Mt Kabangama Traverse
It's not often that you come across a mountain that has never been climbed. When I find one I get very excited and feel like leaving immedietly. However there is so much planning that goes into a trip like this, from equipment to employing local people to help with the trek. I love this stuff! Peter Miller, MD No Roads Expeditions
Camped at Kelgu at 230pm on Friday, August 31 (1934). From here on it is a new country. Michael Leahy (Explorer)
- Be the first to traverse and climb Mt Kabangama massif
- Climb one of PNG's 4000m peaks (4104m)
- Trek some of the remotest parts of PNG
- Witness awesome views from her summit
- Have the option to add Mt Wilhelm to your expedition (4509m)
Mt Kabangama is a complete mystery to us. There is virtually no information about the mountain on the internet other than it stands between Mt Wilhelm and Mt Giluwe (PNG's two highest peaks). We have seen her summit from the summits of Giluwe and Wilhelm in the distance. What we have observed is a large high altitude plan spanning the horizon.
Mt Kabangama rises to 4104m above sea level with a prominence of 2284m above the surrounding landscape. She is surrounded of course by thick virgin jungle from 2600m to 3600m asl. And she has never been climbed and that is one of the great drawcards. Plus the highlands of PNG is a wonderful environment with massive mountain ranges and valleys, waterfalls and jungles and people that are more culturally diverse than any other place on the planet.
We also know that the Leahy brothers passed by Mt Kabangama in September 1934. They traversed from south to north, but did not climb her summit. However they could easily see Mt Wilhelm and Herbert jutting out of the landscape from Mt Kabangama's slopes.
Of course we are not setting out to just climb to the summit. We intend on traversing the massif like the Leahy brothers, taking in the entire range with all her beauty and hardship.
If you love real adventure, going into the unknown and doing something noone has done before, then our Mt Kabangama Traverse is for you.
Day 1: Arrive in Port Moresby and transfer to Holiday Inn
Day 2: Transfer to the Air Niugini domestic flight. Fly to Mt .Hagen airport. Transfer to Minj and Uinba Village for overnight stay.
Day 3: From Uinba we head off into the jungle for approximately 6 hours to a campsite just above the tree line. Overnight camp there.
Day 4: From this camp we head out to base camp at 3900m asl. We are not sure where this will be as there are no records of anyone doing this trip.
Day 5: Today is summit day if weather permits. The summit is probably a scramble however we will bring ropes and harnesses just incase. From the summit we will head back down to base camp and explore the vast area below us.
Day 6: After breakfast we will head over the main ridge line and down to the unknown southern slopes. We should have a good idea of the direction as we would have surveyed the area on our summit day the previous morning.
Day 7: Break camp and head further down the mountain hopefully making camp somewhere within the forest towards a village called Angilbal.
Day 8: Through the forest we will continue with a great chance to see wonderful wildlife. We should arrive in Angilbal late in the afternoon. Overnight in Angibal.
Day 9: As there are no roads on this side of the mountain we may need to transfer via chopper or fixed wing back to Mt Hagen. Transfer to afternoon flight back to Port Moresby and overnight at Holiday Inn.
Day 10: Fly home.
Please note: If you wish to go on and climb Mt Wilhelm on this trip as an extension, this is possible. On Day 9 the transfer will take you to Kundiawa. This trip extension would be $1400. The Itinerary would look like this:
Day 9: Transfer to Kundiawa and overnight there.
Day 10: Transfer to trail head and start trek up the mountain. 4 hours.
Day 11: Rest day at the lake for acclimatisation
Day 12: Summit day and then back to Bettys Lodge (13 hrs)
Day 13: Transfer to Goroka and then fly to Port Moresby
Day 14: Head home
LIFE ON THE MOUNTAIN
Mt Kabangama is a remote part of a remote country. From the road head we will see no man made structures. From about 3400m the forest gives way to open grassland. Thus we are exposed to the elements. Water is plentiful but firewood is not.
At night the temperature can drop below zero. Frost and occasional snow has been witnessed. Strong, cold winds are common and rain and mist can occur suddenly turning visibility to only a few metres.
The sky around Kabangama is usually clear in the early morning, but by 9am the fog that is laying low in valley, lifts. Large cloud formations gather at higher altitudes and by midday intermittent mist and showers occur, usually until sunset. Summit attempts are usually made around 1am to avoid the mid-morning clouds. Views from the summit at sunrise are simply awesome.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
This expedition should not be underestimated. Exposure to the elements can be a problem, whether it's the cold or sunlight.
A combination of wind, wet clothing, fatigue and hunger, even if the air temperature is well above freezing, can lead to hyperthermia. Likewise, you can burn deceptively fast. There is less atmospheric protection at higher altitudes and the fact you're not hot doesn't mean you're not boiling.
- While this is a non-technical trek, it is a difficult walk. In several places a steep scramble is required. The walk requires a reasonable level of fitness to complete.
- Travel insurance including medical evacuation is considered mandatory
- Visas are available from the nearest PNG consul (or Australian consul if a PNG one is not available)
- All domestic scheduled flights
- 2 nights accommodation in Port Moresby at Holiday Inn
- Government Taxes
- All meals on the expedition component (9 Breakfast, 7 Lunches and 7 Dinners)
- All accommodation outside of Port Moresby
- 1 x Local Guide and an Australian Guide throughout
- 7 nights accommodation along the trek.
- Return airport transfers
- Refreshments at the end of track
- Tents and all camping gear such as pots, cups, knives, forks, spoons etc
- International airfares
- Travel insurance
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