Ascent of Egon on 2010-08-06
|Others in Party:||Daniel Quinn|
----Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Friday, August 6, 2010|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||Car|
| Elevation:||5604 ft / 1708 m|
Ascent Trip ReportThis active volcano is often visited (as far as the crater rim) but rarely summitted - quite hard scrambling on unstable ground. Prominence 1321m according to gunungbagging.com
We climbed Egon the day after Boleng. We had stayed overnight at Maumere Sao Resort hotel and left after breakfast (a local guide met us at the hotel). Approx 15km E of Maumere on the main Larantuka road is a small turning south (coords tbc) towards a village. This leads upwards for 8.5km towards a village (we didn't get the name). The trail head is a narrow path on the L (E) side of the road (S8.66401 E122.44224, 786m) - you would need a guide or a GPS waypoint to find it. Drive time was 1h from Maumere.
We started hiking at 08:30 - it was sunny and already quite hot. The trail heads straight towards the mountain, through open woodland with some shade. The trail steepens, climbing in zigzags, eventually leaving the forest at 1300m. Higher up, the trail runs out (having been destroyed by a recent eruption) and the remaining short climb to the first ridge is loose, steep and a little scrambly. The ridge is crossed at 1550m, then a gentle traverse across loose sandy ground leads to the crater rim at 1600m. The crater is impressive with a noisy active fumarole and a lovely blue crater lake. There are sevaral summits around the crater rim but the highest is up to the right (N), up a steep uninviting slope. The guide tells us there is no way up and that we are not to attempt the climb but we are undeterred. The steep narrow ridge is consolidated mud, slightly soft and a little slippery. A 5m step bars the way, composed of mud and soft rock. I gingerly scramble up, taking great care not to pull on any hold (a fall here would be very serious). Dan and Adrian decide to descend. Above this step the narrow ridge continues a short way, then there is a less difficult step before the W end of the summit ridge is reached. From here it is an easy walk to the summit (10:50), marked with a few large rocks (S8.67547 E122.45430 GPSr) The GPS here reads 1701m, close to the expected value of 1703m. A few metres E is a slightly lower top (S8.67560 E122.45460). The GPSr here reads 1707m so I return to the summit which now reads 1710m, having now settled. I take in the view of the crater and surrounding forest, seeing the others at the saddle 100m below. There is too much cloud for a distant view but I see the coast and a few surrounding hills.
I don't fancy descending the slippery S ridge if it can be avoided, so decide to continue clockwise (E) around the crater rim. There is a steep descent to a saddle, easy at first on good rock but the way is then barred by a 5m drop, fairly vertical. I descend steep slopes to the left (N), taking great care as the ground is loose and the rock soft - again it is important not to pull outwards on any holds. The saddle is an arete, 1 foot wide and 2m long, composed of consolidated mud - care needed - luckily it doesn't collapse! Once across this a steepish, loose but easy slope leads to another lower summit. The rest of the crater circuit is a walk, with some minor scrambling at one point. The views down to the crater lake and across to the main summit are superb, and change with every viewpoint - recommended even if you don't summit. two summits lie just off the main crater rim, approx 20m lower than the main summit. I didn't visit them.
I rejoined the others about 1 hour after leaving them. The guide was happy (relieved!) to see me back intact and said only one previous client of his had made the climb - a Dutchman(!). Dan recalled a German (with Alpine experience) who had also been up.
On the way down we stopped at a small clearing at 1157m where there was a plate with a few Rupiah notes. The guide left some Rupiah to placate the volcano; I was happy to do the same - more to placate the guide! We were back at the trailhead at 13:10.
We enjoyed a lazy afternoon back at Sao Resort before beginning the homeward flight the next day via Bali.
With experience of "chossy" climbs in the Alps on loose/bad rock you would handle this climb OK. Ice axe and crampons (?!) might make the south ridge easier (and would confuse the airport staff!); alternatively consider an anticlockwise circuit with perhaps a few slings and/or rope to protect the descent back to the saddle E of the summit. It's a great summit - well worth doing.
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||3123 ft / 951 m|
| Total Elevation Loss:||3123 ft / 951 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||3.7 mi / 6 km|
| Grade/Class:||YDS 3+|
| Quality:||10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Unmaintained Trail, Exposed Scramble|
| Gear Used:||Guide|
| Weather:||Hot, Breezy, Partly Cloudy|
| Gain on way in:||3025 ft / 922 m|
| Distance:||1.6 mi / 2.5 km|
| Route:||NW face, S ridge|
| Start Trailhead:||minor road NW of summit 2579 ft / 786 m|
| Time:||2 Hours 40 Minutes|
| Loss on way out:||3123 ft / 951 m|
| Loss Breakdown:||Net: 3025 ft / 922 m; Extra: 98 ft / 29m|
| Gain on way out:||98 ft / 29 m|
| Distance:||2.2 mi / 3.5 km|
| Route:||NW face, S ridge|
| End Trailhead:||minor road NW of summit 2579 ft / 786 m|
| Time:||2 Hours 20 Minutes|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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