What you will meet and see in Sembalun trek route!
Starting in the morning from the Rinjani Trek Centre in the village, the climb to Plawangan II at 2,638 m will take about 8 hr via POSI (1,300 m), POSII (1,500 m) and POSIII (1,800 m).
Starting altitude is1100 m, so there are no humid conditions to deal with. First half or more of the trek is literally a breeze. The trek through savanna grassland is windy and easygoing, with gentle ups and downs, and the only obstacle to look out for are the “cow pats” deposited by the villagers’ cows along the way.
Rolling hills and amazing scenery help to ease the tiredness, unlike the enclosed tropical rain forest of Senaru route. From POS 2 to POS 3, the climb is still manageable.
The challenge for Sembalun route is from POS 3 to POS Extra, as the uphill gradient can be 50 degrees at times. Young children will find this section challenging as some steps are set quite far apart.
Cooler weather up here may give the impression that the body does not need fluids, but do drink more to prevent altitude sickness setting in. Strangely, there is a guy selling cold drinks (Pocari sweat, Coke etc) here at the campsite at exorbitant prices (40000 Rp per drink) for those who crave it.
Overnight at the campsite here and go for the summit starting at 3AM the next day. You need to be well rested as this is a stiff task – the final climb is nearly 1,100 m on difficult ground.