This 19 day expedition will take place in Oct/Nov 2011. The expedition aims to:
1. Safely climb the highest peak in Australasia
2. Copile a photographic record of New Guinea's fast-receding glaciers
3. Raise funds for disadvantaged young people
Originally planned as an 8-week expedition in 2010 to climb the 3 highest peaks in Australasia, the expedition was plagued by local beareaucratic difficulties and was only able to reach 1 of the 3 mountains. Therefore, I am returning in 2011 to complete the highest peak and the scientific objective.
The Pegunungan Maoke range on Papua is home to the three highest peaks in Australasia:
Puncak Jaya (4,884m - 4°05'00“S., 137°11'00“E)
Puncak Trikora (4,750m - 4°16'00“S., 138°41'00“E)
Puncak Mandala (4,640m - 4°42'35“S., 140°17'25“E)
During the 20th century, these three peaks are known to have supported glaciers. Since the 1970s, coinciding with the beginning of the Landsat satellite era, tropical glaciers have been retreating quickly. This retreat has been mapped using advances in satellite imagery. A better understanding of the changes in these small ice masses will provide a vital record of climate change information in this remote region. We planned to verify the existence/extent of ice caps on the three peaks and create a photographic record for analysis.However, due to local access issues, it was not possible for us to reach 2 of the 3 peaks in 2010. Therefore, in 2011, I am undertaking an expedition to visit Carstnesz Pyramid to complete the scientific objectives.
Puncak Mandala is the highest mountain in the Star Mountains Regency of Papua. Due to the remote location and inaccessibility, it has only been climbed twice. It is only accessible by missionary flight to a remote airstrip in Bime. Following an abortedvisit to Bime, I was asked to either pay a $5,000 bribe or leave the Regency. I chose to leave and am still planning a future expedition.
Puncak Trikora sits SW of the world-famous Baliem Valley in the Jayawijaya Range. Although not technically demanding, at 4,730m high, this peak is only slightly lower than Mont Blanc and so I was severely tested by altitude during the 2010 expedition.
Puncak Jaya (also known as Carstensz Pyramid), is located in the Sudirman Range, which is highly inaccessible, requiring a 100-km hike from the nearest town to the base camp.It is the highest mountain in Indonesia, the highest on the island of New Guinea, the highest in Australasia, the highest in Oceania, and the highest island peak in the world. Puncak Jaya is one of the Seven Summits and has the highest technical rating of any.
Ricky Munday (Expedition Leader, 34) is a British citizen, currently working as for the Red Cross in Bangladesh. He has previously organised two expeditions to high mountains in Asia and East Africa and has completed the Marathon des Sables.
POTENTIAL BENEFITS OF THE PROJECT:
- Support scientific research on glacial recession, which may have implications for the wider climate-change debate.
- Ascent of Carstensz Pyramid, one of teh Seven Summits
- Use new technology and traditional media to reach as wide an audience as possible to raise awareness of the disappearance of tropical glaciers as a symptom of global warming.
- Raise funds for deserving causes - support for underprivileged youth in the UK (Raleigh International's Youth Agency Partnership Programme)
- Inspire people to believe in themselves and set challenging goals
Ricky has a personal incentive to support Raleigh’s Youth Partnership Programme, which provides opportunities for economically disadvantaged or socially excluded youth to participate in life-changing expeditions. “The opportunity for me to join my first expedition inspired my love of adventure and I understand how difficult it can be for young people from underprivileged backgrounds to get an opportunity like that; I also understand that they are likely to get the most benefit out of that opportunity and it’s a privilege to support this programme.” Ricky was supported on the expedition by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, the Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust and the Lyon Equipment Expedition Award
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