Mountaineering :: Trekking :: Ski touring

 

This was my second trip to Papua New Guinea. Following my recce trip in 2015 I returned leading a group of 9 people for Jagged Globe one year later. This is the report that I wrote for the Jagged Globe website at the end of the trip.

Members of the first Jagged Globe expedition to the South Pacific island of PNG are travelling home after successfully climbing the country's highest peaks. On 1st Sept eight of the ten climbers reached the 4368m summit of Giluwe, the highest volcano in Oceania. This was a fairly straightforward 3.5 hour ascent from a tented camp at 3650m, although the hike to and from this camp required a long and arduous trek. A few days later on 5th Sept all 10 climbers reached the 4509m summit of Mt Wilhelm, the highest peak in Papua New Guinea. This was a longer summit day starting from a simple hut located at 3575m. After a 2.00am start the majority of the team climbed to the summit in 5hrs and descended to the hut in a further 4hrs before embarking on the 3hr hike back to the village base. Two members of the team chose to make a slower ascent and climbed with local guides, summiting after the main party and descending to the village. Everyone was off the mountain and relaxing in front of a roaring wood fire before dark (just!).

Although this expedition had been planned to take place during the 'dry' season, conditions were not as dry as anticipated. Heavy afternoon showers and muddy trails contrasted with the easier conditions encountered by the leader during his trip in 2015. This led to several of the days being longer and more difficult than expected. However the team members were all strong and capable and coped well with the additional challenges. The final section of the program had to be altered due to a flooded river. It was not possible to make the 3-day hike from the mountains down to the coastal lowlands as a key section was impassable for the vehicles booked to collect the team. An alternate plan was quickly put into effect and the team drove for 2 days from Mt Wilhelm on the highlands highway via Goroka to Madang on the coast. The extra rest day on the coast was put to good use as the group hired a boat to enjoy some fine diving and snorkelling in the crystal clear South Pacific waters.

 

David Hamilton: Madang Lodge, 9 September 2016

David Hamilton
High Adventure
67 Castle Road
Hartshill
Nuneaton
Warwickshire
CV10 0SG

Email:  david@highadventure.org.uk

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