus: Table Mountain (South Africa)
  • Notes: No new updates for 2019 as last year was mainly based in and out of Singapore without any big ribus. 
  • Ranking: 14
  • Name: Hélène Terrenoire
  • Nationality: French
  • Year of Birth: 1983
  • Number of Ribus: 20
  • Number of Spesials: 7
  • Worldwide Ribus: 5
  • Ribus: Batukaru, Bukittungul, Cikuray, Ciremai, Ebulobo, Gamkonora, Inerie, Karang, Kerinci, Klabat, Lawu, Merbabu, Muria, Mutis, Pangrango, Penanggungan, Rinjani, Semeru, Tambora, Ungaran
  • Spesials: Batur, Dieng (Prahu), Lokon, Kelimutu (Inspiration Point), Patuha, Sidole, Tangkuban Prahu
  • Worldwide Ribus: Acatenango (Guatemala), Irazu (Costa Rica), Santa Ana (El Salvador), Santa Maria (Guatemala), Tajumulco (Guatemala)
  • Notes: No news for 2019. Other ribus/specials visited without reaching the true summit for some reason (active, too dangerous, miscellaneous…) : -Ribus : Agung (rim, Pura Pasar Agung route), Egon, Gamalama, Ijen (Kawah), Ili Wukoh (first summit Ili Ledo), Lewotobi Perempuan (rim), Papandayan (Tegal Alun), Salak (Kawah Ratu) -Specials : Anak Krakatau, Bromo (Seruni Point), Dukono, Kaba, Pulau Weh (Cot Kulam), Tujuh

Why Have a Hall of Fame?

Although looking at lists of mountains like the Ribus is always secondary to the actual experience of being out there in the mountains – enjoying the fresh air, the scenery and the exercise – there is an undoubted pleasure in keeping track of the peaks you’ve visited. Unlike in several other countries where mountain climbing is equally – or more – popular, there has not to our knowledge been any attempt to create a record of people’s hiking achievements in Indonesia and Malaysia. The Ribus are based on objective criteria (i.e 1,000 metre prominence) and so we hope to utilise this to keep a record of people’s hiking achievements – if they want to be included. Given the immensity of the challenge of climbing all the Ribus (and the fact that nobody knew where they all were until now) it is pretty much impossible that anyone will have climbed all 226 of them! Indeed, we think that at present no single person has reached the top of more than about 70 Ribus, although it is probable that at least 150 peaks on the list are relatively accessible and have been climbed on at least several occasions (though many requiring a week-long trek or more). Perhaps 50 Ribus or more are visited by hikers on at least a weekly basis during the dry season.

Since the full introduction of all Ribus in Malaysia in 2018, Malaysian hikers might like to note that it is possible to get into the Hall of Fame with Malaysian peaks alone, as there are over 20 Malaysian Ribus (32 in total, but not including border peaks in Borneo such as Berumput / Kanyi which is listed in West Kalimantan). However, a handful of these are pretty obscure! We look forward to adding you to the list soon!

Hall of Fame Criteria

If you have climbed 20 or more Ribus (excluding Spesial peaks) you can join the Gunung Bagging Hall of Fame. If you would like to be added, please contact us with a list of your bagged Ribus and Spesials, and including any “significant attempts” when you came close but failed to reach the absolute summit for some reason. There can be many reasons for failing to reach the summit:

  • Volcanic activity (or the weather) can make it too dangerous to reach the highest point. The trek to Merapi (Central Java) is an example of a relatively straightforward hike to the summit area of a volcano, but not to the summit itself (which was completely altered, in 2006 and most recently in the 2010 eruption). Hikers who visited the highest point prior to 2006 (Garuda’s Wing) can reasonably claim to have reached the summit if they managed to get their head above the highest point of the huge piece of rock. Between 2006 and 2010 however, the highest point was part of a new lava dome which was simply too dangerous and utterly irresponsible to visit. However, since the 2010 eruptions, the summit area is vastly different once again – with a new 400m wide crater. Hikers are now encouraged not to visit the summit due to the dangers.
  • Technical climbing skills are required. Gunung Raung (East Java), Puncak Trikora (Papua) and Egon (East Nusa Tenggara) require climbing ropes and/or intermediate rock-climbing skills in order to reach the highest point.
  • Dense vegetation / jungle / no trail. Some peaks are covered in dense vegetation. Occasionally, finding a route to the top can be very difficult, if not impossible. Trails become overgrown quickly and if tops are not visited for a number of years the vegetation can become so dense that there is no visible trail and/or the vegetation is just too dense to walk through. Papandayan and Galunggung (Beuticanar), both in West Java, are notable examples of overgrown trails. Marapi in West Sumatra is not baggable by any conventional route, although a handful of hikers have opened up a new trail which does reach the true summit. We hope this site will help encourage new hiking routes and the regeneration of old, forgotten trails.
  • Mystifying legal reasons. There are a number of peaks in Java (and elsewhere) officially closed to the general public. This a fairly recent problem – peaks which were often climbed in the past have been closed by Forestry or National Park authorities, mainly because they do not have sufficient resources to maintain a network of trails in the short-term even though in the long-term the amount of tourism revenue would probably be high if people knew of their existence. Annoyingly, waivers stating you are entirely responsible for your safety and behaviour (which you would be normally, anyway) are rarely granted except to scientists conducting research. It’s a lose-lose situation but in general Indonesian hikers don’t seem to mind and the media have bigger fish to fry. You can either enter the lengthy and expensive process of negotiation with authorities or just get on with it and try to climb them anyway.
  • Not knowing where the summit actually is. A less common and more humorous reason for not reaching the highest point will be simply that you didn’t know where the very top was, perhaps due to excessive vegetation or a very flat mountain top with several peaks of seemingly similar elevation. Even a guide might not actually know where the true summit is and they can even get you lost. Liman, Palung (Ponti) and Rajabasa fall into this category but we have tried to provide information on this site which specifies the likely highest point.

Of course, reaching the highest point is not the most important part of going for a hike and considering the dangers you may face it is occasionally unwise to attempt at all. However, we want to keep this list as stringent and professional as other mountain lists worldwide. For Gunung Bagging purposes, (and despite probable accusations of pedantry!) this means that if you haven’t reached the highest point then you can’t claim to have ‘bagged’ it. However, be sure to mention such attempts in your email to us so that other hikers know what to expect on tricky or particularly active peaks.

Known Difficult Peaks

Many of the Ribus and Spesials are very hard to conquer! This is due to a number of reasons. The highest point may be in dense vegetation with no path whatsoever, part of an active lava dome, on a knife-edged crater rim or ridge, in a tribal conflict area or require moderate rock climbing skills or a hike of two weeks or more! Here is an initial list of some of the trickier summits that we know about so far – please see individual mountain pages for more details. N.B. Most peaks in Kalimantan and Papua are likely to be very difficult. We hope to make updates as and when we have new information. We also hope to conduct expeditions to these summits if/when it is safe to do so.

Java:

  • Papandayan (Malang) – The true summit is in moderately dense vegetation although one group from Bandung reached the top in June 2015 and we reached the top in June 2017.
  • Parang – The summit is in dense vegetation but we finally reached the top in June 2017.
  • Kelud – The summit rocks require rock climbing skills – ropes are needed for safety.
  • Liman – this remote mountain is difficult to reach given the terrain (rarely-used) and lack of local knowledge about what is a very complex range of peaks. But it’s getting easier as more local hikers explore this mountain.
  • Lamongan (Tarub) – The summit is rarely visited and overgrown. In October 2008, local hiking enthusiast Pak Iwan Erfanto led what was one of only a handful of recent expeditions to the summit of Tarub from Klakah via Lamongan, taking 4 days there and back. Gunung Bagging went to Tarub in January 2011 from Ranu Gedang.
  • Ijen (Merapi) – Whilst Ijen crater is very popular with visitors, the top of the massif, Gunung Merapi, is hardly ever visited. It is a great place – there are several sandy craters to explore. The highest point is covered in dense vegetation. Java Lava either reached the summit or got very close indeed in 2006 but since then most attempts have been thwarted by the density of the vegetation. However, two hikers reached the old trig point which marks the true peak in 2013 and one hiker allegedly bagged the summit in 2017 (and another in 2019).
  • Baluran – None of our requests to hike to the summit have been granted by the Park. Technically not a difficult peak to reach, but bureaucratically a very difficult one.
  • Sumbing – The highest point of the crater rim is mildly difficult to reach. Confident scramblers should have no difficulty.
  • Raung – The highest point of the crater rim is difficult to reach. It requires a long hike in and ropes for rock climbing.
  • Merapi– technically not allowed to go beyond Pasar Bubrah now due to the dangers (but loads of hikers do go anyway).

Peninsular Malaysia:

  • Ulu Kali – Private road with no public access on summit.
  • Jerai – Private compound with no public access on summit.
  • Raya (Langkawi) – Private compound with no public access on summit.
  • Western Hill (Penang) – Private compound with no public access on summit.

Sulawesi:

  • Karangetang – The volcano is incredibly active and dangerous.
  • Tondongkarambu – Reaching the ridge of this mountain is easy enough from local villages. But the summit is about 4km away!
  • Gawalise – Locals at Desa Kalora are hostile to hikers. A very sad situation for such a (in normal circumstances) accessible mountain. The true summit is also very rarely visited. Try via Salena instead.

Sumatra:

  • Bukit Jempol – Only roped rock climbers dare attempt ascend the vertical summit cliffs.
  • Kaba – There is a great trail around the active double-crater. But the highest point of the massif appears to be in dense vegetation to the west.
  • Pangulubao – The trig pillar is visited at least once a year but the true highpoint likely 1.8km along a densely forested ridge from there.
  • Pantaicermin – A hunter’s trail snakes through the forest but misses out the true summit. You’d need a couple of days to cut a fresh trail along to it.
  • Tujuh – The climb to the summit is very steep and has apparently only been climbed once or twice.

Maluku:

  • Salahutu – Although local hikers climb to a lesser nearby top, the highest peak of the range is rarely visited and if there is a trail it is likely to be very vague.
  • Binaiya – Despite being one of Indonesia’s “Seven Summits”, the true peak of Binaiya is also known as the forbidden peak because technically it is a nature reserve.

Nusa Tenggara Timur:

  • Curunumbeng – There appears to be no trail to the summit, at least not from the eastern side of the mountain.
  • Egon – The highest point of the crater rim is difficult to reach. It requires good scrambling skills over very exposed and slippery terrain. Rob Woodall made a complete circuit of the rim in August 2010 and Wolfgang Piecha reached the summit on a Java Lava trip in April 2009.

Kepulauan Riau

  • Daik – Apparently it is a very difficult rock climb and only the second-highest rock pillar has been successfully bagged.

Papua:

  • Puncak Trikora – Ropes are needed for a rock climb at the very top.
  • Arfak (Umsini) – There is a current conflict between two neighbouring tribes which makes access to the peak rather difficult.
  • Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid) – Indonesia’s highest mountain is very expensive – especially for foreigners – and rock climbing skills are needed.