Puncak Jaya (5,030m), Papua
Seven Summits, Oceania
Puncak Jaya is the highest mountain in the Pacific area and is usually considered to be the highest point of Australoceania in regard to the Seven Summits.
The mountain is located in the steep and rugged Sudirman mountains in Irian Jaya, only 80 kilometer from the south coast of the island. A great part of these mountains consist of simple terrasses and high steep rockfaces. The northern side of Jaya are formed by almost 3,000 meter high cliffs embracing a large glacier.
From the last airport in Llaga Village it is a tough trek of 5 to 6 days through the stone age, 6 to 7 hours walking per day, through the rain forest and hilly terrain, over muddy paths and through marshes and streams wading, with 4 to 7 hours of rain every day.
The return journey usually takes 4 days: from base camp to Llaga Village and then by charter plane to Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province (formerly Irian Jaya).
The route on Puncak Jaya follows a series of channels in the solid rock of the north wall for 500 meters before it ends up on the ridge. From this point on, the ridge, riddled with notches, ripples half a kilometer to the summit. The rock is of very good quality, seldom loose and always offers good friction even in wet weather.
The level of difficulty at Puncak Jaya runs up to 5+ on a few short steep sections, but the majority is easy climbing. You must have basic techniques for rock climbing and abseiling.
In the highlands, the daily temperature fluctuates between 7 and 24° C. In the afternoon there are warm showers, which can be cold if you come across them on a mountain pass. Closer to the mountain you can expect snow and bad weather. Temperature is between -2 and 16° C with occasional sun in the morning and rain in the afternoon and evening. The wind varies and can be very strong.