"It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves" - Sir Edmund Hillary

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November 23rd 2014
Published: November 23rd 2014
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And so, with the 3D2N Rinjani trek, I've reached the highest point in my life, yet. In fact, most of us did. Standing right at the 3726m summit, we overlooked the whole of Lombok island and stared in awe at what mother nature has created. The incredible view was worth every bit of the climb up, and more. Besides the summit view, the whole trek was scenic at various points in time, offering different perspective of what the mountain has to say about her own beauty.

7 highlights:

1. The weather was predictably unpredictable. The skies turned colours quicker the mood swings of my sis, and man did it rain heavily for parts of the 1st and 3rd day. Well, good thing was that it did not rain while it mattered: like in evenings during sunset, at night while the stars came out to play or while we were at the summit. The bad thing? While it rained, I wasn't at all prepared for it and did not waterproof my backpack. Neither do I have a hoodie to cover my head. Thus, survival instinct kicked in and I used a ziplock bag as a cap instead. Innovation as its best! Anyways, we had fun in the rain while it lasted!

2. Watching the stars on the first night at the summit base camp. We were blessed with superbly clear skies on 1st night as the stars twinkle right in front of our eyes. Despite struggling to take some long exposure shots without being properly equipped, we managed to capture some that blew us away. Have always been fascinated by starry nights like this, and it definitely captured my attention for the longest of time. Roll back nights at Soca camp, Slovenia and Mt Bromo, Indonesia...

3. The highlight of the trek was definitely the wee hours summit push, where we began our ascend at 3am. The process of watching the sun rays unveil from the far end of the ridge line and reveal the grandness of the crater lake from the darkness was incredible. It was particularly enjoyable as a small group of us took our time to ascend, taking countless breaks and photos along the way. Perhaps the journey itself was more important to us than rushing to the summit. Or rather, were we not fit enough to do the latter? :p

4. Not to forget, the scree terrain during the summit climb was a bane to overcome, but was definitely memorable nonetheless. Made up of mostly volcanic materials and rocks, trekking on them was akin to running on an inclined beach. "2 steps up, 1 step down" was their calling to prevent climbers from reaching the summit. Despite that, we made friends with them, understood how they work, and eventually it was us 1 scree 0 ! We even had great fun running down the scree slopes afterwards!

5. Sliding down the rocky slopes! On the 3rd and last day while descending the mountains, there was a stretch where we figured it'll be easier and less strenuous to walk. So we simply let gravity do its work and enjoy the ride, sliding down on our shoes, challenging for the "fastest skater" award. Not for the faint-hearted though. Great fun to feel like kids in the playground again.

6. The company during the whole journey really made the difference here. Going through tough times alone isn't easy but when you have like-minded friends going through the same scree (sh*t), things are a lot better, even enjoyable! We kept pushing each other with claims like "we're almost there!", "10 more minutes!"; though it's often far from the truth. haha. We joked, we laughed, we teased, we fell, together. And eventually, we summit at one. As we move on in lives, memories of conversations during the trip will still put a smile on my face. =)

7. Lastly, which is also what I came here for: to take a breather from everyday life back home, get out into the nature and soak in the out-of-the-world landscape that Rinjani is famed for. It did not disappoint a single bit. Loved all of these: the sunrise and sunset, the majestic volcanic crater, the scenic summit view, the all-conquering ridgeline, the pristine lake, the mountain reflections and the mountain itself. The pictures, hopefully, speak for themselves.

Additional photos below
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23rd November 2014

Fabulous blog Teo. There is something about volcanoes that excites the soul...sharing that excitement with friends is a bonus...encouraging so you all summit. Truly magnificent views. You are Singaporean. I am Australian. I couldn't help but notice in your story something I have noticed in my travels. When one has shared experiences...no matter what our cultural backgrounds...it shows how similar humanity are. I felt I was on the volcano with you.
25th November 2014

Thanks for the really nice comment! I'm glad that the post could really relate to you, and I can't agree with you more that through shared experiences, no matter what differences, we are in fact actually similar in most sense :)
23rd November 2014
Brothers for Life

Fantastic travels, adventure and stories. Thanks for sharing.
8th December 2014


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