MOUNT SOPUTAN TREKKING
Departure daily from Manado, Duration of this trip 2 days / 1 night
We offer only EURO 100 per person ( min. 2 persons )
Included: Meals, Tend, Cooking equipment, Guide, Transport car + driver + fuel
Name of the volcano: Gunung Soputan
Location: Toure, South Minahasa
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
Last Known Eruption: 2008
Summit Elevation: 1784 m 5,853 feet
Latitude: 1.108°N 1°6'30"N
Longitude: 124.73°E 124°44'0"E
The small Soputan stratovolcano on the southern rim of the Quaternary Tondano caldera on the northern arm of Sulawesi Island is one of Sulawesi's most active volcanoes. The youthful, largely unvegetated volcano rises to 1784 m and is located SW of Sempu volcano. During historical time the locus of eruptions has included both the summit crater and Aeseput, a prominent NE-flank vent that formed in 1906 and was the source of intermittent major lava flows until 1924.
A trip from the nearest village to the top and back can be done in two days and one night. A very early start 4am the next morning is important for a good chance of a cloud free summit. From the camping area, the trail continues across a small plateau of volcanic sand and tall grass before entering a forest and descending into the valley that still separates you from Soputan. After leaving the campground it is important to keep left. You will have your first view of the mountain from the sand plateau. After having descended to the foot of Soputan, the rest of the route is fairly obvious. One ascents the small ash cone in front of Soputan proper and then to the true summit from there.
Its eruptions are relatively short lived (usually around a few days) and only happen at most a few time per year, so it can be climbed most of the time. Its height is given as 1784m or 1825m depending on the sources, but the latter is likely closer to the truth as Soputan has grown significantly in the last decade or so.
Gunung Soputan is commonly approached from the East as its eastern surrounding are at the highest elevation and the active western slopes are prone to rockfalls as well as lava and pyroclastic flows during or after eruptions.
The trail to Gunung Soputan starts as a wide path out to the fields in Toure. After about an hour's walk, the path becomes narrower and enters light forest. Halfway up the hills, a sharp right turn has to be taken, off of the main path and onto the actual hiking trail. There are no signs or other indications, so this is the hardest to find part of the hike. Along the hiking trail the forest becomes denser and a small open area often used by hikers for fires is passed
A few hours into the hike, the path becomes a small stream; we have not lost the path, we just need to continue through and along the stream. Its water is not drinking water as it contains volcanic minerals (you may notice a weak sulfur odor). Eventually the path leaves the stream and climbs up a steeper part of the hills. You end up in an open pine forest that is usually used to pitch a tent for the night.
The summit has grown significantly due to eruptions during the last decade or so, and progress on the steep loose ash and screen slopes is slow, but very well worth it.
Trekking down through the narrow path of the pine forest, crossing down though the river trail and ascending through the sandy and rocky path to the peak, make this trip extraordinary and unforgettable for you. See also the unique vegetation of Soputan Volcano such as Pitcher plant, cranberries, wild berries, edelweiss flower which can be sparkle on moonbeam. Overnight at the pine camping site and listen to the campfire tales of Soputan Volcano.
Temperatures are almost constant hot year round. It does get chilly at night though, so do take your sweater and sleeping bag. The driest months in North Sulawesi are June through October, so the hike would be most pleasant and the chance of a cloud free summit the highest then.
Remember that Soputan is an active volcano, so it only makes sense to inquire about its current level of activity before you leave. In the case of a recent eruption without rain since, the forest close to the mountain may be difficult to traverse due to layers of ash and consequently small fallen trees. In case of an ongoing small eruption, it is still possible to go slightly past the campground and view the mountain across the valley, but climbing it would obviously not be a good idea.