On April 30, 2013 I summited Carstensz Pyramid - Puncak Jaya (4,884m/16,024ft) located in the Papua Province, Indonesia. Carstensz Pyramid is one of the "Seven Summits" and is the highest mountain on the continent of Australia.
I would like to thank Denny Engka (carstensz-expedition.com) and especially Arlen Kolinug, Hatta Mohamad and Jemry Monintja for doing an absolute fantastic job.
This expedition was for me by far the most adventurous and remote locations of all since mountaineering. I have never been so dirty in my entire life having sunk very often up to my knees in mud while trekking through the dense jungle on the way to the mountain. I was very glad my rubber boots were fulfilling their purpose. Almost all of the porters trekked however through the jungle on barefoot which I thought was incredible.
In my opinion the climb itself on summit day was the easiest part of the expedition. I had rock climbing experience before arriving which was certainly advantageous. The long 5-6 day trek through the jungle just to get to the mountain is the hardest part of the expedition.
After summit day four members of the expedition including myself trekked back through the jungle to Sugapa as originally planned. The rest of the members decided to search shorter passage through the Grasberg mine that was nearby.
After the four of us finally came out of the jungle on the way back to Sugapa, we were delayed by natives asking for money for further passage. I never felt threatened at the time. I was told it is unfortunately a common occurrence. Because of this delay we unfortunately missed all our scheduled flights back out.
We were eventually allowed passage. The next morning we were delayed once again at the airport for even more money. Luckily for us the total price of the expedition covered all the costs. We finally managed to get a flight out. My shower, shave and haircut that evening was absolute heaven!