Mt. Sumbing (3371 M)

Mt. Sumbing from Mt. SindoroIt is a bold challenge for climbers to reach the second highest peak in Central Java. The summit of Mt. Sumbing is unique. Coming up from Base camp Cepit, Parakan, the mountaineers shall arrive in the rocky calderas. With many salfataras where sulfuric gas continuously blows. The last climb to the top, is thru narrow strenous stony path. It needs energy and bravery. At last, after a normal trekking of 8 hours, here it is ………. the peak of Mt. Sumbing, with its exotic panorama. (Sumbing means harelip)

Mountaineering Routes:

There are two routes to the peak i.e. from the sub-village of Cepit, 7 Km from Parakan, Temangsung and from the village of Garung, Wonosobo.

The Route from Cepit

It’s about 125 Km from Yogyakarta or Semarang, located between the towns of Temanggung and Wonosobo, on the way to Dieng Plateau. The base camp Cepit is on the east slope of Sumbing.

From Yogyakarta, take a bus to Wonosobo, passing thru Magelang, Secang, turn left to Temanggung, Parakan. The bus fare is about Rp. 4.000,-

From Parakan to the sub-village of Cepit (7 Km) with a small van, the fare is Rp. 1.500,- with ojek-motorbike taxi is Rp. 3.500,- (the exchange rate of Oct. 16, 1998 is US $ 1= Rp. 9000,-)

From Semarang, take a bus to Wonosobo, via Bawen, Secang, turn right to Temanggung, Parakan. The bus fare is almost the same.

From Solo, one can take the route thru Yogya or Bawen. It should be around Rp. 3.000,- additional transportation fee.

Register to Bapak / Mr. Karyo Rejo. The sub-village head of Cepit, with a very small/voluntarily fee. Guide fee for every group is Rp. 25.000/day. There is modest facility in this basecamp: bathroom, small shop, mosque and health care. The address is:

Base camp Cepit
Village of Pagergunung
Sub district Bulu, Temanggung
Central Java.

The villagers of this cool mountainous region are mostly successful tobacco growers. The location of the village on the eastern slope of the mountain with good and enough sunshine, the right altitude and climate, produce only high quality tobacco-leaves.

They conserve their ancestors’ tradition to present date. Thrice a year they make pilgrimage to caldera of Mt. Sumbing, where an ancient respected ascetic – Ki Ageng Makukuhan’s graveyard is in the Kawah (Caldera) zone, in the Javanese new year of Suro, 21st of Pasa (Fasting month) and new year.

Some children are still with Rambut Gimbal (uncombed and uncutted loose hair) to protect them from evil deed. The traditional arts of Ketoprak (dance drama accompaniment with Gamelan Music) and Kuda Lumping/Jathilan are frequently performed in each dusun (sub-village). (Click: People’s Culture for detail)

The climbing

Before climbing be sure of the supply, especially water as there is no spring along the trek. Usually it starts at 9.00 p.m., so at about 05.00 a.m., early in the morning, at sunrise the top of Mt. Sumbing is reached. All trekkers are requested to honor local customs which are positive, among other: Don’t ruin the trees. Don’t throw garbage. Be careful when make fire. Be polite, don’t complain too much. Don’t urinate at certain places etc.

  1. One hour walk thru the village garden
  2. Then another 2 hours walk in the forest, continued in the savannah.
  3. Passing the locally known as Batu Kasur (Stone Mattress) and Batu Lawang (Stone door)
  4. Arriving in the zone of ‘Kawasan Kawah’ (caldera Zone), consist of:
    1. Laut Pasir (sea sand)

    2. Caldera with salfataras where sulphuric gas continuously blows. This area is surrounded by high wall. In this area too, is the location of Ki Ageng Makukuhan grave. There are some caves, the biggest is the cave Jugil.
  5. The climbing to the top, must be done carefully. It’s strenous, narrow path. It needs a strong energy. And then the view from peak is ……….. heaven.

The Route from Garung

The address is:
Village of Garung
District: Kalikajar

In this basecamp, Bapak/Mr. Hubroni can be contacted or Stickpala Mountaineering club.

Registration fee is Rp. 500/person

Guide fee is Rp. 50.000 per day/group.

The route from Yogyakarta, Solo or Semarang is just the same with the way to Cepit. The only different is do not get out at Parakan, go further and get-out at Garung. The bus fare is about Rp. 1.500 more expensive. From Garung to Basecamp by ojek (Motorbike taxi) for Rp. 1.500,-.

There is a Hotel and Restaurant nearby, it’s comfortable, the name is Dieng Kledung Pass. The room rate is about Rp. 50.000/day.

The Climbing

From the village of Garung to the peak is 7 Km trekking. The normal time is 6 to 8 hours. The route from here is steepy right from the very beginning.

  1. Km. I – is from the village to the base camp.

  2. Km. II & III – old and new route is thru the gardens of the villagers.

  3. Km. IV & V – old route:

    Climb thru forest of Pinus and then in Km. V the path is steep and exhausting, it has two pass 2 steep hills, namely Genus and Sedlupak.

  4. Km. IV & V – new route:

    Climb thru an area (Bos weisen) with Pinus trees, cross a river in Kedung, arrive in shelter II in Gatakan (2240 M)

  5. Pestan is the meeting point of old and new path. In Pestan, one may take a rest or raise a tent.

  6. Km. VI includes Pestan, there is no tree here. Pasar Watu (market of stones) – there are a lot of stones and then Watu Kotak (a big stone like a box) usually used as shelter by the climbers against rain and strong wind.

  7. Km. VII

From Watu Kotak to Tanah Putih (white land) and then to the peak, it takes around one hour. The path is stony and strenuous.

To go to the calderas, take the path to the right direction, as straight up route leads to the peak. For the calderas’ situation see above explanation (Cepit route). This Garung village is located in the North Slope of Sumbing, somewhere between Mt. Sumbing and Mt. Sindoro.

The villagers, whose majority are farmers keep the tradition of their ancestors. They go for pilgrimage in the Mount’s Calderas every 1st Suro (Javanese New Year) and 21st of Pasa (fasting month).


  1. The climbers to those five mountains: Lawu, Merapi, Merbabu, Sumbing and Sindoro are Tono Indroyanto and his friends, students from University of Muhammadiyah, Surakarta. The reports in Indonesian and photos are also made by them.
  2. The sponsor is CV. Buana Raya Printing and Publishing Company Jl. Dr. Rajiman 687 A, Pajang, Solo.

Joglosemar Online thanks both parties for the cooperation.
Translated and edited by Suryo S. Negoro

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