Expeditions
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Mt Sarawaget Summit Expedition

Background

In August 2019, a group of Australian and German trekkers reached the grassland just below the summit of the Sarawaget massif. From there they saw at least six, maybe eight peaks that were over 4000 meters. This expedition is completely dedicated to reaching these summits, recording their heights and exploring this incredibly rugged and mountainous range. 

Highlights

  • Climb Mt Sarawaget 4121 meters
  • Explore the PNG high country above 3600 meters, a new world in itself
  • Climb a 4000-meter peak no one has climbed before
  • 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)

Overview

Papua New Guinea has only 12 recognised 4000 meter peaks. We know this number is an understatement and we are setting out to expand this list and to open the highlands of Papua New Guinea to adventure travellers. We were one of the first groups to do the full traverse of Mt Wilhlem (PNG's highest peak), we were the first to traverse Mt Giluwe (Australasia's highest volcano) and the first to traverse Mt Kabangama. In 2019 we will head to Mt Sarawaget (4121 meters), north of Lae, to climb and discover other thus unnamed or unrecognised 4000 meter peaks. 

This area is rarely visited and as such is new territory for a commercial venture of this type. Our itinerary below is fluid. Plans will change, they always do! You will need to pack a great sense of adventure and ensure you have the skill to adapt to an ever-changing environment. 

Once we reach above 3600 meters, the landscape will open up into grasslands. This will enable us to make plans to either stick to the itinerary or if time and terrain permits, try our luck at other ridges and peaks not yet recognised.

If you are up for adventure off the beaten track (if there is a track), then why not join us on this wonderful trek into the PNG high country?

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Port Moresby and transfer to airport for flight to Lae.
Day 2: Early morning we will fly to Kabwum, transfer to Iloko and then trek for 3 hours to the village of Kiroro where we will meet our local team of guides.
Day 3: From Kiroro we will trek up a very steep slope to a bush camp called Mono.
Day 4: After breakfast we will head further up the mountain, finally breaking the tree line for a campsite in the alpine grasslands at about 3650 meters.
Day 5: From the alpine camp we will head over a high pass at 3900 meters and then down to Lake Gwam before heading up to our base camp below the Sarawaget summit.
Day 6: Possible early morning as we head off to the summit of the highest peak, Mt Sarawaget. If time permits we will climb a couple more peaks then back to base.
Day 7: This morning we will finish any remaining summits before heading off after lunch toward the north-west where the massif opens up into an amphitheatre of several more 4000-meter peaks.
Day 8: Today is dedicated to reaching as many 4000 meter summits as possible in this amphitheatre. 
Day 9: This morning we will be picked up by helicopter and flown to Lae airport for our flight back to Port Moresby.
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 $1800. The Itinerary would look like this:

Day 9: Transfer to Kundiawa and overnight there.
Day 10: Transfer to trailhead and start trek up the mountain. 4 hours.
Day 11: Summit day and then back to Bettys Lodge (13 hrs)
Day 12: Transfer to Goroka and then fly to Port Moresby
Day 13: Head home

LIFE ON THE MOUNTAIN
Mt Sarawaget is a remote part of a remote country. From the road head, we will see no man-made structures. From about 3650m 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 have been witnessed. Strong, cold winds are common and rain and mist can occur suddenly turning visibility to only a few metres. 

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.

Note: 
- While this is a non-technical trek, it is a difficult walk. In several places, a steep scramble is required. The walk requires an above-average level of fitness to complete and strong mental fortitude.
- Travel insurance including medical evacuation is considered mandatory 
- Visas are available on arrival.

Inclusions

  • All domestic scheduled flights 
  • 1 nights accommodation in Port Moresby at Holiday Inn
  • 1 nights accommodation in Lae
  • 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 the track
  • Tents and all camping gear such as pots, cups, knives, forks, spoons etc

Exclusions

  • International airfares
  • Travel insurance

Maps

Extensions

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