14 October 2017
Gunung Parang via Ferrata
Challenge level: 8/10
Every year since 2012 I always try to reward my self a Birthday treap (treat+trip). Whether it is just a short out of town trip or a great workshop to attend to. This year thankfully was quite special and definitely a challenging activity to a sad realization of how old I was getting.
I went rock climbing! Well, more like iron-stairs climbing on a steep rocky mountain. Hahah! Michelle asked me to join her with her boyfriend and friends to climb this site “Via Ferrata” in Purwakarta, and I took my brother Zaki along too. Actually, it was at Gunung Parang, Purwakarta, West Java. Nearby Bandung. The view on top? The most beautiful Waduk Jatiluhur (Jatiluhur Reservoir). Which I never realize it was that gorgeous!
This Gunung Parang area has been developed to be climbed easily using a system called Ferrata. If you’re not familiar with the term, Google it. Just like I did, and when I found a lot of pictures of mountains outside of Indonesia, I realized that was not the name of the mountain I was about to climb. When I talked to the guide the day of the climb, he told me that Ferrata is actually an Italian word meaning “iron stairs” or as Google mentioned, “iron path”. So practically this is how we climbed:
We strapped ourselves with harnesses that connected to 2 ropes and 2 carabiners. Every step up, we have to clip on both carabiners to the iron sling next to the iron stairs. Every one meter or so, the sling is secured tightly to the wall, making us to have to clip off the carabiners and clip on to the next sling. Do that, till you’re 300 meters high and go back down.
My first imagination towards this trip was, “oh yeah, I think it’s easy. A lot of my friends went. It’s only climbing with stairs. And there must be someone below belaying and holding onto you.. Just like the normal wall climbing.”
Eat that thought, Fida! IT WAS BE-YOND my imagination! Nope, there was NOBODY BELAYING BELOW. Nope, IT WASN’T EASY. And nope, IT’S NOT ONLY STAIRS, it was a lot of clip on-clip off carabiners, a lot of pull your body up yourself, a lot of sweat and heat and it was 300 METERS HIGH for more than 3 HOURS. HAHAHAHAH.
Oh but don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. But I mentioned all this because I want you all to NEVER judge a book by its cover. And NEVER undermind your abilities. It was tough, sure, but changing your mindset each step of the way up to “you can do it, Fida. No, it’s not hard,” will definitely help. PLUS, THE VIEW. GOSH, THE VIEW FROM ABOVE! Let’s just say the hard work really paid off.
We used tour operator from BADEGA Gunung Parang. They are the first official Gunung Parang via Ferrata climbing site. It is a family-owned business and still privately funded. Kang Baban (owner and guide) also guaranteed they are the cheapest yet safest. Proven by the fact that he guided me safely back to the ground, I trust his guarantee. We paid Rp. 150.000/person for a 300 meters climb with different routes going up and down. So you can see the scenic views from many different angles. The tour operator often do maintenance of the site on weekdays, changing the slings and safety equipments every 1 to 6 months so they will be fresh and new again. Now that’s what I call safe and cheap! 👍
You can also bet your life that you will have AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHS up there. Kang Baban will surely and patiently take good pictures of you one by one. He doesn’t stop until you got an amazing picture. Again, great deal isn’t it?!
BADEGA Gunung Parang via Ferrata is reachable by car, 3 hours from Jakarta. You can book the trip through their contacts here. They have no minimum person for the climb, whether it’s just you or you brought the whole group, they will still take you climbing those Ferratassss!!
Though I came home with shaky legs and sunburnt skin, I will never forget the wonderful experience I had on my 26th birthday! ❤