Climbing Mount Trikora on Papua

Tags: Climbing Mount Trikora Papua Indonesia
I arrived in Jakarta in Indonesia to climb Mount Trikora in Papua - the 2. highest mountain on the Australian continent - together with Andries, one of my climbing friends.

There were volcanic eruptions from Merapi on Java during our stay in Indonesia. I arrived Friday and both Saturday and Sunday all international flights to and from Jakarta had been cancelled, so we were quite lucky to get in just the day before.

We got to the summit - the real summit

our guides had never been up there and they did not know of anyone who made it ! Most people get to just 50-75 meters below the summit.

It was a real rock climb and at times quite dangerous and difficult. At some places the ridge was paperthin, and it was the most dangerous rock climb we had ever tried. And I had to overcome my fear to get all the way up.

After I got back over the most dangerous part of the ridge, I had one thought ... marriage suddenly did not seem so scary anymore compared to this ridge


I crossed Borneo on a boat and trekking trip

Tags: Borneo Kalimantan Indonesia
On a long trek from West to East Kalimantan (The Indonesian name for their part of Borneo). Starting on a long boat up the rivers until the boat could not take us any further and then continuing with a hard trek through the dense/humid and extremely wet jungle for 7 days crossing rivers hundreds of times, some days walking in rivers the entire day ...... blood leeches become so annoying as they bite constantly.


Climbing Carstensz Pyramid in Papua - 4897 meters

Tags: Carstensz Pyramid Papua Indonesia
We reached the top of Carstensz Pyramid on 17. November at 08:35 local time

This expedition started with 7 climbers landing at Bilogai airstrip in Sugapa, Papua, Indonesia, just a few degrees below equator at 2212 meters.

4 of the 7 climbers had already climbed Everest and 3 out of these 4 climbers needed to go to hospital and the end of the trip, not because of climbing, but because of the gruelling trek we faced. So it was an experienced and tough group - and I was the least experienced climber of the group and I needed pain killers every day to keep the pain in my knee in check. We all lost between 5 - 7 kgs. during this trek.

Carstensz Pyramid is difficult to get to, and since April 2008 when one of the world biggest gold mines - just next to Carstensz Pyramid - closed a commonly used route for climbers, it is now only accessible with helikopter or by trekking to base camp. Before it was possible to be smuggled through the mine on the back of a truck.

Papua is still a very rough un-touristed area and everything is a hazzle, there are many local tribes and villages that have to be respected and paid just to walk through them, and this problems "forced" us to experiment with a new route.

We had to fight our way through an unknown route that none of the guides knew and no other treks had used before .... And at this time things strated to get really tough

We all faced problems and fell many times, on roots in mud, rivers, logs that we had to balance over, and streams and rivers we had to cross, and on the second day one of our climbers had a bad accident and needed to return to Sugapa with a broken rib and then home.

We had never seen so much mud before, and the rain was relentless, some days we trekked for 11 hours before reaching the next camp, and most of the time in rain and mud all day. We usually got up in the morning between 5-6 when the daylight came, and started trekking before the rain came.

However we had one night/morning with good weather and that was the day we actually climbed Carstensz Pyramid, and we started at 03:20 in the morning with a clear star filled sky

The climb was fantastic and a great experience for me - since I was the rookie on rock climbing in the group

We used our jumars to get up the 70 - 90 degrees wall of Carstensz Pyramid and reached the top at 08:35 in the morning and after less than one hour at the top we returned to base camp, repelling down the fixed ropes.

We were hanging in fixed ropes when crossing the tirolin on the traverse of the ridge close to the top, that was really cool to try

Our Italian climber - who now completed the 7 summits - stated after we got back: that he would not recommend this trek to anyone unless one is fit enough to run marathons.