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Has anyone done Carstensz independently?

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Has anyone done Carstensz independently?

Postby Joljon » Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:00 am

It's well known that Carstensz is difficult to climb independently. If you ask the commercial outfitters they'll give you examples of how it went wrong for those who try. I do believe them, but obviously several teams have tried to climb Carstensz unguided.

My question is if there is anyone who has done a successful climb of Carstensz independently? If so, I would very much like to get in contact with you.

Thanks a lot!
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Postby lowlands » Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:36 pm

Haven't heard much about independent climbs, and I've read something about it being in some kind of bad area, but would just like to point out that off course the commercial outfitters are going to tell you it shouldn't be done alone, that hurts their business.
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Postby Joljon » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:43 pm

Of course you're right. The outfitters don't want to stand there without income. But, I am still interested in anyone has managed to penetrate the djungle, the physical one as well as the bureaucratic one. Who knows, it might show that it is extremely rare, that anyone has done it independently.
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Postby Damien Gildea » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:41 pm

I know that it has been done, and there are probably more examples we don't know of. But the group I know of did it maybe 15 years ago, and even flew to a nearby airport in their own light plane, but they had good political connections. They also went in through the Freeport mine, which is rare now.

Aside from the danger (military conflict etc) there are so many permits and red-tape issues that it would be extremely time-consuming and expensive to do it yourself, I guess, unless you had the right connections. So unfortunately for most it is probably more efficient to join a commercial group. And given the corruption and money involved in that system, the local authorities probably want to keep it that way.

I also know of a pair of young Swedish climbers who sailed to the southern coast from Australia and tried to go up through the jungle, but they did not get very far.

You need to get a reply from Roger, who posts on here sometimes. He knows a lot about the area.

D
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Postby Joljon » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:22 am

Thanks for the post. I know about Martin's and Olof's attempt to sail to New Guinea, but as mentioned, they didn't come very far that time. They were able to summit second time around, but then they had help of an outfitter.

I guess that it was more usual to climb Carstensz independently 10-15 years ago, but has anyone done it fairly recently?
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Postby Damien Gildea » Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:17 am

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Postby Roger » Sat Sep 18, 2010 7:49 am

Hello Joljon

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
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Postby Joljon » Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:33 am

Tanks for the answer, Roger! It seems that you are very familiar with this area, knowing and insightful

I hope it is ok if I'll send you a message later with more questions :)
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Keep me posted!

Postby Quadaxial » Wed Sep 22, 2010 5:51 am

I just recently became interested in the feasibility of doing Carstensz independently. If you're ever looking for a partner for this...
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Re: Has anyone done Carstensz independently?

Postby Joljon » Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:08 am

Does anybody know what climbing gear that is necessary to rock climb Carstensz? If one does not want to use the fixed ropes, that is.

From what I have been able to understand through web sites, the technical gade is somewhere in between (US) 5.3 to 5.8. The rock i supposedly good, with good friction and not loose.

I would appreciate input from somebody who has done the climb, and what kind of gear to bring. Which protection is needed e.g. cams, nuts, and which sizes? Does the climb require rock climbing shoes?
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Re: Has anyone done Carstensz independently?

Postby eriklaan » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:12 pm

Hello Joljon!

I'm really interested in this post, because I'm also getting as much as possible information to climb this mountain independently.

I saw this post is pretty old already, so do you know more already than noticed in this post? Do you have a plan already when to climb, or still busy how to fix everything for this climb?

Let me know if you're interested. I'm able to arrange free days for a climb whenever time of the year. I climbed 4 of the 7 summits now and I'm really considering this one for next year.

My personal email is: eriklaan8@hotmail.com

Greetz Erik
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Re: Has anyone done Carstensz independently?

Postby Jesus Malverde » Tue Sep 04, 2012 5:37 am

I'd be curious to know what Mike says about Carstenz logistics and independent climbing:
Climbing the Seven Summits
http://www.amazon.com/Climbing-Seven-Su ... 1594856486
Anyone read his new 7 summits guidebook? If so, what's the word on Carstenz?
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Re: Has anyone done Carstensz independently?

Postby Kurt Wedberg » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:11 am

Mike wrote an excellent book on the Seven Summits but he has never done Carstensz Pyramid. He addresses it in his book though. I just got back from there last week. I am a mountain guide but I'm happy to get you information on climbing there. The logistics are pretty involved but feel free to drop me a note and I can try to help you out. Just don't mess with this guy :)

Image
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Re: Has anyone done Carstensz independently?

Postby RobSC » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:54 am

I would recommend against it. I went there in 2010. There is a war going on between the locals and the Indonesian government. You need permits from both groups or you would likely be putting yourself at risk, as well as screwing up the delicate balance that has been established between climbers and the local vested parties. We received great hospitality from members of both parties, but also were surrounded by people holding AK-47's for a brief period. Once at the base camp, we outpaced our guide and ended up climbing the upper stretches of Carstensz by ourselves. We followed this by climbing one of the East Carstensz peaks, Sumantri, and an additional peak all without guides. However, we had paid for permission to be there with two different local tribes and with the Indonesian government. With that said, the trip was outstanding! We started from Ilaga and hiked the 5 days to base camp in one of the World's greatest hikes...
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