Ascent of Ili Boleng on 2010-08-05

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Daniel Quinn
Adrian Rayner
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Thursday, August 5, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Ili Boleng
    Elevation:5440 ft / 1658 m

Ascent Trip Report

After climbing Ili Labalekang on Lembata the previous day, we caught the midday ferry from Lewoloba to Waiwerang on Adonara. We had previously been given details of "Pak Laurens" who was to arrange transport and mountain guide services, and were pleased to see him waiting for us. We were less pleased that the vehicle was an open pick-up type: we were sat on the back on full display and were hassled mercilessly by (mostly) young lads. Throughout Indonesia the visitor gets used to being subjected to a chorus of "Hello Mister" but we found it particularly obtrusive on Adonara.

Tim Hannigan's info on mentions 2 losmens (basic accommodations) of which Hotel Asri was the least-worst. We stayed there and it is basically clean, with a ceiling fan but (obviously) no aircon. We walked a few hundred m N then E to find an equally basic restaurant (decent food).

We'd arranged to be picked up from the Asri at 05:00 aiming to start hiking at 06:00. Again from Tim H's info, we had expected to climb from the nearest trailhead, the village of Lamolota on the W slopes of the mountain. However we were taken round to the far (E) side of the mountain and at 6 a.m. we started to drive up a rough track. However our vehicle had low ground clearence and made extremely slow progress and was unlikely to reach anything resembling a high trailhead. We told our clowns to turn round and take us to Lamolota. We were told there had been a death in the village hence this wasn't an option; instead they took us to Watololon on the N side of the mountain, reached by a narrow but good tarmac road, with parking by the church at S8.31377 E123.25206, 361m (GPSr). A surreal phone conversation ensued during which our Fixer's mate was requested to drive round (from presumably some village on the E slopes) to Watololo and he tried to persude us to try (again) to drive to his trailhead on the E side. Dan was having none of it and eventually commonsense prevailed and a local (Watololo) guide named Filipe was tracked down (he seemed to live at S8.31441 E123.25217 or at least that is where we met him - just round the corner from the trailhead). We started hiking just after 07:00. By this stage we were only mildly surprised to see our guide carrying a rifle as well as the usual machete and a water bottle.

From the 360m North trailhead the route exits the E side of a courtyard (where we met the guide) then turns S, through palm forest, up a shallow rocky ravine, then follows a stony ridge (fairly recently burnt hence relatively vegetation free albeit trackless) to reach the crater rim at 1437m (09:46). Here we turned R and made an anticlockwise circuit although agree with TimH that a clockwise circuit would be easier as the short section of rocky scrambling would be taken in ascent. The crater is rather fine, approx 500m across, maybe 150m deep, currently dormant. The circuit is on a path apart from the upper part which is grassy.

The summit is grassy with a small cairn and a fairly battered trig block (1658m GPSr - close to the expected value for once). Recorded co-ords at summit were S8.34616 E123.25576. There is a lower grassy summit (1608m, P10m), to the N (S8.34367 E123.25522) which we crossed on the way down.

Our guide didn't do the circuit but met us on the steep scrambly part of our descent to ensure we found the safe route. It was fun watching the guide's dogs find their way down - no fun head-first I imagine). A friend of his had also come up, bringing a basket of large tasty bananas for our lunch. Both men had brought several dogs and these together with the feral goats and wild horses represented quite a menagerie! Filipe had also mentioned there would be fresh coconut on the descent, and he did not disappoint. Lower down he stopped at the foot of a palm, took off his shoes and nimbly scaled the 10m trunk (using only a set of pre-cut shallow footholds, no rope) cut down some coconuts, cut holes into the sides for us to drink from them, then cut the husks in half, fashioning a neat spoon from part of the husk so that we could eat the flesh of the cocunuts. Very skilful, tasty and very welcome after a hot thirsty climb!

We thought we would be too late for the ferry back to Flores and had resigned ourselves to chartering a boat later in the afternoon. However we were pleasantly surprised on arriving at Waiwerang just before 3pm to find there was a ferry just about to leave for Larantuka - excellent!

We were reunited with our Flores driver-fixer Patris at 16:30. He had been tasked with finding a trail and/or guide for Ili Mandiri for the next day, but as he'd drawn a blank at all the hotels we decided to drive back west to Maumere and try for Gunung Egon the next day.

For overall trip details see
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4322 ft / 1317 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4322 ft / 1317 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Grade/Class:YDS 3
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4289 ft / 1307 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4256 ft / 1298 m; Extra: 33 ft / 10m
    Loss on way in:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:North face
    Start Trailhead:Watololon  1184 ft / 360 m
    Time:3 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4289 ft / 1307 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4256 ft / 1298 m; Extra: 33 ft / 10m
    Gain on way out:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Route:North face
    End Trailhead:Watololon  1184 ft / 360 m
    Time:3 Hours 35 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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