What’s your mountain experience?
I still remember the first time I was hiking with a bunch of new friends around 2 years ago to Rakutak mountain. Right! That’s new. Actually, I was following some of outdoor activities while in high school, but I can’t count them as nice activities. Why? Because I hate how the seniority system in my school that moment. I also dislike how they taught us by torturing in the middle of the night, wake us up in very early morning to instruct us to run, to do some silly things otherwise we won’t pass the test. I don’t count that as my mountain experience.
On our way up to Rakutak.
So that time while hiking to Rakutak mountain in the South of Bandung, West Java, I can counted it as my first experience hiking while soberly I walk to the top of the mountain. Not with such a burden feeling under my “senior” instruction. This time, I was with a bunch of my nice new friends, joking all the time, singing, helping to each other and really supporting me when I thought I will never able to walk again because I was so deadly tired.
Rakutak mountain was a small mountain with 1922 mbpl. Can not be counted as famous favorite mountain for some new and old trekkers in Indonesia. Some locals even don’t know this mountain! But the “wild” condition of the mountain made it special for us. We should made our own way by fighting with some of wild grass higher than us. This ancient mountain doesn’t really have a proper track for trekkers. Glad that we made it, all because of the help of my loyal friends.
Then after that, I don’t really do trekking that much. Ok, I went to some of National Park, I also hiked to Ijen Crater, one of high mountain with such a lovely crater in East Java. I could be proud for able to doing that, because we were in road trip and such in tired condition but I was able to hike it and go down to the crater and up again. I was so proud and happy of myself! Then, twice to Papandayan and… finished, hehe.
Later on, I brace myself to go to Nepal and one of a friend suggested me, “Why don’t you do trekking while in Nepal? C’mon, Nepal is famous with it’s Himalaya!” I was thinking, “Ah yes, why not?” Then it was my longest trekking moment ever. I should fight with the leeches (Ohhh I hate them), very steep stairs in incredible Ulleri, Raining in Ghandruk, beautiful view along the way, going up to the hills, going down again, up again, all my body wet because we walk under the rain, cold, tired, until I feel I won’t be able to take another breathe, but amazingly I still could. I felt the clouds so close to me and that moments were so amazing. Since that time in Nepal, I always try to do trekking as much as possible I can while traveling. I repeat the delight while trekking to Banaue, Philippines.
My experiences with the mountain seems not so many compared some of Incredible Trekkers in Indonesia. I know a really nice guy who always talking about mountain in his Facebook profile, haha. He always persuaded me to go to Nepal again, trekking again, feeling that moments when we finally on the top. Ohh, I miss it!
Mountain has such a magical way to leave people who ever touched with them will never be the same again. So many mountains I wanna climb in Indonesia, since we have a lot and all are beautiful, beautiful ones!
But I am now having another concern about this kind of outdoor activity. Since one of beautiful movie released on cinema about a group of friends doing trekking to Semeru mountain, Java, people nowadays, especially the teenagers treat trekking as “trend activity to do.” Without proper preparation, they just going up and later on, so many accident happened. Walking in the mountain is not an easy thing to do. Yes, everyone can climb the mountain. But that “everyone” should be able to prepare themselves first. Doing some sport first for example to make themselves fit and bring proper equipment for staying outdoor. Mountain is not a fashion cat walk. Mountain is not also a place to show off. You are dumb if you are thinking that way.
If you think traffic only able to be happened on the street, now, traffic also can be happened in the path of going up to the mountain. That’s very silly, isn’t it? Our mountains lately have too much guest. It is over loaded and the very sad fact that so many rubbish everywhere. The cigarette butts, plastic of biscuit or another snack, candy wrappers, mineral water bottle, oh sad, they left it just that, in our precious mountain! Who will bring it back down to the ground, they think?
Our mountains ruined and become dirty. This is not a right thing to do. This is not a really genuine trekkers will do. Why? Because those who already face the truth of seeing the mountain with their own eyes, they will be very grateful with this such a huge giant nature place of lots of nature, shelter for lots of animal, pleasure for lots of people. They will be very grateful to the One who made it and they will be very grateful because mother mountain is the place with most of nature begin to live and end here. That time they know, they should keep it clean, keep their trees grow and being green, keep their birds able to sing the song, keep their animal able to walk without fears, keep it in their own unique shape of beauty, stay out from the greedy commercial purpose and let it wild. Only by that we can, in another time, or probably our next generation, will climb to the top again and will get the same deeper feeling as ours while we are standing on the top of the mountain.
This writing is dedicated for my hiking friends, Andi, Gepenk, Indra, Sanjaya who always help me during my trekking, fill the walk with happiness and lots of laugh and how I like their genuinely feeling of loving mountains with their humble way and who show me that being on the top of the mountain is possible and reachable.
“Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery.” – John Ruskin
Happy International Mountain Day!