A six-year-old girl from Bali has put her determination into action and climbed to the summit of Bali’s Mount Agung. The active volcano stands at 3,031m high and is the highest point on the island of Bali. The volcano last erupted on the 13th of June 2019 and is the most strenuous hike in Bali.
Ni Putu Widya Kusuma Dewi had been begging her parents to let her climb Mount Agung since 2020. Speaking to local reporters after her successful climb, Putu’s father Wayan Ardana said ‘She wanted to go up, but because she was young, I forbade it, and since she’s six years now I’ve invited my friends to ride along with us while we are cleaning the path’.
Putu, her father, and twelve other people from Pempatan Village, Pendang, Karangasem Regency, hiked to the top of the world-famous volcano on Friday 10th. June. The community is curious if Putu is the youngest person to ever hike to the top of Mount Agung unassisted. She was certainly the youngest of their hiking group and the youngest that they know of to reach the peak.
The team set off at 5.30 am and reached the peak at 12.30 pm. Their mission was two-fold, to help Putu make her dream come true, and to install new signage and make repairs to the path along the way. When asked if she really did hike all the way herself, or whether she was carried up the volcano, her grandfather quickly assured local reported that she did this all by herself and that he had no intention of carrying her if she decided she no longer wanted to. He said ‘if she goes up, she goes up on her own’.
It’s clear from the viral photos of Putu hiking that she was loving every step. In the video originally shared by her father, Putu and her friends can be seen giving three cheers of celebration at the summit while holding the Mt Agung 3142m sign. Her father told reporters that it is her ambition to become a mountain guide to help more people experience the volcano. He also shared how he was surprised at the response the video got from people in Bali.
He said he is very proud of his daughter and that he celebrates her rare ambition. Although both Mount Agung and Mount Batur are very popular hiking routes for both domestic and international visitors to Bali, the many Balinese people have never hiked to the summit of either peak. Adrana said that ‘no one even wants to climb a mountain’ nowadays. Perhaps Putu will become an inspiration to the next generation of adventurers and explorers in Bali.
Mount Agung is open for trekkers, after being closed as a tourist attraction during the height of the pandemic. Two trails lead to the summit of Mount Agung; the Pura Besakih Trail takes 6-8 hours from start to summit, and the Pura Pasar Agung Trail takes 4-5 hours but does not reach the peak, the path finished at the rim of the crater at 2,866m above sea level.
Young Putu and her team followed the strenuous Pura Besakih Trail and reached the summit in just over 7-hours.
Although the trails are easy to follow, it is always recommended to hire a guide to help you reach the summit. Guides know the routes and where the dangerous sections are, although the route is generally safe, there are several sections where the risk of tripping, falling, and injury is high if there is no guide for support.
Mount Agung is an active volcano, its last eruption was in June 2019. Volcano seismologists are regularly collecting data on the activity within the volcano, the trail is closed periodically when activity increases causing the trail to be too dangerous to use. Balinese Hindus believe that mountains are the homes of the gods. They believe that Mahadewa, who is the greatest form of Lord Shiva, lives in Mount Agung.
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