Is it possible independently Yes but having said that you need to be able to speak Bahasa, be a very savvy trekker, have loads of confidence and skill, be able to survive independently and get yourself out of trouble, which on this trek can happen. Its a very tough environment and the area up at Puncak Jaya quite unforgiving.
Have a read of this brief background. I wanted to write more of Puncak Jaya but the web page was already taken and he will not allow me to take it over sadly.
http://www.summitpost.org/area/range/58 ... tains.html
It is just so complex to explain how to do it independently. You will need a local guide and help if you go in via any villages, say Sugapa, Illaga, Boega. You can hire aviastar and fly into these villagers. Military and police are based at all villages.
You will need a SKJ (permit) and that is relatively easy to get if you know how. Its how it is interpreted when you arrive in a remote village. The Indonesians are very suspicious and intelligence guys are everywhere. The law requires you to present it to the local police/military when you arrive anywhere and trust me, you will be required to show it when you get to any village. You will be asked a bunch of questions.
Also negotiating with local villagers/chief is complex, hence you must be able to speak bahasa or have someone with you who can. The 5 day hike or thereabouts from the villages is a tough hike, you need lots of provisions and be a very very independent trekker able to manage in very tough, trying and complex environments. It will be very hot, very very wet hiking in and when you get near to Puncak Jaya, even wetter with possible hail, sleet, whiteouts and snow. Base camp can be a miserable place when its like the above, but again, now and then the weather opens up and its lovely, special place.
It is possible to hike up the Freeport road to a point, but you Must know the area and be very self sufficient. There is a point when going this way that you must turn of the road and bypass villages to get up higher towards Puncak Jaya. If you dont have GPS waypoints and local knowledge the military will spot you eventually and you may be arrested in you are anywhere on Freeports mining concession. You can hike in via Kuala Kencana (freeport mining compound) if you know the way. If you are seen on the Freeport road you will be arrested by their security team, military or police. On another note, the Freeport road remains closed to employees, except for trucks transporting essential equipment up. There was a military assassination a few years ago and the road closed ever since. This related to the Military loosing the lucrative security contract at the mine. This can be a very dangerous area. Any hiking through the jungle is super tough and you will need guides and a team to cut a path. I have cut paths at Mt Zagham and its tough in 100% humidity and constant rain.
You can bribe your way up the mountain via the military but again you must have a contact. They can drive you up in around 2-3 hours, simple. Do not arrive at Timika and try to bribe anyone, you will be arrested and deported after an extended stay at Timika police or military cells.
You can charter your own helicopter out of Nabire and they will drop you at Puncak Jaya basecamp and pick up whenever you like.
There will be a new route opened up soon via Tsinga which will be much quicker, though it still will require a chopper or light aircraft flight from Timika airport to Tsinga then a very short hike, relative speaking compared to the 5 day hike from Sugapa, Illaga etc...
If you could find a non Freeport chopper you could go in via Tsinga but none are available in Timika atm. All are the yellow Airfast Freeport chartered choppers and no way would they ever help you or be bribed to. Aviastar and others may assist with a charter flight to Tsinga. MAF may also help but they are a bit odd at times, ie, if you knew them, they would assist for a fee but they are also heavily funded by Freeport to transport employees to remote villages at vacation times so they have a vested interest to Freeport and may not like to help pesky hikers, though you generally would tell no one you are hiking to Puncak Jaya.
So Tsinga would be the best option. The route is mapped and its no big deal but you must be self sufficient.
No one will help you to get a SKJ or tell you how to get one or what to put on it. Even choppers that fly in must register their flight path and everyone is watched.
On another note, dont try to contact any one at Freeport as they will NOT help you.
The best place to get a SKJ is Jayapura at the Police station there, if you know where the office is and can speak Bahasa or have someone (trusted) with you. You would list a bunch of places you are going to visit in and around Puncak Jaya, Wamena etc. For what its worth that is the easy part. Take heaps of copies, you will need them.
Whats interesting is all these folks tell you how expensive the SKJ is, well they are not, around $10 US/AUD, 30,000 Rupiah.
Hope this helps, Roger