OverviewGunung Klabat, a stratovolcano, is the highest mountain in the region. It dominates the northernmost part of North Sulawesi. It offers great views of the beautiful Minahasa area, of the cities of Manado and Bitung, of Tongkoko (Tangkoko), Mahawu, Lokon and Soputan volcanoes, of Lake Tondano, Tangkoko National Park, Lembeh Strait, and the seas and islands around the northern tip of the peninsula. The ascent is not difficult but somewhat strenuous due to the conditions in the rain forest. The mountain is not climbed by many people. I didn't see the trek advertised anywhere.
Getting ThereThe starting point of the climb is the small town of Airmadidi on the main road from Manado to Bitung.
The nearest international airport is Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado. There are flights to Manado from Makassar, Jakarta and Singapore. Accomodation can be found easily in Manado. Take a bus or minibus (called microlet) to Airmadidi from Paal Dua Terminal in the east of Manado. The ride takes 30 to 60 minutes.
RouteThe starting point is Airmadidi at an altitude of 572 m. From the police station in the town, follow the path which leads along fields towards the mountain. After half an hour, the actual trail branches off to the left. There is a signpost. The ascent leads through rain forest. The trail looks in part more like the bed of a narrow stream (and turns into a stream when it rains heavily). It can be very slippery. There are many steps over roots, and tree trunks lie across the path. The upper half of the trail is quite steep. As you may want to use your hands, gloves might come in handy, because there are leeches. About half an hour before you reach the top, there is a flat open area where you can put up a tent and spend the night. There is a small stream nearby where you can get drinking-water. The summit is covered with high grass, bushes, and trees, but you will find lookout points.
You can set out in the morning, stay overnight at the camp below the summit, and walk up to the summit the next morning. Make sure you arrive there before sunrise, not only to experience a beautiful sunrise but also to have the best chance of getting a clear view. Later the view is generally soon blocked by clouds coming up from the rain forest. The ascent from Airmadidi to the top takes 6 hours. The difference in altitude is 1,423 m.
CampingThere are no huts. On the route there are 2 or 3 shelters (called pos), i.e. simple wooden platforms on stilts, with a roof. Half an hour before you reach the top there is a flat open area where you can pitch camp. There is a small stream nearby where you can get drinking-water.
Red TapeI have read that you are supposed to report to the police station in Airmadidi and get a ticket. (I didn't know and so didn't do so.)
When To ClimbJune - October
Climb Klabat when Lokon or Soputan is erupting!
Mountain ConditionsNo verified historical eruptions have occurred. A report of an eruption in 1683 probably was from nearby Tongkoko (Tangkoko) volcano.
External LinksGlobal Volcanism Program
By the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Noord-Sulawesi - Gunung Klabat
Description of the route in Dutch
You may also be interested in climbing Mt. Sirung on Pantar Island.