Mt. Rantemario / Mt. Latimojong
Rantemario is the highest mountain of Sulawesi, yet quite unknown and rarely hiked. And the access of the hiking starting point is quite difficult. After several research and discussion with local people in Toraja and Enrekang, I understood that it will be quite difficult to access by my own. If not joining a group, most of them starting from Makassar in south Sulawesi, it will be best to use a local driver with scooter to access the mountain.
I was lucky that two young man from Enrekang area wanted to join the hike and arranged the transportation for me.
It is already an adventure to go to Karangan village, where the hiking trail starts.
From Enrekang area, it usually will take about 1.5-2 hours by scooter – which is the best way to access. The road leads up to the mountain range and then enters a long mountain valley. It passes small villages with houses attached to the steep mountain slope. The farmers grow various vegetables including the delicious small red onion and tomato. The road is a single track road, sometimes gravel or mud. The scooters just find their way, for car a 4 wheel drive model is absolutely necessary but still it will be difficult to pass and will require definitely much more time.
We reach Karangan village and after registration we continued for a couple of minutes by scooter up to the mountain, passing coffee plantations and farmland. My right hands finger already had a blister from holding myself on the scooter while passing the rough and steep road. Finally we stopped in the middle of a large coffee plantation from where we needed to walk.
The hike started at about 1.600 m and after passing coffee plantations we entered the forest. From there it went a bit up, then down and followed upstream through a valley, until we reached Pos 2. We crossed a small river and had lunch below a huge rock. For lunch – rice with noodles.
After the break the trail became steep and muddy – until Pos 3. It is rocky and a bit easy climbing required. Would be good to provide some ropes in that passage.
From Pos 3 the trail continued through green jungle up to Pos 4, then to Pos 5.
At each Pos we took a short rest, drank a bit water and ate a small snack, cracker or local-snack made from peanuts with brown suggar.
From Pos 5 the forest became different – the trees smaller and covered with lots of green lichen.
We reached Pos 6 when it started to rain. Just in time we put on our rain-clothes – before it started pouring down. And the rain forest became a real rain forest!
Another steep part around Pos 7 had to be passed, then the trail became smoother and followed the mountain ridge.
Mt. Lantemario is the highest peak on that ridge. When we reached it, it was almost dark and we quickly set up our tents a couple of meters below the peak. For dinner we had rice with noodels and chocolate-snacks. Me- I was done and so tired, that I quickly sneaked into my tent and the warm sleeping bag.
The night was chilly and I guess, most of the other hikers – about three groups of young boys and girls – did not sleep at all. Funny they listened and sang old Keronchong – traditional Indonesian songs – all night long. Maybe to fight the cold…
The night was cloudy – no stars.
In the morning the sun broke through the high clouds – but there was another layer of thick clouds below the mountain ridge, covering the valleys from here up to Toraja. Rantemario mountain ridge also had its own clouds, coming from west and trying to slip over the ridge towards the east.
A fascinating scenery to watch.
After having breakfast, rice with noodle – we started descending. It was not to hot, we took some water at Pos 7, next water spot was at Pos 2 where we also had our lunch. It started to rain a bit and we sat together with other hikers below a huge rock near the river.
The rain wasn’t strong and soon stopped, we continued and reached the coffee plantation area and finally the hiking starting point. But the scooter driver was not there yet. Waiting for our driver, we had another porting noodles, but then decided to continued walking back to the village.
And there our driver was waiting – there was a misunderstanding about the pickup point 😊.
Tidak apa-apa, still able to walk 🙂 and enjoying the beautiful valley with coffee plants and clear, refreshing water streams.
Driving back through the valley during sunset time, we saw the farmers processing coffee in front of their houses and kids playing soccer in the villages. It became dark and we had a short rest and refreshment on the way before we finally reached the hotel at Enrekang just before 8:00 pm.
Pos 1: Coffee plantation 9:40 am 1.600m
Pos 2: Rock near river: 11:00 am 1.740m
Pos 3: no data, just passed 😉
Pos 4: Campside 13:30 pm 2.303m
Pos 5 – 7: no data, just passed 😉
Pos 8: Peak 18:10 pm 3.478m