|Elevation:||2,367 m (7,766 ft)||Prominence:||2,367 m|
|Ribu category:||Tinggi Sedang||Province:||Nusa Tenggara Timur|
|Google Earth:||kml||Other names:|
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This Ribu is the highest peak on the island of Flores (closely followed by Gunung Inerie). Many other sites incorrectly list Poco Mandasawu as the highest but this is not the case – Mandasawu lies several kilometres to the east and is more than 150 metres lower in elevation. Poco Ngandonalu is very much a peak-bagger’s mountain as although it takes only 3 hours to reach the summit there are very few views from the top and very few people have even heard of the mountain let alone climbed it!
The best approach to the summit is from the southern edge of the large town of Ruteng. There is a right-angle right turn on the narrow road north of the mountain near the Polres Manggarai building. Straight ahead is a wide farm track leading up the hillside and also a left turn along a rough but driveable tarmac road towards an isolated gated house called Villa Ria 1km away which is known well by local people.
The mountain can be climbed from near Villa Ria (1,406m) or straight up the hillside starting on the muddly farm track (1,373m). The latter begins well and curves left before becoming more vague but following a plastic water pipe up the forested hillside. A small river is crossed (1,626m) before a left turn is needed, following another plastic water pipe rising up steep seemingly pathless hillside – requiring some basic scrambling – before the much better path leading up from near Villa Ria is reached! Stay right and make use of your GPS above 1,800m where the trail is not of much use in reaching the very top.
The route all the way from Villa Ria is a lot easier to follow but is steep, muddy and potentially very slippery after rainfall on the lower sections. Both routes are less hiking trails, more woodcutter’s occasionally used paths which seem to vanish and re-appear – especially on the route following the water pipe! There are many piles of wood chippings made by the local loggers. Whichever route you choose, a GPS is more or less essential as there is no trail at the very top and you must bash your way through steep, occasionally dense forest to find the flattish, rarely-visited, unmarked and somewhat undistinguished highest point of Flores island. On the plus side, there are some excellent species of birds living in the forest here and their calls are truly beautiful and peculiar.
Bagging information by Daniel Quinn