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Mount Rinjani or Gunung Rinjani is an active volcano in Indonesia on the island of Lombok. Administratively the mountain is in the Regency of North Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara (Indonesian: Nusa Tenggara Barat, NTB). It rises to 3,726 meters (12,224 ft), making it the second highest volcano in Indonesia.
On the top of the volcano is a 6 km by 8.5 km caldera, which is filled partially by the crater lake known as Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). This lake is approximately 2000 meters above sea level and estimated at being around 200 meters deep, the caldera also contains hot springs. The highlands are forest clad and mostly undeveloped. The lowlands are highly cultivated. Rice, soybeans, coffee, tobacco, cotton, cinnamon, and vanilla are the major crops grown in the fertile soils of the island. The volcano and the caldera are protected by the Gunung Rinjani National Park established in 1997. Tourism is increasingly popular with trekkers able to visit the rim, make their way into the caldera or even to make the more arduous climb to the highest point fatalities, however, are not uncommon. As of July 2009 the summit route was closed due to volcanic activity. Gunung Rinjani National Park is located on the island of Lombok, Indonesia. The park covers about 413 km² and consists of mountainous areas. Mount Rinjani (Gunung Rinjani), which is the third highest mountain of Indonesia (3.726 m), is located in this national park, giving this park its name.
Some of endangered plants are protected in this national park, such as: Pterospermum javanicum, Swietenia macrophylla, Ficus superba, Toona sureni, Vanda sp., Usnea sp and Anaphalis sp. There are also several endangered fauna protected in this national park, including rusa deer, indian muntjac, Sunda Porcupine, surili monkeys, Helmeted Friarbird, several cockatoos and Scaly-crowned Honeyeater.
A prestigious 2004 and 2008 World Legacy Award for environmental and social leaders in tourism was given to the Rinjani Trek Management Board by Conservation International (CI) and National Geographic Traveler magazine, in a ceremony at the National Geographic Society in Washington DC on 8 June 2004. The Rinjani Trek in Gunung Rinjani National Park in Lombok Indonesia was the winner of the Destination Stewardship Award, selected as a tourism destination that best demonstrates effective protection of its natural and cultural environment.
The Rinjani Trekking was lauded in the award citation as “a place doing superb work in protecting its overall natural and cultural heritage, the volcanic heart of the island of Lombok, Indonesia”. Visitors to this tropical island enjoy long jungle treks to the awe-inspiring crater valley, waterfalls and hot springs, and emerge from the forest canopy to enjoy an amazing panoramic ocean view. The Rinjani program is exemplary for its strong partnership among local community groups, tourism industry and national park, and has successfully withstood the recent deep dip in Indonesia’s tourism.
The Rinjani mountain is the second highest peak active volcano in Indonesia and absolutely a challenging mountain walk and you must be prepared with good equipment, warm and windproof clothing if you want to make adventure trekking to the summit of Rinjani mountain 3726 m. Trekking to Rinjani mountain lombok Indonesia can attract severe storms, lightening and strong winds. When the weather is settled, the sun is intense and the nights frosty. Parts of the trail are steep and slippery.
Beware of bad weather and risks of exposure to the wet and cold (hypothermia). If caught in an electrical storm, take shelter and avoid prominent ridges. Beware of snakes, and stinging insects and plants. Leeches can be a nuisance in the wet season.
3,726 meters (12,224 feet)
This is a very active volcano. The oldest recorded historical eruption was in 1847. Previous to that this was a very remote region indeed, hence the lack of records. There was a spate of activity from 1994 to 1995 which resulted in the further growth of the crater cone Gunung Baru, since renamed Gunung Barujari (Finger Mountain).
On 27 April 2009 Gunung Barujari became active again with that activity continuing through to May 2009. The summit ascent routes were closed at that time as the eruptions intensified with plumes of smoke and ash as high as 8,000 m. A Volcanic Explosively Index (VEI):2 rating was issued for the activity between May and December 2009. The ascent routes re-opened on September 14th 2009 but hiking routes down into the crater lake were still deemed unsafe and remained closed.
In February 2010 observers at the Gunung Rinjani Observation Post detected a smoke plume that rose 100 m from the volcano. The activity in early 2010 is centered about Gunung Barujari. On May 1st 2010 a column of smoke was again observed rising from Rinjani issuing eruptions 1,300-1,600 meters tall with thick brown color and strong pressure. On May 5th 2010 a possible ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) and drifted 150 km NW. Accordingly the Center of Volcano logy and Geological Hazard Mitigation advised that intermittent activity could produce ash plumes to 1,500 m (5,000 ft) above the caldera. In light of this The Volcanic Explosively Index Alert Level was raised to 2 with a recommendation that there be no activity within a radius of 4 km from the eruption at Gunung Barujari.
Rinjani erupted three further times on 23 May 2010 with activity continuing until 24 May 2010. According to the volcano’s official monitoring agency, ash from Mount Barujari was reported as rising up to 2 km into the atmosphere and damaged crops. Lava flowed into the caldera lake, pushing its temperature up from 21°C to 35°C, while smoke spread 12 km. The volcano did not directly threaten villagers during any of the eruptive activity in early 2010 however access to some sections of the Mountain was officially closed or restricted at some times.
The lower and mid levels of the mountain are quite heavily forested. Above the tree line though the slopes are barren and rugged screed slopes and volcanic rock. The views of the crater lake are quite breath-taking from the caldera rim, as is the sunrise. From the absolute peak you can see Bali to the west and Sumbawa to the east.
Flora and fauna
The lower and middle elevation slopes are densely forested with typical tropical species. Fig trees are especially apparent. Casuarinas forest (cemara) takes over higher up and eventually these give way to an alpine flora above the tree line. Lombok is east of the Wallace an Line and some Australian bird species are therefore apparent. These include a lot of sulphur crested cockatoos and green hanging parrots. Bird life is generally not easy to observe here though due to the density of the forest. The familiar long-tailed grey macaque (the Bali temple monkey) is common right up to the crater rim. Of much more interest is the rare ebony leaf monkey which inhabit these forests. Rusa deer and muntjacs are more often heard than seen.
Rinjani is best climbed during the April-November dry season. It is possible to climb during the rainy season as well but treks are often cancelled at short notice if the rain is heavy. It gets very cold on the mountain above 2,000 m and nears freezing at the summit. Warm clothing is an absolute must.