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Seven Die on Mt. Rinjani

Local University Students Pay Ultimate Price for Ignoring Warnings and Climbing Lombok Peak without Proper Food and Clothing.

(3/17/2007) Seven hikers lost their lives while climbing Lombok's fabled Mt. Rinjani during the first week of March 2007. The seven, all Indonesian students from a local university, ignored officials warnings that closed the mountain track since January because of inclement weather conditions. The students are believed to have perished on either March 10th or 12th.

The students reportedly commenced the trek without sufficient food provisions or clothing suitable to the harsh winds and cold temperatures they encountered. Their bodies were found at Pelawangan, five hours short of Rinjani's 3,720 summit. Rescuers speculate that ill-fated climbers may have been trying to reach natural hot springs near Pelawangan in a futile attempt to withstand the cold temperatures on the mountain.

The bodies of the students had to be carried by rescuers down a nine-hour trek from Pelawangan to the nearest road access in the Sembalun district.

One of Indonesia's highest volcanoes, Lombok's Mt. Rinjani is a pilgrimage site for many Lombok natives who believe its crater lake to be a place of sacred significance.

Lombok Island is Bali's nearest major island to the East, located some 35 kilometers miles from Bali at their nearest points.

Tour operators in Bali and Lombok offer tours and treks on Mt. Rinjani led by experienced guides when local weather condiions permit.