Mount Gede-Pangrango: An Escape From Jakarta
Climbing Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Mountain Stats
- #2 highest mountain in West Java
- Mount Gede
- Mount Pangrango
Climbing Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Natural Form and History
Natural Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Natural history
Gede Pangrango is a stratovolcano with 2 separate peaks – Gede and Pangrango – connected via a high saddle at 2,400m. Runoff from the volcano provides Jakarta with the majority of its water. Although Gede Pangrango is now dormant, volcanic activity has been recorded there up until the 16th century.
Natural Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Climbing history
The famous naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace was so impressed by its beauty and uniqueness that he wrote, “by far the most interesting incident in my visit to Java was a trip to the summits of the Pangrango and Gede mountains”. The trail on the south-eastern slopes was found by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1811 while the earliest recorded summit climb was by C.G.C. Reinwardt in 1819.
Natural Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Current status
Gede Pangrango can be reached in 3 hours from Jakarta, making it a popular weekend retreat from the city heat.
Climbing Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Climbing Experience & Itinerary
Climbing Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Climbing Experience
The terrain of Mount Gede Pangrango can be split into 2 district sections; the montane ecosystem from 1,000m to 2,500m, and the subalpine ecosystem higher up.
The montane ecosystem section of the hike is made up of tall trees in a rainforest brimming with biodiversity. The terrain is dense. There are some steep parts to this section of the trail.
When the dense rainforest eventually thins out, this is the subalpine ecosystem mostly made up of grassy meadows. The terrain becomes rocky and drier.
Climbing Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Trail options
Visitors usually enter the park by one of the various gates of the Gede Pangrango National Park. The Cibodas, Gunung Putri, and Selabintana gates, all give access to the peaks.
Climbing Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Support facilities
Guides and porters
Food & water
Climbing Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Safety & Accessibility
The weather in this part of Indonesia switches between the dry season from May to October, and the rainy season from November to April. This renders May-October the best time of the year to climb, although the authorities can sometimes close the park when it gets too dry and there is a chance of fires.
Climbers must be prepared for drops in temperature at night, even going below 10°C, and more at altitude.
Falling hazards: Wear comfortable and reliable hiking boots. Hiking poles can reduce the risk of falling.
Slippery surfaces: Unexpected rain can slow your progress and make the trail slippery and treacherous at some points.
Insects: As is typical with any wilderness, you are likely to encounter a few insects and mosquitos. Make sure to use insect repellent especially if you are planning on an overnight stay in the mountains.
On the way to the Gede-Pangrango trailhead, take the usual precautions for your personal safety as one would when traversing poorer areas of a big, bustling Asian city.
You should be relatively safe when climbing Gede-Pangrango, but it is always better to travel in groups, check in with the park rangers, and stay alert.
Permits, Fees, and Regulations
There is a national park entrance permit. Occasionally, the authorities close the park to all visitors due to the weather. At the time of writing (July 2019) it was reported that the park would be closed in mid-August due to dry weather.
General Emergencies: 110 / 112 (SMS 1717)
Tourist Police (Jakarta): (021) 526 4073
Getting there and away
The Cibodas, Gunung Putri, and Selabintana gates, all give access to the peaks and are all between 2.5 to 3 hours drive from Jakarta (depending on the traffic).
You could alternatively get to Bogor, the southernmost satellite town of Jakarta, by public transport (such as train), and then organise an onward taxi from there.
There is a nominal park small entrance fee of between 0.10 and 0.30 USD depending on how you get there.
Climbing Mount Gede-Pangrango Indonesia - Special Tips
Tips for amateur climbers
Mount Gede and Mount Pangrango are suitable for anybody of reasonably good fitness and with prior mountain trekking experience. The summit climb is not as steep compared to Mount Rinjani or Mount Kerinci. No rock climbing or technical climbing skills are required.
Tips for advanced climbers
Advanced climbers may attempt to climb Gede Pangrango in a day, if they are up for the challenge. Reaching the peaks will take 10-12 hours of continuous walking.
Tips for women
This hike doesn’t pose any particular challenges to women, however it’s best to keep cultural norms in mind when it comes to attire on this hike.
Tips for responsible / safety-conscious climbers
Take care in areas where the trail is wet, and even covered in streaming water. Be especially cautious if it has been raining.
Tips for trail runners
Gede Pangrango should be fair game for advanced skyrunners. Be careful in slippery areas, and let us know your best time!
Tips for nature lovers
Many rare mammal species inhabit the forests, such as the Javan leopard, Javan mouse-deer, Sumatran dhole and Sundra stink badger. 250 bird species, including the endangered Javan hawk-eagle, can also be found in this ecosystem. It is recommended for climbers to keep insect repellant at hand as mosquitoes are aplenty.