Climbing season on the second-highest volcano in Indonesia will finally resume this weekend.
Indonesia-based mountaineers keen to visit higher places after months at home may want to start booking flights to the island of Lombok. The head of the Mount Rinjani National Park Center, Dedy Asriady, has told Kompas that two-day, one-night treks on the volcano will be allowed from Saturday (August 22), with visitor numbers capped at 30 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
Four of the mountain’s five climbing routes are set to reopen this weekend. Two of the most popular trails, starting from the villages of Senaru and Sembalun, will both be subject to a quota of 45 people per day. That limit also applies to the Timbanuh route from the south, a challenging trail to the crater rim that culminates in a viewpoint more than 3,100 meters above sea level. Meanwhile, the southwestern Aik Berik route will only host up to 30 trekkers per day. Dedy said the final walking track from the north, via the Torean trailhead, would remain closed as it was deemed unsatisfactory in a recent risk and hazard analysis.
Prospective climbers and trekkers are required to book their spots online via the eRinjani mobile app, which was originally introduced last year to combat overtourism. Successful applicants will receive an admission ticket and insurance receipt; these documents will be checked by officers posted at the entrance of each climbing route.
Visitors will also need to present a medical certificate showing a negative Covid-19 test result, though park authorities have not specified which kind will be valid. The prevailing view is that rapid tests are accepted for domestic travelers, while overseas visitors must show PCR test results once Indonesia’s borders reopen. Dedy added that residents of the island were exempt from this new requirement. “Those from Lombok can bring a letter [certifying that they are] free of flu symptoms. Apart from that, visitors are required to bring hand sanitizer and a trash bag for garbage collection,” he explained.