A luxurious experience

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Work, training and regular meet up for team matters had taken up lots of personal space. I can hardly breathe, and have been trying very hard to finish a book I have started months ago – Untill I Find You by John Irving. I have come to realize that having a good time reading a good book is a luxury for many of us. Nevertheless, my recent work trip to Mount Rinjani in Lombok was a good break. That was my 7th trip to Lombok since 1997.

Lombok, situated west of Bali, has much similarity with Bali. At least, both islands have a beach called KUTA. Over the years, Lombok has increased its visibility to tourists and promotes itself as an “unspoiled Bali”. The infamous Bali bomb in 2002 had affected Lombok’s tourism in some ways.

Lombok is dominated by centrally located Mount Rinjani, which rises to 3726m. The island’s inhabitants are mostly the Sasak people, who are closely related to the Balinese (language & race), except that the Sasak people are Muslim, while the Balinese are Hindus. There are also a small percentage of Chinese, and Javanese in Lombok.

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Landscape of Sembalun Lawang (photo courtesy of Ms. Hayati Sofian)

 

I have only been to Bali once and that was in 1998. I am not sure if the beaches in Lombok are better than Bali, but Lombok has a bigger volcano, and varied landscapes.

Bali’s highest point is Gunung Agung at 3142m. The weather of the surrounding rainforests of Bali is almost always cloudy, and the potentially awesome view of the entire island spread out beneath is extremely rare. On the other hand, Mount Rinjani is often visible above the clouds.

Here, I’ll share with you the scenic views surrounding Mount Rinjani, and perhaps, perhaps one day, you will consider Lombok as one of your climb & travel destinations. Getting to Lombok is easy, SilkAir has direct flights to Lombok.

 

And not forgetting to introduce the wonderful climbing mates I have with me this time :) .

 

 

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The Flora

 

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and Fauna

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img_3311.JPG The start of trek to base camp

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img_3403.JPG With Eng Kiat, Cindy and Claris

img_3381.JPG With Xiao Ping

img_3322.JPG Adeline & Belle

img_3336.JPG Siti & Lee Ing

img_3409.JPG My good trekking Buddy!

img_3426.JPG At the Crater Rim, 2600m a.s.l. (Polar AXN 300), view of summit trail on the background

img_3474.JPG View of Segara Anak at dusk

basecamp-by-yati.jpg Base camp (courtesy of Ms. Hayati)

img_3507.JPG Start of trek to the summit at 3.30am, with Irene in the lead

img_3513.JPG Hayati, with her camera :) enroute to summit

img_3514.JPG Susan, enroute to summit, going strong

img_3527.JPG Ariffin, the self-motivated chap who can go without sleep for 48hrs and still perform his best.

sea-of-clouds-by-yati.jpg Clouds surrounding Mt. Rinjani (courtesy of Ms. Hayati)

img_3559.JPG A line of determined people trekking up to the summit

lake-view-from-summit-by-yati.jpg Summit view of Segara Anak (courtesy of Ms. Hayati)

dsc_73671.jpg With Kyan at the summit of Mt. Rinjani (courtesy of Mr. Nicholas Kwok)

img_3589.JPG With my trekking guides & crew

img_3600.JPG Descent with Jaslin from summit

segara-anak-by-yati.jpg Another beautiful view of Segara Anak (courtesy of Ms. Hayati)

img_3631.JPG With Sharlene, a positive young lady, enroute to the lake

at-the-segara-anak-by-yati.jpg The lake, Segara Anak (courtesy of Ms. Hayati)

the-team-by-yati.jpg The team, at the campsite at Segara Anak

img_3586.JPG The team, at the summit of Mt. Rinjani

The successful ascent of Mount Rinjani by more than 20 climbers did not come by chance. The team trained for 3 months prior to the trip. It was a total commitment by everyone – Thursday evening stairs climb at Commonwealth 40-storey HDB block, and Saturday trek circuit at Bukit Timah! Kudos to everyone.

If you ever wonder are they regular trekkers, I can tell you, more than 50% of them are trekking for the first time or have little exposure to climbing mountains. Their determination and humility on Mount Rinjani will guide me through my journey to scale Mount Everest.

Say Cheese, everybody! You too can climb a mountain.