One of the most popular adventure activities for tourists on vacation to Bali is to hike to the summit of Mount Batur to watch the sunrise.
Mount Batur is the island’s second-highest peak, with Mount Agung standing proudly at 3,031m; both peaks pose their own unique challenges.
There is perhaps something of a misconception that since hiking to the summit of Mount Batur and Mount Agung is a super popular vacation activity, the journey is, therefore, easy.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Even the fittest and most experienced hikers have noted that both of Bali’s sacred peaks are not to be underestimated.
This point was sadly hammered home this weekend when a tourist not only fell and sprained her ankle en-route to the summit of Mount Agung but also developed hypothermia as she was waiting to be rescued.
@isaacelams The sky was on fire #sunset #reaction #view #mountagung ♬ golden hour – JVKE
23-year-old domestic tourist Luh Asri Ningsih Widi Nurjaya was rescued from the treacherous Mount Agung hiking trail by officers from the Bali Search and Rescue Unit.
Speaking to reporters after the successful rescue mission, Karangasem Search and Rescue Coordinator, I Gusti Ngurah Eka Wiadnyana, said that Nurjaya set out to hike Mount Agung in a group of ten friends, all from Buleleng Regency when disaster struck.
Most hikers opt to start their ascent of Mount Batur or Mount Agung in the very early hours of the morning so as to be at the summit in time for sunrise. This means tackling the winding, rugged trails to the peak in total darkness, guided only by a head torch.
@daniturton Started in complete darkness and rain with cold winds. But so worth it when we got to the top 😍 #MountAgung #Bali #Traveltiktok #Indonesia ♬ The Journey – Sol Rising
Karangasem Regency Search and Rescue received a report of an injured female climber at 2.45 am. Nurjaya had slipped and has now been confirmed to have sprained her ankle.
The Search and Rescue Unit immediately deployed to Mount Agung and was assisted by a team of local climbers and hiking guides who knew the area well.
The search continued for hours until the team finally reached Nurjaya and her hiking group at around 5.25 am. By that time, she was weak and showing signs of hypothermia.
A spokesman from the Karangasem Search and Rescue Unit told reporters, “During the evacuation process, we didn’t experience any significant problems; everything went smoothly. Luckily, there was no rain during the evacuation process, so the terrain we traversed was not slippery.”
@abd.wah Gunung Agung 3.142 mdpl #agungmountain #mountagungbali ♬ Right Now speed audio – 1D Audioz
Nurjaya was checked out by the medical team and deemed safe enough to recover from her sprain and hypothermia at home with her family.
The case comes as a timely reminder for tourists not to underestimate the conditions of the mountains.
While there will always be traveler stories about how some under-prepared backpacker scaled the mountain solo, in flip flops, without water or even a coat, the reality is that safety must be a top priority when setting off to hike Bali’s active volcanos. It really is better to be safe than sorry.
Over the years, dozens of tourists have been seriously injured, and some have lost their lives on the mountainsides, even those who were experienced and thoroughly prepared for the adventure.
For those who have arrived in Bali without the right gear for hiking up the mountain, panic not; there are plenty of places where you can find everything you need for a safe ascent and descent of the iconic peaks.
Hiking boots or decent sneakers are essential, as well as a warm jacket, waterproofs, water, a head torch, an emergency blanket, and a hiking pole is advisable.
The descent in the warmth of the sun and daylight is notably far more manageable than the early morning hike in the dark.
It’s best to check with your tour guide exactly what equipment they will provide for you and what you must provide for yourself.
One of Indonesia’s most loved adventure brands is Eiger Adventure. The gear is built to last and is reasonably priced.
There is a small Eiger Adventure Outlet in Ubud that stocks backpacks, some clothing, and occasionally hiking boots.
The big flagship store (which is a destination in its own right for adventure lovers) can be found at No. 104 Jalan Sunset in Seminyak. There are several stores located in the center of Denpasar, and a new outlet in Kediri, Tabanan.