Flores, Gunung Inerie, Inerie mountain
Mount Inerie is one of the most popular peaks in Flores and its beautiful pyramid shape is clearly visible for many, many miles around. It has not erupted for many centuries but has an incredibly impressive crater. It looks incredibly steep and there is indeed a reasonable amount of volcanic scree to negotiate but if hiking up the conventional route it is reasonably straightforward, although gloves are a very good idea because a slip could lead to cuts and grazes on your hands.
The 2.5 to 4 hour trek to the summit is usually started in Watumeze village (1,100m) which is just 15 to 20 minutes by car from the nearby town of Bajawa. It is a good idea to start this hike early in the morning (leave Bajawa at 5 am, start hiking at around 5:30 to 6 am) because there is no shade on the hike, and sunny weather can make it very hot as you climb the eastern slope. This is one of the few mountains in Flores where you might actually meet other hikers (apart from Kelimutu of course!) The trail leads past several bamboo houses before ascending up what looks to be grassy hillside but is covered in small rocks making walking a little less easy than you might expect. The grass continues way up the mountainside, getting rougher as you get higher up. You enter a patch of trees at around 1,810 m, but above them the more serious climbing up the side of the rocky cone properly begins. There are some deep ravines either side of the trail but route-finding is straightforward and the climb is not dangerous – at least on the way up.
In about 2 to 3 hours you should have reached the rim of the crater (2,115m) to be rewarded with extensive views. To reach the summit you can follow the edge of the crater in either direction so you might as well do the loop for the full 360 degree view into the crater. In 20 to 30 minutes you should have reached the highest point, marked with three metal crosses.
On the way back down take care to find the same route you came up on because the deep ravines mean that heading down the wrong way requires a long re-ascent to join the correct path – the trail at this point is not so clear so it is quite easy to make this mistake in bad weather! Take care on the descent and take it slowly because it is very easy to slip on the scree and you can easily slip and end up with a few cuts or grazes – this is why gloves are a very good idea. For the most part the descent is slow going but there is one area (approximately 1,880m down to 1,810m) where you can save time by sliding down deep volcanic scree just to the left of the trail. Remember to join the path at 1,810m however and be careful not to send bigger rocks hurtling down towards your companion hikers! Walking poles would be useful for the descent.
Subregion Name: Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesia)
Volcano Number: 0604-08=
Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
Volcano Status: Radiocarbon
Last Known Eruption: 8050 BC (?)
Summit Elevation: 2245 m 7,365 feet
Latitude: 8.875°S 8°52’30″S
Longitude: 120.95°E 120°57’0″E
The symmetrical Gunung Inierie volcano in south-central Flores overlooks the Sawu Sea, and at 2245 m is the highest volcano on the island. A small steep-walled crater is oriented E-W immediately east of the summit of the conical stratovolcano, whose upper slopes are unvegetated. A somma wall lies west and NW of Inierie (also known as Rokka Peak). A NNW-SSE-trending chain of volcanoes extends from across a low saddle to the NE of Inierie, including 1400-m-high Wolo Bobo. These are part of the Pleistocene Bajawa cinder cone complex, which lies north to east of the volcano. A column of “smoke” is sometimes visible from the crater of Inierie, as occurred in June 1911. The age of the latest eruption of Inierie is not known, although the volcano was mapped as Holocene, and an eruption of Wolo Bobo was radiocarbon dated at about 10,000 years ago (Nasution et al., 2000). Hot springs are located at the northern flank of the volcano, and additional geothermal areas are located to the east and NE.