Adventure in Burni Kelieten, the tallest peak in Central Aceh

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Burni Klieten has a captivating natural beauty with a panorama of mountains and a fresh water lake which can be seen from the mountain top. (photo: IO/Mahra Yuni)

IO – Burni kelieten is a mountain that has an altitude of 2,930 meters above sea level (masl). This mountain is located in the sub-district of Bintang regency, Central Aceh of Aceh Province. If you look from the top, you can see the tourist area in Takengon, especially the fresh Lut lake. Central Aceh is the dominant area occupied by the Gayo tribe, where Burni Kelieten comes from Gayo Language, “burni” which means this mountain, while “kelieten” means visible if interpreted as a whole it means the visible mountain. Burni kelieten is a habitat for various species of orchid plants. As nature lovers, tourists can only enjoy the beauty of the plant and may not pluck it. In addition, there are also mountain flowers that have a variety of colors as well as semar plants.

On the Peak of Burni Kelieten there are pillars built by the Dutch army, but the pillar is no longer there now, it has been dismantled by irresponsible individuals. Burni kelieten saves a very stunning natural beauty with panoramic views of the mountains and fresh Lut lake. Climbing to reach the top of the Mount Burni Kelieten takes hours, with tracks that are mostly uphill and have a lot of up and down three mountains to get to the top of the Kelieten Burni.

There are 11 people who climbed along with me, consisting of 3 women and 8 men. Before starting the climb we had to ask permission from the locals. Arriving there we were given the mandate not to be too cheerful on the way. One resident said that there was a ‘Manti’ where the climbers had to be careful. Manti is a small living creature, at a glance it looks like the same age as a kindergarten school kid, his height is only about 60 cm, with the appearance of a strange foot shape, legs upside down, the heel is in front, while the toes facing backwards. Gayo people believe this creature occupies the dense forest found on the plateau.

We started climbing 14:30 WIB, we continued the journey to climb, about 10 minutes away the journey still looked lush with pine, as we walked upwards it began to show the dense forest. At 3:00 p.m. it started to rain fell heavily so, we decided to stop around the track. During climbing conditions the track is quite steep, slippery, rocky and many thorns around it.

During tracking there is a lot of leaking and meeting with partridge chickens, because the conditions of the rain fall out a lot. One of us is hit by a dripping bite that goes into his shoe. When the shoes are removed the blood sucking worm seems enlarged because of sucking blood, sticking around my friend’s feet but that did not dampen our intention to reach the top.

We continued our journey to the basecamp, just before night we arrived at the base camp and I was amazed, when I heard the sound of the Maghrib call to prayer echoing in the thick of the forest. We began to set up tents and turn on the fire and meet with some climbers from other regions. This little mountain record is different from the mountain I used to climb, here there are no stops and springs. If you want to climb I suggest physical preparation and climbing equipment.

At 11:00 a.m., we had dinner together with climbers in the cold with a temperature of about 8 degrees Celsius. As it was really cold, I thought simply carrying a sleeping bag was not enough. It is recommended that tourists who want to climb must be equipped with warm clothes or additional jackets to beat the cold. Around 9:00 in the morning we continued the climb by leaving the equipment in the basecamp and only carrying the necessary equipments. The condition of the track to the summit is not too rocky as our previous journey we took was around 2.5 hours to reach the top. When we arrived at the top, the scenery paid off for us with the beauty of nature. On top of the burni kelieten there are no savannas or large trees, uniquely, at the peak of the Kelieten burni there are many pygmy trees unlike the trees that we see in general on other mountain peaks in Indonesia.

After the satisfaction and the sense of victory from the fatigue and fears, we hurried to get down to the basecamp so we would could arrive home before dark. When we arrived at the base camp, we tidied up the equipment that we were going to bring down, and at around 17:30 we started going down. During the trip down I felt this was getting harder, because the condition of the track was getting slippery and rainy but everything paid off when I was above. At 20:30 p.m. we arrived at the countryside, all of us were soaking wet. This was the most enjoyable holiday, I was challenged to be brave in unusual circumstances. If you really like the beauty of nature, it’s good to take time to take a visit Burni Kelieten. (Mahra Yuni)