According to the Minangkabau tambo, this 2,891 meter-high mountain is the site that was first inhabited by the king Maharajadiraja who is believed to be the ancestor of the Minangkabau people after his ship and his followers landed on the mountain when it was the size of an egg and surrounded by water. Then after the water receded, Maharajadiraja and his followers came down from Mount Merapi and cleared land in Pariangan village.
Mount Marapi can be seen from the city of Bukittinggi, the city of Padang Panjang and the district of Tanah Datar. This mountain is classified as the most active mountain in Sumatra. This stratovolcano type mountain is located in the administrative area of Agam Regency and Tanah Datar Regency.
Mount Marapi has erupted more than 50 times since the end of the 18th century. The last eruption was recorded on February 26, 2014. At that time Mount Marapi released sand, tefra, and volcanic ash into the Tanah Datar and Agam districts. The status of the mountain is set to Standby (level 2) and a radius of 3 km from the center of the crater must be vacated. There is no evacuation in this eruption. Since then there has been no news about the volcanic activity of this mountain so it is safe to climb.
This mountain is recorded as the most climbable mountain of all mountains in West Sumatra. Its strategic location near the Padang-Bukittinggi-North Sumatra-Riau axis road makes it easy for hikers in these areas to reach this mountain. Unlike Mount Singgalang, It’s track is easier to pass so it is recommended for beginner hikers.
There are three hiking track that exist today: the southern route or Tungku Tigo, the Aia Angek route, and the Kotobaru/Batupalano route. Here’s a review of the advantages and disadvantages of these three routes: (Quoted from: kompasiana.com/sutomo-paguci/reviews-three-lane-pendakian-gunung-marapi-lane-teruh-should-avoided)
1. The Southern Route
The southern route or Tungku Tigo route is in Padang Panjang hamlet, Pariangan Village, Pariangan sub-District, Tanah Datar Regency, West Sumatra Province. Estimated climbing time is around 7-9 hours starting from the post/gate to the camping area of Edelweiss Park or Merpati Peak.
The advantages of this route are quite a lot of water sources both on the way and in the camping area of the Edelweiss Flower Park. Plus, the views are spectacular from the rainforest boundary to the peak vegetation and the Edelweiss Flower Garden.
While the weakness of this path is slightly longer than the other paths and quite a lot of leeches along the way to pass the forest boundary to the top.
2. The Aie Angek Route
The Aia Angek route is on the side of the Padang-Bukittinggi connecting road, to be precise in the village of Aia Angek, X Koto District, Tanah Datar Regency, West Sumatra Province.
This path is the fastest path of all the climbing routes of Mount Marapi. The estimated climbing time is around 2.5-3 hours starting from the report post to the meeting point with the Kotobaru/Batupalano route or 4-5 hours up to the top of Abel.
The advantages of this route include: it is the fastest route compared to other routes and there are waterfall/waterfall spots on the route near the jungle gate.
The weakness of this route is that there are lots of leeches, especially after it rains, more than the southern route or Tungku Tigo.
3. The Kotobaru/Batu Palano Route
The Kotobaru/Batupalano route is the favorite route or the most crowded of climbers compared to the other two routes.
The starting point for the Kotobaru/Batupalano route is at the Koto Baru market, X Koto sub-District, Tanah Datar Regency, West Sumatra Province. From here, hikers can walk or take two/four-wheeled vehicles to the report post.
The estimated climbing time is about 5-6 hours starting from the reporting post to the camping area of the rock.
The advantages of this route include a camping ground near the jungle gate with abundant water sources.
Meanwhile, the weakness of this route is that there is no source of clean and suitable water for consumption in rocky camping areas.
I think the Kotobaru route is not very comfortable for experienced hikers because it is already too crowded to hike. In addition, the water sources in this route are barely hygienic for consumption. Considering that the article about hiking Mount Marapi via the Kotobaru route has been discussed by many other authors, so this time I will discuss hiking the Aie Angek route which was pioneered by local hikers in 2016.
If you are from Padang or from Bukittinggi, not long after arriving at Nagari Aia Angek, you will arrive at intersection with the railroad bridge which is in front of the Hira’ Islamic boarding school, enter through a small road under the railroad bridge. You just walk to the left through the dirt path, follow the yellow arrow signs to go to the Aia Angek route report post. If in doubt, you can ask the locals who will willingly help you
Source: Aie Angek Railroad Intersection.sutomopaguci.kompasiana.com.photo
The Aie Angek Post is managed by the Aie Angek Tourism Awareness Group (Kelompok Sadar Wisata/Pokdarwis Aie Angek). The hiking track is in front of the report post to the east. You walk up through the vegetable fields of the residents. Our goal is to get to the uphill road made of stacked bamboo. This bamboo path stretches until it approaches the waterfall. At the location of the waterfall, you can take supplies of drinking water. Don’t forget to use geiter and lotion or tobacco liquid so you don’t get bitten by the pacet that spreads a lot on the leaves.
Source: Path to entrance track.Solo Hiking G. Marapi Via Aie Angek Saat Lebaran.kopikudingin.screenshot.youtube.photos
The track actually starts after crossing this river. The trail starts more uphill. Passing through the humid Aia Angek valley rainforest.
The ridge where the Aia Angek line adjoins the Kotobaru/Batupalano line is only separated by a valley. Because of that, the voices of hikers from the Kotobaru/Batupalano route can be heard clearly from here.
The forest is very beautiful. Pine trees can still be found around the track to a height of about 1700 meters above sea level. Hiking is sometimes hindered by fallen trees and shrubs that cover the track. You can clear paths covered with fallen tree branches and brush with a machete. After an altitude of 1800 meters above sea level, the pine forest begins to disappear as the leeches also decrease.
About two hours of normal walking from the river earlier you have arrived at the intersection of the Batupalano track.
Source: Track to top Merapi.Solo Hiking G. Marapi Via Aie Angek Saat Lebaran.kopikudingin.screenshot.youtube.photos
Not long or a few hundred meters after meeting the path earlier, you arrive at an area called “Cadas” (The Rock). This location is the main camping area that is safe for hikers. Even though the surface is not all flat, there are many spots that can be used to set up tents. When the morning comes, you will see an amazingly amazing view like a land above the clouds.
After the rock and rest there, the journey continues to the top of Mount Marapi. Before the summit, hikers will meet the Abel Tasman Monument after climbing for 45 minutes from the rock. The monument was built to honor one of a hiker who died from being hit by a rock when Mount Merapi erupted on July 5, 1992. The track in the Abel Monument area is very steep. The terrain is dominated by sand and rocks which are fragile and prone to landslides, hikers must be careful crossing.
The area around the peak of Abel is usually used by hikers as a camping site. Near this area there is a fairly wide plain similar to a football field which is usually used as a camp site.
Source: “The Cadas” of Marapi.travelingyuk.com.photo
Source: Abel Tasman Monument.halonusa.com.photo
Merpati Peak can be reached for 30 minutes from the Abel monument area. Before reaching the top, you will pass several crater walls. The track is a narrow sandy and rocky road. Merapi crater always emits smoke containing sulfur. Prepare a mask and don’t walk too close to the crater rim. Every trip from the Abel monument to the top of the Merpati is always full of impressions. The track to Merpati Peak feels like walking on the surface of the moon which is full of gravel and black sand.
Source: The Path to Merpati Peak.getlost.id.photo
When it’s crowded, climbers have to queue to enjoy Merpati’s peak, because the peak area is only about 10 m2. From Merpati’s peak, you can clearly see the view of the entire Marapi peak area. There is a large crater and two smaller craters to the east.
If the weather is clear, you can see the urban scenery of Bukittinggi, Mount Singgalang, Mount Tandikek and Lake Maninjau. Besides that, you can see a panoramic view of Lake Singkarak, Tanah Datar Regency, and the city of Padang Panjang and even Mount Talamau can also be seen from here, although it is faint. If the weather is cloudy, rows of soft white clouds will decorate the sides of the mountain. It’s just that the wind blows quite hard at Merpati’s peak, you shouldn’t have to linger here.
Source: The Merpati Peak.sisibaik.id.photo
At the top of Mount Marapi there is a large edelweiss flower garden. The location is located in the east not far from Merpati Peak. The Edelweiss flower garden is also the most recommended place for camping because there is a water source. Unfortunately it’s often foggy here which can block your view.
Source: The Edelweiss Flower Garden.gosumatra.com.photo
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