Endemic Flora along the Trekking Route to Carstensz

Rhododendron SP

Natural resources of Papua play a key role in economic and social development in this area. The resources are found in the forest, coast, sea, and land which is rich of minerals. The ecosystem in Papua is the richest in Indonesia where a half of variety of Indonesian flora and fauna live. Some of endemic flora and fauna are only found here. Papua is the habitat of 15.000-20.000 kinds of plants (55% is endemic), 602 kinds of birds (52% is endemic), 125 kinds of mammals (58% is endemic), and 223 kinds of reptiles (35% is endemic). In February 2006, a group of researcher carried out a study in Foja Mountain. They found various types of bird, amphibian, and plant, including a new variant of rhododendron which flower is the biggest in its genus.  This natural potency is getting more significant along with the agreement of Nagoya Protocol which protects the biodiversity in Papua in order to give advantages for Indonesia in general and local people in Particular. Nagoya Protocol is very important to accommodate traditional knowledge of local people living in customary laws.

Rhododendron Verstegii

Rhododendron is a stand out type of flora in Carstensz with its bright color flower. It grows at the altitude of 500-meter in mountain forest. It is a kind of epiphyte living in branches of trees. Rhododendron is usually found with some different species. In this condition many hybrids occur. There are species of Rhododendron Rarum which blossom in April to July. Their habitat is near small lakes and wet stones along the trekking route to Carstensz.

There are many species of Rhododendron along the trekking route. One of them is Rhododendron Verstegii. It has yellow petal but reddish at the bottom. It is different from Rhododendron Macgregorii which has yellow petal and pedicel and smaller flower.

Rhododendron Rarum

Rhododendron Macgregorii

It is not only Rhododendron found along the trekking route.  Other plants like Orchidaceae or orchid also commonly grow in this wet tropical area. Most of orchid species here are epiphyte which is different from other species grow in tropical area which usually grow on soil. Epiphyte orchid can live from dew and moist air with fiber radix. The epiphytes develop their roots and cling on the branches where they live. However, other species grow in land with their roots in the soil. Other species are saprophyte which grows on humus formed from leaves and decayed woods. On the surface of the root it is usually found fungus which develop symbiosis with orchid.

Orchid in Carstensz

Epiphyte can grow its stem well, often thicken it and has wax on the stem to avoid over evaporation. The stem can grow long (monopodial) or wide (simpodial), depending on its genus. The leaf of orchid is usually oval and long, typical of monocotyledon leaf.  It can widen itself and function as water supplier. Orchid has typical flower which distinguish it from other families.

Dendrobium Dekockii

Dendrobium is a genus of epiphyte orchid. It grows in simpodial manner, which means the growth of the tip of its stem is limited. It will stop growing when it reaches maximum limit. This growth is continued by its saplings. There is rhizome (stem under the soil) in simpodial orchid. Saplings of the orchid emerge from its rhizome. Dendrobium needs sun light with mid to high intensity, depending on the type of Dendrobium.

Dendrobium Subclausum

Dendrobium Subclausum is a kind of epiphyte orchid which blossom its yellow flower in rainy season. Its flower ranges from 3 to 5 cm length. This species is commonly found in Maluku and trekking route to Carstensz.


Dendrobium Dekockii

Dendrobium Wentianum

Dendrobium Wentianum is a kind of epiphyte orchid genus with dark green leaf and flower comprises a group 1 to 4 flowers. Its flower is usually purple, orange, red, or combination of orange and red. It grows on branches at the altitude of 1850 to 3300 meter. It is commonly found in the trekking route to Carstensz and  Papua New Guinea. It is believed that there are still a lot of kinds of orchid species along the trekking route which have not been found and labeled with scientific name.
It is not only orchid that grow well along the trekking route to Carstensz. ‘Sarang semut’ (literally means ‘ant nest’) a term to refer to Myrmecodia Pendans also can grow well in this area. It is a genus of micromechophyta epiphyte from Southeast Asia and big islands to Queensland, Australia. The term ‘myrmecodia’ derived from Greek word ‘myrmekodes’ meaning “(look) like ant” or “surrounded by ants”. It grows on the branches or stalks of trees and commonly found in the forests in Papua. Although living in the branches or stalks of trees, it does not belong to parasite.

Myrmecodia Pendans
Ant’s Nest

It has been used by people in Wamena, Papua as a medicine to cure kinds of illnesses, such as diarrhea, malaria, rheumatic, and hepatitis. Even today, it has been use to cure serious illness like cancer and hypertension. 

Myrmecodia Pendans or ‘Sarang Semut’

It is ironic that stern gains less attention when scientists carry out survey in Papuan forests. Collectors will be astonished at the inventory of stern in Papua (it is estimated that there are over 2.000 species, which only 1.200 species have been given scientific name). Wet forest in the mountain along the trekking route to Carstensz is the widest habitat of stern in Papua. Some groups of sterns living under the altitude of 3.400 m never face frozen condition. Subalpine stern, on the other hand, grow at the altitude of 3.700 m where the temperature is extremely cold. The following pictures of sterns were taken during Carstensz expedition with climbers from Russia in October 2011.

This species is common along the trekking route

Stern grow on the rocks

Stern in Savanna in the area of Carstensz

Fern forest in Carstensz area is dominated a big sized species which is believed to have been existed since Jurassic era. Stern is a part of vascular plant which reproduces with spore and does not have flower and seed. The family of stern covers 10.560 species in the world.

Fern Forest

Stern appeared in fossil account around 360 million years ago in the last period of Devon. However, many of current families and species just 145 million years ago, in the beginning of Cretaceous era, since flowering plants started to dominate the environment.

Best Tips to Keep Yourself in Great Condition before Summit!

Hello Climbers! How is your preparation to climb Carstensz? Of course, you have prepared a variety of climbing tools and supplies that are enough to climb to the top of Carstensz. Do not forget to maintain your health before climbing. Here are some tips on what to do to help you summit healthily:

  1. Eat well and sleep enough.

Carstensz is different from other mountains in Indonesia. The weather at Carstensz tends to be rainy and sometimes snowy. Climbers sometimes tend to sleep at tents and not interested to do other activity when facing this condition. In fact, adequate food intake is needed so that stamina is maintained during the ascent. In addition, sleep for ± 6 hours before climbing will help you stay fit and awake when climbing in the early hours.

2. Acclimatize for 1-2 days.

Carstensz Peak is at an altitude of 4884 masl. You have to take a helicopter from Timika for about 20 minutes to get to Basecamp. The temperature in Timika tends to warm to hot, while in the Basecamp area is very cold. In a short time, you will feel the temperature difference that is very large when leaving from Timika to Carstensz. Most climbers will feel an unbearable headache and choose to rest in a tent. If you want to get rid of the opportunity to get to the top, continue to sleep; if not, get up and acclimatize (adjusting body temperature to the surrounding area). There are some climbers who fail before going to the top because they choose to stay sleep, take medication and end up unable to continue the expedition because their conditions are getting weaker. To avoid this situation, you must acclimatize by walking in the area around Basecamp for 2-3 hours. Take photos for a moment and enjoy the incredible natural scenery, while training your body with the altitude while occasionally doing light exercise near the climbing track. Your body will slowly adjust to the cold temperature at Carstensz.

3. Bring enough food to the summit.

You will begin the climb to the Carstensz Peak between 3:00 to 4:00 in the morning. Don’t forget to eat the food prepared by Cook, so that your body is strong enough to climb the stone wall. You need to bring enough supplies like 1 bottle of water (1 Liter), snacks (chocolate, bread, biscuits), and medicines needed. Avoid carrying too many things because you need a lot of energy to get to the top.

4. Always consult your condition with the Guide.

If you use the services of an operator, there will be a Guide in charge of helping you during the expedition. If you feel unwell when you arrive at Basecamp or when climbing, consult with the Guide what you feel. The guide who accompanied the guest to Carstensz was not an ordinary climber. They are trained to handle guests in the worst conditions. Be honest with your body condition; don’t force yourself to get to the top. Walk slowly; adjust to your body’s abilities. Remember that the ultimate goal of a climb is home.

Happy climbing!

Author: Dimitra

Pepper Dickson: A Sound from Top of Carstensz

Puncak Jaya, May 2, 2019
Pepper Dickson 

Puncak Jaya, also known as Carstensz Pyramid, is located on the island of Papua and the highest mountain on the Oceanic Continent. Famously known as one of the Seven Summits. Due to its remote location and the fact that it is the most technical of all Seven Summits, it is not widely summited. While Kilimanjaro has over 40,000 visits a year, Carstensz Pyramid has approximately 100. 

Being so close to this notable, majestic summit; loving mountains and the feats they incite; and living in close proximity; I couldn’t wait to get out there and connect with this icon myself. With a lot of help and an eager soul, I was introduced to Adventure Carstensz. They are a tour company based in Timika that takes climbers from around the world to summit Carstensz, among other places of interest in Papua. They have a professional and experienced team that is knowledgable about this region, the mountains, climbing and the local people. I spent a few days in Timika a month prior to our climb doing some ropes training with Michael Korwa, the lead guide, and knew I was in good hands. 

Across the limestone fields, between the steep mountain peaks, with rain lightly falling, we followed the rocky path to Yellow Valley where our Base Camp was already set up and waiting for us. I walked out with Wens our cook, and Jacko our porter. Our two guides had hiked out the day before to get everything ready. When we arrived the other two climbers were already there, having come by helicopter earlier that morning. Wang and Zhao, two accomplished Chinese men who flew in from Beijing. We spent the afternoon getting acquainted, sharing stories of past adventures and generally getting a feel for how experienced each of us were. I went to sleep that night after staring at what I could see through the rain of the tough and weathered north face. 

We woke early the next morning. Cold, dark and still raining, we eagerly prepared for our climb. Geared up and ready to leave Base Camp at 4am, the five of us started the short walk to the first pitch. Wearing a harness, using a combination of carabineers, ascenders and a figure 8 descender the whole way, our safety was always the first concern of our guides. Carstensz isn’t the most physically challenging of the Seven Summits, but it is the most technical. After a couple hours of scaling the easy, class-5 rock walls, the sun rose and we were able to have a better look at where we were. The steel grey rocks glistened in the rain, sleek and cold. The summit was out of sight, but even still, we could feel it looming above us. Before us was the “Sky Bridge” tyrollean crossing and two small chasms that require a little more bravado. Sleet started to fall as we crossed the summit ridge, luckily it never turned to ice.

We summited sometime after 9am, over 5 hours after leaving Yellow Valley. It felt triumphant. We were all proud of our efforts and riding an endorphin high. Everyone was full of energy and excitement. Grinning ear to ear we all took the requisite photos and shared snacks before heading back down shortly before 11am, knowing the journey ahead would take time.

Our descent took over 4 hours, almost as long as it took to go up. We were coming down through pouring rain and the further we went, the bigger the cascading waterfalls grew. With water plummeting us from above, it was impossible to stay dry. It came through the tops of our jackets, drenching us all the way down through our boots as we rappelled down one pitch at a time. Waiting for each person to tie in and out of their figure 8 at each rope length was challenging. I wanted to get down and dry off, but the feel of that strong mountain under my feet gave me the power to slow down and appreciate where I was. 

We gleefully arrived back at Base Camp before 3pm, after 9 hours of climbing and an hour of time spent on the summit. We were greeted with hot tea and a big lunch, thanks to our cook, Wens. After a few more “we made it home” photos, we all retired to our tents to dry off and warm up. I spent Thursday night at Base Camp and hiked back out of Yellow Valley on Friday. Happy for a shower and a warm, soft bed, but still buzzing from the energy permeating from the mountain. 

The whole experience was so much fun, the feeling of accomplishment satisfactory and I’m sure the memories will be enduring. I want to do it again when it’s (hopefully) sunny! I can’t recommend Adventure Carstensz and their qualified team enough. Get out there and climb! 

The Coordination Meeting On Management Of Mount Carstensz Climbing Tourism

The Coordination Meeting on Management of Mount Carstensz Pyramid Climbing Tourism in Order to Strengthen Nusa Adventure Tourism Network. The meeting, which was only run by the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia, was held on Monday, March 18, 2019 in the Horizon Ultima Hall Hotel Timika. In addition to being attended by the Ministry of Tourism, the invited guests were present from Mimika and Intan Jaya Government Institutions, Head of the Lorentz National Park Office, Mimika National Sar Agency, PTFI, Mimika Immigration, National Police Headquarters, TNI Armed Forces, Intan Jaya and Mimika Police Chiefs, Timika and Intan Jaya Koramil, traditional leaders and rights owners ulayat, head of APGI, FMI, PMA and all tour operators who provide climbing services to Carstensz. In this meeting discussed the development of tourism at Carstensz from HR, natural potential, problems with the lack of tourism standards to Carstensz, waste problems, tourism risks, government support, commitment to tourism development, regulation of the development of Lorentz National Park and Carstensz tourism, regulation of climbing and community participation as the owner of the customary rights Carstensz Pyramid.

The meeting produced three recommendations that could be a solution so that the synergy between the central government, local government, customary rights owners from Amungme and Moni tribes, Lorentz National Park Office, PTFI, Association of Mountain Climbers and Guides and all related institutions or agencies in managing Carstensz Mountain Tourism got appropriate results such as expected by all parties. The three recommendations include:
1. The climbing permit must also be issued by the customary customary rights holder Cartensz,
2. Will be coordinated again with the Government regarding further technical matters;
3. The Lorentz National Park area is proposed to become a national strategic tourism area.

The First Belarusian Woman to Reach Carstensz Summit

Carstensz has several other names and are called a certain name by certain people, Nemangkawi is what the tribe of Amungme calls it and Mpaigelah is what the tribe of Moni named it. It is one of the seven summits of the world, soaring at 4,884 meters (16,024 ft) above sea level, the highest peak of Indonesia and Oceania.

Carstensz has extraordinary sceneries whether along the trekking route or once you reach the summit. It really takes guts and also requires technical climbing to reach the top. The place where climbers from all around the world come to pump their adrenaline and beat the challenge of the summit.

There are several tour operators who bring tourists up to Carstensz. Adventure Carstensz is one of them, it is a local tour company based in Timika, Papua.  We have experiences guiding climbers from all around the world to the summit since as early as 2009. In the beginning of 2019, our local guide successfully leaded a group of climbers to summit Carstensz. One of the group members is a woman from Belarus. She is the first woman originating from Belarus that succeeded to conquer Carstensz summit.

Kseniya Melnikava is the young Belarusian woman with the passion of climbing mountains; especially those considered one of the Seven Summits. Coming to Indonesia with high expectation of the Carstensz summit, she was surprised that going up to Carstensz was not as easy as she had imagined. It was beyond her expectation. Climbing Carstensz was more similar to doing rock wall climbing which was more technical. It was absolutely perspiring and for worse, the first trial ended up in a failure. The team decided to go back to basecamp after facing snowstorm halfway through climbing.

Half despaired, Kseniya got into the tent, laid down to regain her energy while hoping that the following day could be a blessed one for the second trial. And it was. The weather was perfect. Ksenia and the team set foot on top of Carstensz in the morning of February 5, 2019.

When she first arrived, The Immigration’s office Mimika noticed that she was the first Belarusian citizen to ever reach Timika, making Kseniya the first Belarusian woman to conquer Carstensz Pyramid, on the very same day on Chinese New Year.

Adventure Carstensz was very happy and proud to successfully lead Kseniya and her friends to reach Carstensz summit. This is just another milestone, which we will continue to push in upcoming time. We are excited to guide other climbers and interested clients to trust us guiding them to the top.

Training Prior to Reaching the Summit

As a local tour operator, Adventure Carstensz provides the facility plus guides the climbers from all around the world to reach one of the seven summits remotely located at Papua named Carstensz. With its climbing program, the tour operator makes sure the trip arranged is like none other. Continue reading Training Prior to Reaching the Summit

Trekking From Pogapa To Homeyo

The occupants of this village, the Moni tribe, lives in harmony along with nature and are gratefully blessed with fertile soil. They plant taro, one of the earliest cultivated plant similar to yams, which is their main source of food. Coffee is also one of the plants they manage traditionally. You can find salty rivers right up in the mountain and see how the people of Moni process it traditionally to fulfill their daily need of salt Continue reading Trekking From Pogapa To Homeyo

ITB Berlin International Tourism Exhibition 2013

Held from 5th to 10th of March 2013, ITB Berlin International Tourism Exhibition is known to be the largest tourism exhibition in the world. Over 10,500 participants from 187 countries, Indonesia had a chance to participate in the world’s most prestigious exhibition catching the eyes of 113,000 visitors in the field of tourism. Continue reading ITB Berlin International Tourism Exhibition 2013

The Youngest Climbers to Touch Carstensz’s Glaciers

Puncak Jaya or Carstensz Pyramid is one among many peaks part of the Sudirman mountain range in Papua, Indonesia. Located at 4,884 meters above sea level, the glaciers existing at Carstensz are the only tropical glaciers in Indonesia and even in all Southeast Asia. With the only phenomenon of snow happening at the highest peak of Indonesia – considered one of the seven summits – aspiring all climbers all over the world to step foot on the mountain located on the island of Papua.

Continue reading The Youngest Climbers to Touch Carstensz’s Glaciers

Hauling Garbage from 4884 m Above Sea Level

PT Adventure Carstensz aims to become an active agent in introducing the cultural and natural potentiality of Papua as well as providing employment opportunities for indigenous Papuans through eco-tourism and Carstensz’s climbing expedition. The last point stressed here is Carstensz climbing expedition. Carstensz is a mountain peak in West Papua which is categorized as one of the seven summits. The company sees it as a promising tourist destination which can elevate business profits as well as the indigenous Papuan welfare. Continue reading Hauling Garbage from 4884 m Above Sea Level