Mount Sinabung

indonesia

Mount Sinabung: Indonesia’s Most Dangerous Volcano

Mountain Stats
Natural Form and History
Climbing Experience & Itinerary
Support Facilities
Safety & Accessibility
Special Tips
Gallery
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Quick Answers

Q:Is the Mount Sinabung volcano erupting?
A:Mount Sinabung angrily awoke from a 400 year dormancy in August 2019. At the time of writing (July 2019), it was off limits to climbers, and for good reason. Its last eruption occurred in June 2019. It is off limits to climbers (as of July 2019).
Q:Where is Mount Sinabung?
A:Mount Sinabung is located in North Sumatra, Indonesia. It is a short drive from the town of Medan. At the time of writing (July 2019), it is erupting and off limits to visitors or hikers.

Climbing Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Mountain Stats

Country
indonesia
Height
2,460m (8,070ft)
Climbing Height
1,143m (3,750ft)
Numbers
  • #1 most dangerous volcano in Indonesia

Climbing Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Natural Form and History

Natural Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Natural history

Mount Sinabung is located in the Karo Highlands in North Sumatra, which sits on the Sunda Arc of the subduction zone of the Indo-Australian plate under the Eurasian plate. It is a pleistocene-to-holocene era stratovolcano, and it had been dormant for about 400 years until 29 August 2010.

Natural Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Climbing history

Being a modest sized volcano in a land with an ancient population, it’s impossible to tell who the first people were to climb Sinabung. However, the Indonesian Government has put precautions in place ever since August 2010’s unexpected eruption.

Natural Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Current status

As of April 2019, Mount Sinabung is the only volcano that is currently on level 4 alert and is considered, by global experts, to be highly dangerous. As such, the government has implemented a 7km exclusion zone, rendering climbing strictly off limits, and ill-advised. Nevertheless, tourists go to the surrounding towns and areas to see Sinabung, and to climb it’s neighbours.

Climbing Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Climbing Experience & Itinerary

Climbing Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Climbing Experience

Currently, Sinabung does not have an active hiking trail. Given the volcanic activity since 2010, the previous trail may well have disappeared, as lava flows and a pyroclastic flow in 2016 may have wiped it all off the map.

Before August 2010, the climb from Brastagi was through rainforests, followed by low-lying vegetation all the way up to the rocky calderas.

Climbing Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Trail options

Number of options
0
Summary

Only time will tell whether there is still a trail on Mount Sinabung. Previously, there was a main hiking trail from the town of Brastagi (which might not be there anymore).

Time to complete
1 day

Before Sinabung reawakened, climbing was most commonly based out of the town of Brastagi, which had some basic accommodation and food options. From there, the hike up was about a 4-5 hour climb to the summit, and one might allow 2-3 hours to descend back to Brastagi.

Climbing Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Support facilities

Guides and porters

Guides are required

Trail facilities

Trail facilities not available

Food & water

Food & water not available

Network connectivity

Trail head - Network signal

Climbing Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Safety & Accessibility

Weather

The weather in this part of Indonesia switches between the dry season from May-October, and the rainy season from November-April. The weather is often pleasant when you start the trek, but one needs to take precautions against drops in temperature at higher levels, and at night, when temperatures can drop below 10°C.

Climbing safety

Rain could arrive on any day, regardless of the forecasts, which will make the track more muddy and slippery.

Personal safety

Sinabung is a serious threat to climbers due to its current volcanic activity. Even if it isn’t erupting, gasses may be being emitted, and these can seriously harm or kill given conditions.

Permits, Fees, and Regulations

A permit is needed, but given the current situation it is unlikely that permits are being granted for hiking.

Emergency contacts

Police: 110

Ambulance: 118

Fire: 113

Getting there and away

Medan (Kualanamu) International Airport is the nearest airport. 

There are regular buses to Brastagi from the Medan Pinang Baris bus terminal. These buses can get crowded and uncomfortable, so there should be small minivans and taxis available too. If you are using a tour service, they should be arranging private transportation from Medan.

You may also get to Sinabung from the Lake Toba area by bus, taxi, or private car.

Money Matters

At the moment, no amount of money should be sufficient to get you up Sinabung, because Sinabung is closed for hiking.

Climbing Mount Sinabung Indonesia - Special Tips

Tips for amateur climbers

When it was previously open, it wasn’t a very difficult climb, so long as you’re relatively fit and uninjured. 

Tips for advanced climbers

This volcano didn’t offer much to advanced technical climbers to use their skills on. Regardless, it’s best to avoid this unpredictable volcano hike for now.

Tips for women

There are no special challenges facing women choosing to climb this mountain. We are all equal in the eyes of an erupting volcano.

Tips for responsible / safety-conscious climbers

It would be irresponsible to climb Sinabung right now, and illegal too. Please don’t until the Indonesian authorities give it the all-clear (if so, please let us know, and we’ll update out page).

Tips for trail runners

When it was open, Sinabung was fair game for skyrunners. Lets hope it stays the same if/when it reopens.

Tips for nature lovers

Due to its remoteness, Sinabung was a treat to naturalists before it was closed. Lets hope some of its greenery remains.

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