Mount Agung, Bali’s highest point with 3031m altitude is in eruptions right now. A sacred volcano considered as the home of the gods by the Balinese.
In this article, we will give you the maximum information and links on the ascent of the volcano Agung.
At this moment due to the eruption of Mount Agung, all climbing activity are prohibited and canceled. However an observation of the erupting Agung volcano can be made from some spot.
- 1 8 Things to Know Before Climbing Agung Volcano
- 1.1 How to go to Agung?
- 1.2 When to go to Agung?
- 1.3 Is there an entrance fee and how much?
- 1.4 Where to Sleep?
- 1.5 Where to find guides and porters? Is it necessary to use a guide?
- 1.6 Where to find camping equipment?
- 1.7 What to do around?
- 1.8 Customary rules that you must obey when climbing Mount Agung
- 2 Ascension of Agung Volcano
- 3 Hiking and Trekking of Agung Volcano
- 4 Mount Agung or Gunung Agung
- 5 Eruptions of Agung volcano
- 6 Analysis of monitoring data of Agung volcano (21/11 to 01/12/2017)
8 Things to Know Before Climbing Agung Volcano
How to go to Agung?
To climb to Mount Agung you can choose from 2 available paths, through Pura Pasar Agung or Pura Besakih. Generally, more climbers who choose the path through the Pura Besakih because it is more crowded with a closer distance.
How to go to Pura Besakih (Besakih Temple)?
By Private Car or Motorbike
If you decide to rent a motorbike or car in Bali then you can drive directly to Pura Besakih. Starting from Denpasar, drive east towards Klungkung. From Klungkung drive north while looking at the of traffic signs. After driving for approximately 2 hours from Denpasar and passing the uphill road you will arrive at the Besakih Temple.
By Public Transportation
From the place you stay or from hotels in the Bali, first head to Ubung Bus Station. From there look for a car to Klungkung. From Klungkung station, look for transportation to Besakih Temple. Transportation there is also called a bemo. This Bemo usually does not reach Pura Besakih, but before the road car, order to transfer to the temple. Later the driver will take you to the temple for an additional fee (or you can use ojek).
How to go to Pura Pasar Agung?
There is no public transportation to go to Pura Pasar Agung, so you are advised to use a private car or rent a motorbike in Bali that is easy to find.
You only need to drive towards the direction of Karangasem, then you can see the signs on the road that show directions to Pura Pasar Agung. The trip from Denpasar will take approximately 3 hours drive
When to go to Agung?
It is better to climb the Agung during the dry season (from April to September) and preferably between June and September. The rest of the time the paths can be slippery and dangerous.
Climbing the Agung Volcano is forbidden when there is a ceremony at Besakih Temple (usually most of April) and at Pasar Agung Temple.
In addition, women who have menstruation period should not climb the sacred mountain.
If these bans are broken Balinese believe then that will happen a misfortune to climbers.
Is there an entrance fee and how much?
- Foreign Tourist IDR 100.000/person
- Local Tourist IDR 25.000/person
Where to Sleep?
In Bali the accommodation offer is the best in Indonesia you will find everything for all tastes and all price ranges.
If you make an ascent through the south face of Agung, I recommend the village of Sideman with beautiful accommodations in the middle of rice fields, with a view of the Agung volcano.
If you climb the north face of Agung, the best accommodations are in Amed by the sea.
Where to find guides and porters? Is it necessary to use a guide?
Because Mount Agung is one of the sacred mountains in Bali, it is highly recommended to use the services of a guide. This is also to avoid prohibitions that apply in the area of Mount Agung.
You can find a guide to climb Mount Agung around the foot of the mountain, both from Pasar Agung Temple and Besakih Temple
Where to find camping equipment?
It is strongly recommended to bring your own climbing equipment because it is very difficult (if practically impossible) to get or rent climbing equipment around the base camp of Mount Agung
What to do around?
Bali is a tourist island of Indonesia. I can not give you a complete list of things to do in Bali. But you can do:
- Diving in Amed
- The ascent of Batur volcano
Customary rules that you must obey when climbing Mount Agung
- Maintain cleanliness
- It is prohibited to carry logistics that contain beef
- Do not take water at random
- It should not damage the flora nor disturb the fauna in Mount Agung
- It is forbidden to climb for women who are in their menstrual period
- Maintain the value of decency
- It is forbidden to climb during mourning times
Ascension of Agung Volcano
Several routes lead to the summit of Mount Agung. The two most popular routes start from Besakih temple on the south-west side and Pasar Agung temple on the south side.
Ascension of Agung volcano from Pasar Agung temple
This route requires less walking because a good road north of Selat joins the Pasar Agung temple perched at almost 1500 m on the southern slope. The climb is still very demanding: it goes up constantly and then it comes down just as brutally. You will not be able to go to the highest point and you will not be able to see the south of Bali, but the views are incredible.
Ascension of Agung volcano from Besakih Temple
Pura Besakih, the most sacred temple in Bali, dedicated to the Agung. There are still 19 other temples, which are still used for daily offerings and for important religious ceremonies, spread across the trek to the summit, which speaks volumes about the incredible spiritual significance of the Agung volcano for the Balinese. Much more challenging than the southern route this route requires excellent physical fitness. Count at least 6 hours to climb and 4 to 6 hours to go down.
From the summit, you can contemplate the entire island of Bali, as well as the incredible view of the neighboring islands of Lombok and Nusa Penida.
Hiking and Trekking of Agung Volcano
The highlights of the trip:
Detailed Program and Itinerary
1st Day : Denpasar – Karangasem
Upon arrival at the airport I Gusti Ngurah Rai, you will be met by our guide and transferred to Karangasem. Night at the homestay or guest house.
2nd Day : Karangasem – Sidemen
Breakfast at the homestay or guesthouse. Transfer to the starting point of rafting on the Telaga Waja River (class III-IV rapids it is said to be the longest and wildest rafting in Bali, 12 km). Lunch will be provided at the point of arrival. After lunch, transfer to the village of Sidemen and homestay accommodation for dinner and overnight.
3rd Day : Trekking Mount Agung – Denpasar
Departure for the trek very early via the temple of Pasar Agung. A box of breakfast and a hot drink will be provided. Climbing through the dense jungle and rocky surface to the crater. After sunrise return to Sidemen village for rest and lunch. Transfer to the airport
Mount Agung or Gunung Agung
High and majestic, according to the Indonesian language, the Agung dominates not only the entire Balinese landscape but also the thousands of Hindus who devote him a particular cult. Its crater 800m in diameter is the home of the Gods (according to the Balinese Hinduism) and that is why by climbing it, people must never carry noble materials (gold, silver). On the slopes of this volcanoes was built the most important Balinese temple, the Pura Panataran Agung of Besakih. On the occasion of the centennial ceremony of this temple, in 1963, the sacred mountain was suddenly torn with anger, killing 1148 people. The temple was miraculously spared, lava flows were passed a few dozen meters. Three quarters of Bali were covered with ashes and the high priests had a hard time interpreting this divine warning, especially since the previous disaster had occurred 613 years ago.
Eruptions of Agung volcano
The eruption of Mount Agung is happening right now! The explosive index of this volcano is 5 on a scale that goes up to 8. For comparison the eruption of Mount St. Helens 1980 is ranked 5.
In recent times (March 2018) the eruption has subsided but the Agung volcano still remains very active and alert.
Below is a video taken by a Hindu monk of the erupting volcano Agung
Map of exclusion zones around Agung (probable flow of lava, burning clouds and lahars)
Agung Volcano Activity Report 05 December 2017
Activity level: MAXIMAL
Visual observations of Mount Agung
- The summit of the mountain often seems covered with fog. A high column of low pressure white vapor in the crater of the peak can be observed from the north, northeast, south and southwest slopes at 1000 m.
- rays of incandescent lava at night have been observed. Effusive effusions still occur slowly.
On December 02, there were a number of reports of dead animals in the area 0-5 km from the crater, presumably due to sulfur dioxide poisoning. So it’s a dangerous place.
Earthquake caused by the Agung
- No Harmonic Tremor permanently associated with a fine gray-white vapor for 6 hours.
- Tremor harmonic 1 time.
- low frequency earthquake 18 times.
- Shallow volcanic tremor 2 times.
- Deep volcanic tremor 3 times.
- Local Tectonic Tremor is nil.
Exclusion zone around the volcano
no activity should be done in the Danger Zone:
- Within a radius of 8 km from the summit
- In the south-west, south, south-east, north-east and north sectors up to 10 km from the summit.
Conclusion of the day of 05 dec 2017
The effusive eruption (lava in the crater) continues slowly.
Analysis of monitoring data of Agung volcano (21/11 to 01/12/2017)
Visual observations of Mount Agung eruption
After experiencing a series of volcanic earthquakes in September and October 2017. On November 21, 2017 at 17:05 WITA, an eruption began at Mount Agung, Bali (3031 m altitude). This eruption produced volcanic ash and gas that reached heights of 700 m above the summit. According to the observations of stations of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) station, during the following week, the height of the ash columns increased as follows:
- November 25, 2017, 17:20, 1500 m above the summit.
- November 26 and 27, 2017, 3000 m above the summit.
- November 28, 2017, 4000 m above the summit.
Higher peak altitudes of plumes have sometimes been reported by the Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center because they account for clouds containing ashes drifting downwind of the volcano. The ground observations of the Volcanology Center make it possible to estimate the height of the ash cloud by measuring only the vertically drawn plume that contains ashes (before the ashes are dispersed).
- Then, on November 29, 2017, the height of the ash column decreased to 2000 m above the summit.
These columns of ash were gray in color and produced ashes falling downwind.
Since November 30, 2017 and up to today (December 1, 2017), the column has been observed white and has reached a maximum height of 2000 m above the summit.
From the beginning of the eruption until today, a red glow has been observed from the summit crater of Mount Agung. We attribute the red glow to the presence of high temperature lava in the crater. The red glow of the lava in the crater is reflected on the riser of ash and steam and gives a red color to the bottom of the column of ashes.
Lahars have occurred since the onset of ash eruptions on November 21st. They flowed from the summit along the rivers in the southern sector of the volcano, including Tukad Yehsa, Tukad Sabuh and Tukad Beliaung, as well as in the northern sector, including Tukad Bara. These lahars did not kill. However, the lahars have had an impact on homes, roads and agricultural areas.
Seismic observation of the Agung volcano eruption
The high-frequency volcanic earthquakes continue at Mount Agung, and include shallow (and proximal) and distal earthquakes, although the occurrence rate has decreased from September to October 2017. The The number of volcanic earthquakes is due to the fact that there is now a more open path for the magma to rise to the surface. However, high frequency earthquakes continue to occur and show that the volcano is very active and able to build up pressure to cause ongoing eruptions.
A continuous tremor occurred from November 28, 2017 to today (December 1, 2017). The tremor is the result of eruptions of gas and ash that cross the summit crater.
Low frequency earthquakes have also occurred and are attributed to the movement of magmatic fluids as they rise to the surface and erupt into it.
Deformation of the Agung volcano
GPS network data did not reveal any significant changes until the November 21 and November 25 eruptions. In August and September, there were several centimeters of inflation probably caused by the accumulation of magma under the volcano. In addition, tilt-meter data show inflation before the onset of eruption and deflation during eruption, as is common in other volcanoes.
Agung eruptive material composition
The laboratory analysis of the ash from the initial eruption of November 21, 2017, shows the existence of juvenile fragments (ie, new magma) as well as fragments of old lava from deposits located below the eruptive orifice (vent), such as those formed during the eruption of 1963 and before. Therefore, we conclude that the initial eruption of November 21, 2017 was phreatomagmatic (that is, it occurred when the new magma of 2017 interacted with the groundwater below the crater.
Prior to the November 21, 2017 eruption, CO2 gas was measured at high concentrations by MultiGAS devices piloted with a drone. However, very little SO2 gas was detected until after the November 21, 2017 eruption. SO2 measurements were highest from November 26 to November 27, 2017; the concentration of SO2 has decreased somewhat since then. These data are consistent with the presence of magma rising deep during the long period of seismic disturbances and reaching the summit crater of Mount Agung at the time of the November 21 eruption.
Satellite remote sensing of lava volumes from Agung
Satellite data also indicates that the lava eruption continues in the summit crater. These data have recorded high temperatures corresponding to new lava in the crater on 27, 28 and 29 November 2017. The volume of lava in the crater is currently about 20 million cubic meters, which is equivalent to about a third of the crater’s total volume.
Satellite data recorded a hot zone in the crater on 27, 28 and 29 November 2017 with temperature ranges estimated at around 300 degrees Celsius. For technical reasons, they are considered as minimum temperatures. The lava in the crater is much warmer, probably in the order of 900 to 1200 degrees Celsius, according to the comparison with the lava eruption of Mount Agung in 1963.
Conclusions from the period of 21/11 to 01/12/2017
Based on a multiparameter data analysis and by this date (1 December 2017), we conclude that volcanic activity at Mount Agung is still high. It is an eruption in progress. Therefore, the alert level remains at level IV. It is recommended that the communities around Mount Agung, as well as climbers / visitors / tourists, do not climb or do activities in the danger zone, especially in the area of Mount Agung crater and within 10 km sectors north and northeast and southeast, south and southwest of the crater. An 8 km radius from the summit also applies to all other areas. For more details on hazardous areas, please refer to the map of risk areas around Agung (above). This is a dynamic situation and the nature and extent of the danger zone can be changed at any time.
It is still considered safe for travel to Bali outside the danger zone described above.
Source: Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Geological Agency Center for Volcanology and Geological Risk Mitigation