Day 3 Mon 24/05/05 The Pinnacles (Mt. Api)
There were around 4 groups that would climbing today. One from Singapore, the big party from Malaysia with a film crew, five foreign tourists and our team. Most teams around 5 to 10 people. Only ours that had two and a guide. We’ve been told that we will depart in the morning around 700am.
Finished packing we set to the footpath not far from camp 5. My feeling just too moody this morning. Possibly because I hadn’t have enough sleep overnight. Heavy rain really made the zinc roof become noisy. The footpath went upwards with moderate grade. My stomach started feeling funny. Then about half an hour half climbing I vomited. I reckond caused by digestion system too much forced to work along with the foot muscle. Strangely after vomiting I felt a lot better. Only apparently needed the energy bar to replace my breakfast.
The route was good, occasionally with the rope. Designed t descend when rockeries and tree’s root became slippery. The forest was very calm with high density of leaves and branches. We rarely got direct sun. This trek only 2.4 km but this one was totally vertical. In Guidebook was said most fit people did in 3-4 hours climbing. Just to remind you that this route actually “maschocistic route” rather that pleasant one. It was essential to bring a day pack as minimal as possible. I saw several mineral bottles placed in the edge of the route for supply. At least each brought two litres, ideally around 3 litres of water. No water resource all along the route.
The Pinnacles actually limestone layers that experienced the erosion because of the rain flow. This made his construction become sharp such as an iron bars. Moreover the height could reach 30-40m. The Pinnacles location was in the slope Mt Api (1750m) . It did not been climb yet for the real peak. A mountain nearby Mt Benarat (1580m) Although short but also was not yet been touched. The only one that could be climbed was Mt Mulu (2376m). It climbed by Lord Shackleton (son of Ernest Shackleton ) in 1932. Anyway for me the Pinnacles was more than enough.
Around 10an we arrived in a third of the last part (I called it:The iron route ). There was a plank of the warning that you should arrive here before 11am otherwise you have to come back. The reason because of the weather was often changed. The fog and possibly rain also make the route become so difficult. There were around 14 iron ladders and some auxiliary bridge with help of the rope that helped through the layer limestone.
The route changed to crawled, scrambling and climbing. For me that was more interesting because quite taxing. So do not believe if guide or the operator’s tour mentioned this route as moderate. Richard-our guide even regarded the Pinnacles heavier compared with Mt Kinabalu at the level of difficulty. It was just fortunate that today was bright that the route not too slippery.
After total 4 climb hours, in wet of sweat shirt we were able to see the Pinnacles. It was speechless. Extraordinary! The fog also just lifted, so we could enjoyed the band of pointed rock that looked challenging the sky. Along with us two more parties, two Singaporean and a group of foreign tourists. The place to enjoy the Pinnacles also really narrow. It only can hold people around 10-15 people with some climbing the tree unlike a football pitch.
In here also I could chit-chat with one of the trekkers. Just because she wore shirt that be inscribed: the General Election 2004 The election of Miss Lucu Indonesia. Lucu mean funny in Bahasa Indonesia. Another stories flowed related about her experiences spent 4 months in Indonesia. From climbing Mt Merapi, Mt Semeru (highest in Java) and her efforts reached Mt Rinjani (second highest in Indonesia). Miss Lucu said that Indonesia was the most beautiful place that she visited. She promised to come back.