// Moncong Lompobatang

Facts

Elevation: 2,874 m (9,429 ft) Prominence: 2,856 m
Ribu category: Google MarkerTinggi Sedang Province: Sulawesi Selatan (South Sulawesi)
Google Earth: kml Other names: Lompobattang
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Photos

Moncong LompobatangNext »
Moncong Lompobatang seen in the early morning from the strawberry fields near Malino (Dan Quinn, August 2013)Moncong Lompobatang seen in the early morning from the strawberry fields near Malino (Dan Quinn, August 2013)
Moncong Lompobatang seen in the early morning from the strawberry fields near Malino (Dan Quinn, August 2013)
Moncong Lompobatang seen in the early morning from the strawberry fields near Malino (Dan Quinn, August 2013)Moncong Lompobatang seen in the early morning from the strawberry fields near Malino (Dan Quinn, August 2013)
Moncong Lompobatang seen in the early morning from the strawberry fields near Malino (Dan Quinn, August 2013)
A view from the ridges of Moncong Lompobatang (Heinz von Holzen, July 2011)A view from the ridges of Moncong Lompobatang (Heinz von Holzen, July 2011)
A view from the ridges of Moncong Lompobatang (Heinz von Holzen, July 2011)
The guide admires the view from the ridges of Moncong Lompobatang (Heinz von Holzen, July 2011)The guide admires the view from the ridges of Moncong Lompobatang (Heinz von Holzen, July 2011)
The guide admires the view from the ridges of Moncong Lompobatang (Heinz von Holzen, July 2011)

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Bagging It!

This Ribu is the second most prominent peak in Sulawesi (after Rantemario). It was first climbed in 1840 by James Brooke, an Englishman who later became Raja of Sarawak. It must have been a major expedition to reach the summit in those days but now it is a popular and frequently climbed mountain that could even theoretically be done as a long day hike.

The mountain range actually consists of two major mountains – Lompobatang (2,874m, also spelt with two ‘t’s) and the more northerly and slightly lower Bawakaraeng (2,830m). Because of the proximity of the mountains to the bustling city of Makassar both peaks are climbed by student hikers almost every weekend. Some of the really adventurous hikers actually climb both in one trip, although this requires a minimum of four days and usually five. According the local legends, Lompobatang has female characteristics and Bawakaraeng has male characteristics, the latter being more cruel than the former in terms of how many hikers have perished on its slopes.

There are two main access routes to the range. The southern approach which is used for Lompobatang starts from Lembang Bu’ne village near Malakaji to the southwest of the mountain. The other approach is from Lembanna near the popular hill resort town of Malino which lies to the north of the mountain and is used by hikers wishing to climb Bawakaraeng. Since Malino is only 2 hours from Makassar it is considerably more popular than Lompobatang but both mountains are fabulous in their own right and if you have sufficient time a traverse of the range would provide a truly memorable experience.

The starting points for both mountains are relatively high up yet both treks are substantial and involve some occasionally tricky terrain. It is rare – though not impossible – for hikers to climb and descend either mountain in a single day. For example, Lompobatang would require 10 or 11 hours from reasonably strong hikers for a return trip. The following is a report for Lompobatang, the higher mountain of the two – and therefore the Ribu.

To reach Malakaji from Makassar, follow the main road south to Jeneponto. From Jeneponto take a left turn onto a narrower road which twists and turns for 40km up through villages to the south west of the mountain. Finally you will reach Malakaji, which is the last place to buy supplies of any note. This hilly area of South Sulawesi is well-known for passion fruit (markisa). It is a further 8km up to Lembang Bu’ne where you turn up a stone track for a further 3 or 4 km to reach the Parambintolo basecamp (1,610m). Most ordinary cars can manage this no problem but it is rather bumpy.

From the basecamp, follow the stony track up the hill for a couple of hundred metres before following a small path down to the left behind a village house. The path leads to a couple of stone walls separating farm fields and these can be ascended easily. There are some arrows pointing the way, so you shouldn’t have much difficulty finding the way during daylight hours. Soon you will have reached a sign by a river, which is Pos 1 (1,681m). This is the most reliable source of water before Pos 9 so fill your bottles here if you need to. From Pos 1 it takes about 30 minutes along a rather overgrown trail to Pos 2 (1,821m) which is by a small mountain stream. After Pos 2, the trail enters dense forest and the views become much more limited. It takes about 30 minutes to reach Pos 3 (2,018m) and a further 30 minutes to Pos 4 (2,251m) which is a nice opening large enough for 2 or 3 tents. It can get very windy here though so be warned. The density of the trees lessens from this point on and allow views of distant ridges. Pos 5 (2,373) is the best place to camp within the forest, with enough space for 4 or 5 tents.

Beyond Pos 5 is an area inhabited by ‘babi hutan’ (wild pigs) and although you are likely to hear some if you camp here you will probably not see them. Pos 6 (2,531m) is the last forest post and the trail gets progressively more interesting and challenging from this point on. Pos 7 (2,679m) is a minor peak in its own right and in clear weather you should be able to see the fabulous narrow ridges ahead coated in low bushes and occasional Edelweiss. Many of the low growing trees are covered in a moss that is boiled by local people for the treatment of asthma. Directly after Pos 7, the trail descends quite steeply before climbing again to Pos 8 (2,727m). This ‘land bridge’ section between Pos 7 and 8 is rather dangerous at times and requires you to use your hands, especially in inclement weather when the rocks could be slippery. The views in fine weather are stunning. Finally you will reach Pos 9 (2,754m) which is a huge boulder with some overhang offering some shelter. This is also the best camping area on this side of the mountain because, although there is only enough space for 4 or 5 tents, the views are tremendous and it is less than 30 minutes from here to the trig pillar otherwise known as Pos 10 (2,874m). There is also a water source 200 metres downhill.

The section between Pos 9 and 10 is in places the most technical and dangerous. You need to be reasonably good at rock scrambling. The trail leads up to the right of the huge boulder and then onto a very narrow ridge. One section of the ridge is blocked with a rock formation that you must take extra care clambering over.

The true peak (2,874 metres above sea level) of the mountain range is crowned with a triangulation pillar, a boulder with names written into it by previous hikers and a small antenna compound. This is the usual destination of most hikers who enjoy the view, take some photos by the pillar and slowly begin the return journey to Lembang Bu’ne. But a further kilometre north lies Puncak Kohbang / Ko’bang which is the alleged site of the tomb of the King of Gowa. It is a place of pilgrimage for local people and indeed the whole mountain range is highly spiritually significant – there are numerous mystical stories and superstitious advice connected to the area. Puncak Kohbang is actually 2,870m – just 4 metres below the true summit – and is a grand viewpoint down to the valley between Lompobatang and Bawakaraeng.

For hikers wishing to cross (lintas) the entire range, the trail beyond Puncak Kohbang leads down into Lembah Karisma (Charisma Valley, named after the Makassar hiking group that opened the route in 1987). At this point the terrain becomes very steep and difficult, taking about 7 hours to reach the valley (2,236m, Pos 15). Most hiking groups spend one night in the valley where there is ample space to camp and also water sources. From this point, the Pos numbers descend from 15 back to Pos 1 near the trailhead for Bawakaraeng at Lembanna. After having spent a night in Charisma Valley, the following day hikers start the ascent up to the peak of Gunung Bawakaraeng – apparently this requires the best part of a day too. Reports from hiking clubs who have completed this trip say that there are rocks on this section of the expedition that contain metal that can render compasses useless. There is also a tricky rock section where only one person can pass through at a time. After a third night on the mountain range, in the large field near Bawakaraeng summit, they slowly descend to Lembanna and take public transport or ojeks back to Malino and then home to Makassar.

Bagging information provided by Daniel Quinn

Practicalities

Getting there For Lompobatang, follow the main road south of Makassar towards Talakar and on to Jeneponto where you take a left turn for the 40km to Malakaji. From Malakaji it is about 12 kilometres to the basecamp at Lembang Bu’ne (4 hours total from Makassar). For Gunung Bawakaraeng, simply follow the signs from Makassar to Malino (2 hours).
Accommodation Plenty of options in Makassar. For hikers climbing Bawakaraeng there are several hotels in Malino.
Permits Not required at present – take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase.
Water sources For the hike to Lompobatang, water is available at Pos 1, 2 and near Pos 9.
Recommended Hotel:
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm): makassar

Location

Origins and Meaning

‘Moncong Lompobatang’ means ‘Big Belly Mountain’ in Makassarese (Anthony Jukes, 2011)

Links and References

Wikipedia Indonesia

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Trip Reports and Comments

11 entries for “Moncong Lompobatang”

  1. avatar

    Does anyone know if there are any species of Duck native to the area?

    Ada sesiapa yang tau kalau ada spesies Itik/Bebek yang asli di tempat Moncong Lompobatang?

    Posted by Apache | July 14, 2010, 04:04
  2. avatar

    A fantastic and detailed write-up by Heinz von Holzen is here….
    http://indovolcano.com/mount-moncong-lompobatang-sulawesi.php

    Posted by Dan | July 13, 2011, 07:04
  3. avatar

    I had been planning to make a traverse of Lompobatang and Bawakaraeng this coming (long) weekend. Despite being less than 4km apart, it turns out that one day is not enough to get from the summit of Lompobatang to the summit of Bawakaraeng, such is the steepness and difficulty of the terrain. So it’s a 4 day trip to do Malakaji-Lompobatang-Bawakaraeng-Malino, more time than I have so I’ll have to save the slightly lower Bawakaraeng for another time. Interestingly, the traverse route (lintas Lompobatang-Bawakaraeng) was pioneered in 1987 by by an Indonesian hiking club called Karisma. The valley between the two peaks is know know as Lembah Karisma (Charisma Valley) and there are two small rivers there.
    I hope to write a full report on my return from Lompobatang next week…

    Posted by Dan | September 6, 2011, 07:26
  4. avatar

    This beast has been on my list for quite some time and I finally climbed it last weekend. Not having enough time for a traverse of Lompobatang and Bawakaraeng (you need 4 days) I obviously decided to go for the higher of the two, Lompobatang. Heinz and Roman did this just a few months ago so I had their trip report to help me prepare. In addition, I got in touch with a fabulous man called Dodo who lives in Makassar and is a legend to many foreigners who have passed through the city. I urge you to get in touch with him if you visit Makassar and are in need of help to arrange things – you couldn’t find a more generous, amusing and energetic man! His blog is Dodopenman.blogspot.com
    He picked me up at the airport and we headed off for a local ginger drink – Sarabba. Dodo put me in touch with a group of student hikers ( see http://www.mahesa.or.id ) who had been up Lompobatang a couple of times. A great bunch – one of them, Dede, had recently cycled all the way from Makassar to Manado (it took 1 month)!
    The following morning we set off on the 4 hour journey to Lembang Bu’ne. I originally suggested that we could just climb at night in time for dawn at the summit and then back down again the next morning, therefore removing the need for tents etc. However, the boys obviously wanted some quality time lounging around in the forest eating endless indomies (instant noodles). So after leaving behind some basic gifts and praying for a safe trip we left the basecamp (basically the house of the village head) at around 7pm on the Saturday evening.
    By Pos 3 a couple of the hikers were having real trouble and it was decided that we would camp at Pos 5 and set off to the summit at 3am. The night brought moderate winds and light rain so nobody except me wanted to leave the camp until first light. In fact, only 3 of us did. It was still grey at 6am and I think the others wondered why I even wanted to bother given that the view would be very much limited. Indeed, my photos do not do justice to this mountain at all. In fine weather it must be one of the top mountains in Sulawesi. Despite the weather, the terrain beyond Pos 7 was an absolute joy to negotiate – narrow ridges, occasional Edelweiss bushes, steep rocky terrain, lonely slabs of rock seemingly randomly positioned by the side of the trail. There were a few nice moments when the clouds parted to allow a glimpse of the ridge we were on – but overall we were rather unlucky. By Pos 9, the chaps decided it was time for more noodles and coffee and we sheltered under the huge rock cliff. I waited…and waited…. finally Dede (he who cycled all the way to Manado earlier this year) said he would come with me whilst Rio stayed behind for some more rest. The last section was even more fun (and also more dangerous) than any other part of the trail and you really have to be happy doing a bit of minor scrambling for one section over a narrow ridge of rock.
    My GPS said we had over 1km still to go before the highest point but suddenly the cement trig pillar appeared before us, along with a rock on which are carved the names of many hikers who have celebrated reaching this peak. I couldn’t see ‘James Brooke’. There’s also a sign in the trees proclaiming this peak to be Pos X (10) – the true top. My GPS gave 2878m which is about right for a mountain with an official published elevation of 2874m. I had a quick look at the nearby rusty transmitter compound and checked that the trail really did only go down. It was too grey to see very far but this was definitely a major top. Only thing was, my GPS was telling me the real peak was over 1km away towards Bawakaraeng. Very odd. I asked Dede and he said the trail just leads down towards the valley (Lembah Karisma) between Lompobatang and Bawakaraeng and that the trig pillar is the true summit. This ties in with all of the pictures I have seen online of other hikers and there is no mention of a peak higher than the one with the summit pillar.
    SRTM /and Google Earth errors are not uncommon, especially in steep terrain e.g narrow ridges. Having gotten a GPS elevation reading of above the published height I reluctantly decided not to completely test the patience of the now rather wet students by insisting we continue even further beyond what any normal person would call the ‘summit’. So me and Dede returned to Pos 9 and found Rio half asleep in the semi-cave beneath the huge rock. We then had a rather uneventful trip back down to Pos 5 and then back down to the village and home. Dodo was, of course, waiting for us with some food and magic tricks!
    The following day me , Dodo and Iren (a dental student from Toraja) went to a Muslim children’s party and listened to some dangdut music. Dodo sang a song about a sakit hati (heart ache) being better than sakit gigi (toothache). Later I enjoyed a ride in one of those mad motorized becaks (‘bentor’). It was a hilarious experience but I couldn’t stop thinking about whether or not I had bagged the true peak! Strangely, one of the computers at Makssar airport had Google Earth installed on it so I had a quick check. SRTM data (including elevation data on Google Earth) is generally always a bit wrong (generally 15 m minimum lower than the true height of a mountain, but this can increase in areas of steep terrain). The trig pillar summit I had visited was 2878m on GPS yet about 100 metres below that on Google Earth. The highpoint on Google Earth (1km further to the NW) has an elevation of about 2840m.
    This obviously called for a second, definitive opintion – the topographical map of the area from Bakosurtanal. The following day I managed to get hold of sheet 2010-62 (Malakaji) Scale 1: 50000. The trig pillar summit is 2874m. The NW peak (un-named on the Bako map but known to local hikers as Puncak Ko’bang / Kohbang) is 4 metres lower at 2870m! So we had reached the highpoint and Google Earth data is wrong (mainly because of the steepness and narrowness of the summit peak). I’m sure a trip to the NW peak is worthwhile in good weather though, because from there you would be able to see the valley separating Lompobatang from Bawakaraeng.
    Ultimately, the poor weather on Lompobatang has given me an extra incentive to head back to the area and climb Bawakaraeng next year sometime. Better luck for other hikers for this mountain range is truly excellent.

    Posted by Dan | September 15, 2011, 15:11
  5. avatar

    are there any photos?
    could you please send it in my email ???

    you can also go up there through Bantaeng but take a little longer
    with views that are not less good with the other pathways

    Posted by madityo | January 24, 2012, 14:34
  6. avatar

    Is it possible to hike G Lompobattang starting from Malino?

    Posted by Handjono | February 25, 2012, 20:52
  7. avatar

    Finally after 4 rough days, we succeed to traverse the Kharisma valley from Bawakaraeng to Lompobattang… Such a wild, wild jungle, huge valley, and adventurous trek. We enjoyed the obstacles with all the difficulties and pains.. Daniel, could i make the report for Bawakaraeng? We discovered (when we stayed in basecamp in Parang Bintolo village) that mostly people start the traverse from Lompobattang instead of Bawakaraeng like we did. Difficulty level, both mountains are the same, the steep, trek and duration (6 hours from Bwkaraeng to Kharisma and 6hours from kharisma to Lompobattang)

    A must try double summits of Sulawesi

    Posted by Gita | August 27, 2012, 15:11
  8. avatar

    Yess.. check out my google+ i’ll upload it soon

    Posted by Gita | August 27, 2012, 17:52
  9. avatar

    Mr. Dan, may i have your GPS tracks/waypoints during your travel from Makassar to Malakaji village?

    There are no roads to reach that village in my GPS’s map, so it would be very helpfull if i had your GPS tracks/waypoints from Makassar to Malakaji village.

    Thanks Mr. Dan

    Posted by Ahmad | June 8, 2013, 23:39

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