Puncak Jaya Summit Log (#9390)
- Signed By: Tom Riederer of Santa Barbara, CA, USA
- Date Submitted: October 26, 2000
- Date(s) climbed: 19 Oct 2000, 1145 hrs, starting at 0230 hrs.
We approached from the South side of the Maoke Mountains from a small village called Mamontoga, due to conflicts in Wamena/Ilaga. We could not get enough porters from this village so we carried much ourselves. We very nearly ran out of food. This was much harder than Ilaga route. It took us 7 HARD trekking days to reach Base Camp. We should have taken a rest day but didn't. Trails were very steep - vertical in places. The very first step was into shin-high mud and shoes were never dry again. Wear broken-in good quality running shoes for the trek. The porters wear no shoes at all, even better. It rained every day, several times ALL day. Use high-quality dry bags, not trash bags! Leaving the jungle we entered high, wet savannah with beautiful rivers and endless series of ridges, finally meeting the Ilaga route trail. The 7th day we crossed New Zealand Pass, well over 14,000' and near vertical in places. Then on to base camp and the climb up Carstensz. The climb was absolutely spectacular. We jumared up fixed ropes on the "normal route". There was more scree scrambling than I expected. The crux was a 40' hanging jumar on the summit ridge at about 16,000' with a pack on. Practice for that part!! The summit was reached by scrambling up the ridge, with some tricky parts and lots of exposure. Going slowly seemed relatively safe. Rain, hail, sleet and snow occurred on the summit. We had enough clear views to momentarily see the ocean 50+ miles away.
Maybe buy stock in the Freeport mine and arrange IN ADVANCE some way to pass thru. That would be much easier than the 7 day approach. Don't bother calling them at the mine - they won't help.