Thursday, December 2, 2010

RICKY MUNDAY FIRST WESTERNER IN YEARS TO GET WITHIN 30M OF PAPUA PROVINCE PEAK PUNCAK TRIKORA

THE FIRST OF 3 PEAKS HE WILL ATTEMPT IN THE AUSTRALASIA 3 PEAKS GLACIER EXPEDITION

London, December 2, 2010 - Ricky Munday reported last night that after a two day delay due to problems finding a safe route, he finally climbed Puncak Trikora solo (4,730m) and got to within 30m of the summit.  The last 30 meters was simply too exposed and dangerous to continue alone, particularly given the extreme remoteness of the region.  Very few people have climbed Puncak Trikora and little is known about this remote peak in Papua Province.  A recent expedition in July 2008 only succeeded in getting to within 200m of the summit.

Munday was forced to trek for nearly two days through difficult rainforest to find the best route to climb the mountain, helped by a guide.  After sheltering from heavy rain in a cave at the base of Puncak Trikora, Munday will trek back to Lake Habbema and then travel to Wamena to begin his journey to meet the Carstenzsz Pyramid expedition team in Jayapura.

Named after the Dutch explorer Jans Carstensz, Carstensz Pyramid is the highest island peak in the world and the highest in Oceania.  It was first climbed in 1962 by Heinrich Harrer on whom the film 'Seven Years in Tibet' was based on. 

Munday reports that, after negotiations, he has now secured a permit to climb Puncak Mandala but he now will have to do this last, after Carstensz Pyramid. On November 24 Munday was asked by the headman or Kepala Desa of the district to depart from the village of Bime when he first arrived to climb Mandala.  He had to fly back to Jayapura and begin new negotiations with the headman for access.

Mandala can be reached on foot from Bime in two days.  The mountain is about the same height as Mont Blanc and is extremely steep with sharp limestone above the tree line.  The temperatures will fall well below zero and Munday will need a large team of porters for this, the most challenging of the three peaks.  Bruce Parry and Mark Anstice were the last Westerners to climb Mandala.

An expedition in Papua Province is one of the most difficult that can be undertaken anywhere.  The jungle terrain is extremely remote and inhospitable; getting permits to access mountains is fraught with complexities and there are very few locals willing and able to act as guides and porters in the mountainous regions.

Ricky Munday still remains focused on his goal to be the first to attempt to summit the three peaks in one expedition.  He is also raising funds for the Raleigh youth programme and providing photographs for the Alpine Club of Canada, who part funded the expedition, to show the extent of glacial recession around the three peaks. 


The expedition website is www.aus3peaks.com/a3p



Notes:

Papua Province, Indonesia, forms the western part of the island of New Guinea.  The eastern part of the island is Papua New Guinea (PNG).  The terrain in Papua Province is challenging with lush rainforests and mountains. Many local tribes have never seen Westerners and still live as hunter-gatherers, observing ancient tribal rituals.  The Discovery Channel documentary 'World's Lost Tribes' compellingly illustrated the daily lives of the Kombai and Mek tribes as Olli Steeds and Mark Anstice coped with several months of total immersion with them.

The Australasia 3 Peaks Glacier Expedition will depart for Papua Province from Indonesia's capital, Jakarta.   The peaks will be attempted in the following order: Puncak Mandala, Carstensz

Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) and Puncak Trikora.



Puncak Trikora

Puncak Trikora was first climbed in 1913, 402 years after its discovery by the developed world, during the hazardous 'Third South New Guinea Expedition' undertaken by Dutchmen following several failed attempts.



Puncak Jaya aka Carstensz Pyramid

Puncak Jaya, formerly called Carstensz Pyramid, named after the 17th century Dutch explorer Jans Carstensz, is the highest island peak in the world and the highest in Oceania. It was climbed for the first time in 1962 by Heinrich Harrer, on whom the movie 'Seven years in Tibet' is based. The mountain was included in the 7 Summits project by Reinhold Messner, the first man to climb 14 of the world's highest peaks.



Puncak Mandala

Ricky Munday will be the first to attempt to summit Puncak Mandala from the north face since 1996 when an Australian team failed, finding the north face approach too difficult. The first successful ascent from the north face was the 1959 Dutch Star Mountains Expedition. A 1999 two-man British expedition discovered evidence of cannibalism during its attempt to climb the south face of the mountain.  A documentary was made charting the ascent of Mandala called 'Cannibals & Crampons'.  Mark Anstice, one of the expedition members, wrote a book about the expedition called 'First Contact.'  Puncak Mundala was also summited by Bruce Parry, the producer of Tribe (2005-2007).



The Expedition sponsors and equipment partners are:  BDL Management, Spectra Group, Inmarsat, Montane, GoLite, Nite Watches, Aquapac, CRUX and Think Tank Photo, The Jeremy Willson Charitable Trust, The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Travelling Fellowship and the Alpine Club of Canada.
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