Is it safe to climb Mount Batur?

We got picked up from our accommodation in Ubud at 2:30am, it was pitch black so we basically slept the 1.5 hour journey to the foot of Mount Batur.
On arrival our driver introduced us to our guide Gabrielle.  Gabrielle has climbed this volcano 7 days a week for the past 3 and a half years, so I felt pretty safe.  She issued us with headtorches, suggested a quick bathroom break and off we went.

It was just before 4am when we set off so still pitch black.

The first part of the path is a road so it’s nice and wide and lined with spring onion, chilli and tomato farms which was pretty cool to spot as you are walking.  We are both relatively fit and used to hiking so we had quite a quick pace and we found ourselves over-taking quite a few groups at this point.

Once the path stops and you reach the actual volcano, the ground is very crumbly, rocky and you definitely need appropriate footwear- I managed fine in converse and I did see a guy closer to the top in thongs (I definitely would not recommend this!)

So you basically trek for around and hour, the guides are supportive and offer a lot of stopping opportunities but we were keen to power on.  After around 45 minutes we did stop for the guide to pray to a statue of the gods which was a calming and humbling experience.
After an hour we were half way, luckily I’d read some other blogs and took the advice to take some snacks, the coconut biscuit sugar hit was definitely needed.  There’s also local sellers who appear out of no-where with water, juice etc so we took advantage of  a sugary orange juice to keep us going. We felt totally fine at this point, it was definitely a bit chilly but the walking warms you up. We did notice one girl having trouble breathing at altitude but after some water and ginger snap she was fine.

The last 20-30 mins of walking was definitely the most rocky and crumbly and it was cool to notice how black the ground was, we powered on and within 15-20 minutes – WE HAD MADE IT!

Our guide found us a bench and we waited for the sunrise.  We made the summit at 5:40 with sunrise at 6am.  We took time to take in the views, reset our body temperature, which then we did start to feel the cold and our jackets went back on.  Our guide came back to us with some hard boiled egg sandwiches and a banana which was more than welcomed.

Unfortunately for us it was cloudy so by the time the clouds shifted around 6:20am the sun was already in the sky. None the less the cloud movement and the views from up at 1,717m were definitely worth it ++ the massive sense of achievement conquering the volcano before 6am.  After some pictures, videos etc we started the descent.

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The descent was probably harder than the climb because it’s so steep and crumbly you definitely have to watch your footing, I basically slid most of the way back down.  We stopped at certain points to watch the steam coming out of the active volcano which was pretty cool and have a play with the little monkeys. (you can see steam behind in this picture as well)

I would definitely recommend this climb, I think anyone can do it so long as you go at your own pace.  If you think you have a slower pace I would probably set off a little earlier to make sure you reach the top before 6am. It took us 1hour 30 without the breaks we took and that was a relatively quick pace.  We then headed over to the Hot Springs to relax.

If you’re thinking of doing it but not sure, happy to answer any questions because it’s definitely worth the early morning wake up + the tired legs the next day!

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3 Replies to “Is it safe to climb Mount Batur?”

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