Everest 04 Home
   Today's News
Banners Ads

   E-mail (Free)
Mailing List


News (current)
   Sat Phones
   Search Everest 2004
   Readers Guide

   Trip Reports
   Visitor Agreement






 Is Carstensz open legally with a new way?

Franky Kowaas, former guide and employee of Adventure Indonesia (the main expedition company that ran the Carstensz expeditions when the mountain was open.), believes he has a way to climb Carstensz legally run by his new company.

A brief background for those non-climbers out there or climbers who do not know the background of Carstensz: Carstensz was basically closed after some tourists got killed in the area. There are various reports on who killed the tourists. After Carstensz was closed, a few expeditions were run apparently without legal permits. At least some of these expeditions ran into trouble with guns being pointed into climbers faces and money requested.

These expeditions were apparently shut down after a series of articles by climbers discussing the problems and after being caught by the police. Intimidation was then attempted against climbers who spoke out.

While some might recommend guides that attempt to intimidate climbers "who talk" and guide that run trips without permits, EverestNews.com does not.

We suggest anyone even considering going to Carstensz to read the article in the Washington Post, "I Went to Indonesia, And Ran Into a Mountain of Trouble" By Francis Slakey posted Sunday, December 7, 2003; Page B05.

So back to Franky Kowaas, former guide and employee of Adventure Indonesia (the main expedition company that ran the Carstensz expeditions when the mountain was open.), who believes he has a way to climb Carstensz legally. Does he, judge for yourself?

We asked Franky several tough questions... We encourage anyone going to check and make sure you get a legal permit!!! Below is from a series of e-mail exchanges with Franky. In the old spirit of EverestNews.com they are mostly RAW e-mails.... Lines in several cases and have been put in places of names by us.

SO here you go:

Franky Kowaas: This peoples I'm guidance summit on Carstensz Pyramid: Joby Ogwyn, Khoo swee Chiow, Bernard Voyer, Constantin Lacatusu, Atsushi Yamada, Zed 'Zeddy' Al-Refai, Martin Adams, Park Young Seok, and many more (I was forgot they are name), They are my guarantee that I was Operational Director of Carstensz Pyramid, I made 90 % Adventure Indonesia Trip to Carstensz (Less more 15 trip and more 75 climbers), from year 2000 until 2002, All my trip to Carstensz is 100% Safe and Success to the summit !

I think, I'm one of the right person who is know how to organize Carstensz Pyramid with Safe and Success !

So...LEGAL SAFE PERMIT (from Indonesian Police, Climbing Federation, National Park, ARMI, Tribal Recommendation, And from Local Security), is no problem for me, absolutely I can make the permit ! My problem is just NO CLIENT (Cause they don't know me?). So.. let me see, how seriously them.

Below is Term And Conditions, If you still have further queries, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Sincerely yours, Franky Kowaas 


STARTING                          :    Manado

ENDING                              :    Manado   

Grade                                 :    Advance

Highest access expedition :    Carstensz Pyramid ( 4884 m )

Culture                               :    Amungme & Dani Tribal (Christian)

Mode of expedition            :    Hotel accommodation + Camping

Most attraction                   :    One of the Seven Summit; follow the Normal Route & Beautiful Limestone Scenery.

Departures                         :    1. February - July 2005

                                               2. August - December 2005

- Manado is Capitol of North Sulawesi Province - Republic of Indonesia

- Manado Elevation (sea level)



- EXCLUSIVE PACKAGE    US$  7000 Per person / trip

  Min. 4 Person

- STANDARD PACKAGE    US$  6500 Per person / trip

  Min. 4 Person


(It's net price, not include FEE & COMMISSION)

Cost includes:

         Hotel accommodation in Manado and Timika twin sharing on bed as per itinerary. (Touris Class Hotel for Exclusive Package, 4-5 Star Hotel )

         Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner following the itinerary.

         Permit fee.

         Guide & Porter.

         Equipment allowance, daily wages, insurance for Guide & Staff Only.

         20 kgs allowed for personal equipment.

         All Base Camp food, fuel accommodation for member and staffs.

         Environment fee.

         Complete Base camp equipment: tents, member tent, staff tent, chair table, dining tent.

         Fixed rope, Rope, Ice axe, Crampond., other anchor equipment.

         All land transportation in Manado and Timika.

         Air transportation Manado - Timika - Manado.

         Helicopter transfer Timika - BC - Timika.

         Custom clearance assistance in Manado & Timika.

         Welcome Dinner and Farewell dinner in Manado.

Cost excludes:

         International Air travel to/from Manado-Indonesia,

         Alcoholic beverages and items of a purely personal nature,

         Indonesia re-entry visa fee ( US$ 25/pax, upon arrival Manado for specific country)

         Manado International Airport Tax (US$ 15)

         Medical & Personal Insurance.

         Personal climbing equipments.

         Respective expenses if one returns earlier from the expedition due to sickness or other problems ( US$ 2000)

         Bonus for Guide, Porter & Staff, In the end of expedition.

         Force majure.


Manado to BC                    :    3 Days

Climbing period                 :      5 Days

BC to Manado                    :    3 Days

In Manado before/after      :      2 Days

Contingency Day               :     1 Day


Total duration                    :    14Days



Day   1        Reach Manado International Airport / Transfer Hotel

Days  2        Official Procedure And rest day

Days  3        Flight to Timika in West Papua or Irian Jaya / Transfer Hotel

Days  4        Official procedure and rest day

Days  5        Flight Day to Base Camp by helicopter

Days  6 - 10 Climbing Period 

Days 11       Flight to Timika and rest day

Days 12       Flight to Manado

Days 13       Spa and Farewell party

Days 14       Flight To the next destination / End of service.


Days    6      Acclimatization day and walking surrounding BC

Days    7      Acclimatization day and walking surrounding BC

Days    8      Rest Day and Summit day Preparing

Days    9      Summit on Carstensz Pyramid  ( 4884 M )

Days   10     Summit on Ngapulu or Victory Peak  ( 4862 M )



- Carstensz Pyramid part of Mimika Region, in West Papua Province - Republic Of Indonesia

- Carstensz Pyramid is part of Lorenze National Park and Sudirman ridge, and side by side with Grassberg Open pit Freeport Inc.

- Carstensz Pyramid is lime stone big wall (Less more 600 meter)

- Carstensz Pyramid condition & Weather is un predictable, it can be 1-3 days raining, snowing, and Cloudy

- Base Camp to summit track condition is sand, rock, sliding rock, water slide, and sometimes snow

- Summit ridge (4600 M) lime stone.

- Carstensz Pyramid is Technical rock climbing route.

SUMMIT DAY INFORMATION (Carstensz Pyramid Normal Route)

- 12.00 - 00.50 am, wake up & preparing

- 01.00 - 01.50 am, BC to the pitch 1

- 02.00 - 05.30 am, pitch 1, pitch 2, pitch 3, pitch 4 and Traversing

- 05.30 - 07.00 am, traversing to the pitch 5

- 07.00 - 09.00 am, pitch 5 to summit ridge

- 09.00 - 11.00 am, Summit ridge to summit

- 11.00 - 11.30 am, Summit ceremonial

- 11.30 - 15.00 pm, Summit to BC

Note: CimbingTime depending Physical Condition, Individual Skill, climbing tactic, and how many people to climb


Headwear: 1 sun hat (it must shade the eyes and nose). 1 balaclava (wool, polypropylene). 1 wool or fleece hat. 1 pair glacier glasses with side protection (and a spare). 1 neck gaiter.

Upper - Lower body: 1 expedition down parka with hood (-20 F). 1 windproof outer jacket with hood (Gore-tex)

1 poly/fleece jacket. 1 expedition weight polypropylene shirt. 2 lightweight, long sleeve polypropylene shirts. 2 heavy polypropylene long underwear (tops and bottoms). 2 t-shirts for lower elevations. 1 pair wind/rain pants (with side zips). 1 pair fleece pants (side zipper). 1 long cotton pant for trekking (legs zip off to become shorts). 1 nylon shorts

Handwear: 2 pairs liner gloves (poly thin). 1 pair medium weight fleece gloves. 1 pair goretex wind shells for mittens. 1 pair wool or fleece mittens. 1 pair overmitts.

Footwear: 1 pair of trekking boots (Gore-tex) and 1 quality sport shoes . 1 pair of sandals

1 pair insulated super-gaiters. 2-3 pair of wool socks and polypropylene socks. 3  pairs polypropylene, wool or similar socks.

Sleeping Gear: 1 down or synthetic sleeping bag (-20C).

Pack: High quality back pack approx. 70-80 liters. Day pack for approach hike and summit day. 1 Large duffel bag (7000+cu.in) with lock to be carried to Base Camp.

Climbing Equipment: Sit Harness, 1 pair Jumar, Descenduer figur of eight, 2 Carabineer Screw Gate & 5 Snap gate, 5 Webbing 1,5 meter, 2 prusik, Climbing Helmet, Head Lamp with 3 alkaline battery sets)

Misc: Sun screen and lip protection (UV rating of 20 SPF or more). Metal thermos bottle, 1000ml. Toiletry kit. Water bottle. Camera and film. Pocket knife (mid size). Book and walkman to spend time in tent. Simple first aid kit. Pee bottle - 1 qt. capacity, wide mouth. Insect repellant coating for hike in clothes. Passport. Cash. Copies of relevant documents (maps, directions, itinerary, etc... all in plastic bags). Journal with pens. Casual clothes for walking around, going to dinner. Small Indonesia dictionary with travel phrases.

E-mail 2: I need to tell you about 'trouble', this is you need to know !

- They have the legal permit to come to Indonesia as touris who is want to go to Carstensz ! (If they not have the permit, they can't summit to Carstensz, if you have no permit, you stay at Timika than after that, back to Jakarta)

WHY they GOT into TROUBLE ???

Carstensz Route:

1. The route from Ilaga (Dani Tribal Village) cross to BC, it's more hard and very very expensive and porters problem! I have 10 times cross this route to BC.

2. Beoga (Dani Tribal Viollage) route is absolutely same like ilaga route ! (I never cross this way)

3. There have other route, from Timika by helicopter to Hoya (it's a Amungme tribal village), and 5 days walking up to base camp. (This route I was made by my self, when I organize ______________), But this route have big problem, cause No porter)

4. The only good and easy route is croos the Freeport mine to BC, but since January 2000, Freeport authority already closed from climbing activity. (you can cross if you have special permit from Freeport head office in USA)

5. By Helicopter direct to BC This route I made when I organize ______ group trip. This route is little bit risky with acclimatization, but as soon as I know, until now this is the only possible way to base camp.

Problem :

1. They have no helicopter, this is the MAIN problem

2. They cross Freeport mine with no permit, that's the second big problem. This is real problem of ______ trip, if they have the helicopter, I think there have no gun !

I have my own solution to do Carstensz as I told you, I'm. one of the right person who is know to organize Carstensz.

The solution is I'm already contacted to the private charter flight helicopter in Singapore, and I will contract this helicopter for 1 year, due to my Carstensz departure schedule, than I can make my Carstensz pyramid trip with safe and success!!! But also that's make my price more expensive than the other.

so..i'm waiting for your next email.

E-mail3: Following your question:

1. What about the government permit ??

+ This is the legal & complete permit to do Carstensz trip:

    - Indonesian Police permit (This is the main permit)

    - Indonesian ARMY Permit (This is from ARMY Intelligent to cover police permit)

    - Indonesia Climbing Federation (This is mountain climb technical aspect permit)

    - National Park permit (this is for Environment & Conservation aspect)


All this permit is on behalf Indonesian Government !!! I must take all this permit in Jakarta.


+. Back up permit, this is for local West Papua authority:

    - Permit from West Papua tourism office (On behalf West Papua Government)

    - Local Security permit ( Police Local & ARMY Local)

    - Supported Letter from the chief of Amungme Tribal (This is Most Important)


-. Freeport Permit (Just if you want to cross or use Freeport access road and facility, but if you not use this route, absolutely you don't need this permit)


This is Legal, safe, and complete permit for Carstensz trip !!!


2. What is your relationship with ____ [a guide who supposed has done illegal trips.] ?:

(Before he handled ________________ trip, he was no experience to climb Carstensz or to make Carstensz operational in west papua).


3. Would the Helicopter fly over the Freeport mine property ?

NO !!! We can directly flight from Timika to Zebra wall BC, just fly over Lorenz National Park, it just less more 15 minute flight. But you need to know, Carstensz Zebra wall Base Camp and The Freeport border it's just 100 meter the distance.


4. When did __________ do this route ?

I don't remember exactly, but it was on yeas 2001, I forgotten the month, but you need to know, ________ trip was the first trip, to use helicopter from timika to Zebra wall BC, I know cause I was the man, who is created this route !!!


5. So were you working for Adventure Indonesia when you did many of these other expeditions?

I was Operation Director for Carstensz from year 2000 until 2002 ! As long as I know, for Carstensz trip, the best period of Adventure Indonesia is period 2000 - 2002, after period 2000 - 2002 until to day, they just have not more than 5 trip to Carstensz, but 2 trip was fail to summit !


I was told you...I never fail on all my journey to summit Carstensz!

I was 21 times summit on Carstensz, at this time, this is Carstensz record climb!


E-mail 4: Recently I contacted Jakarta Than they told me about the new permit system, it is because we have new president, and the president make new department that is Ministry of youth & sport office, Now Police and ARMY can be given permit, if Youth & Sport ministry office already give recommendation, but for this new system, it's still Ok, for me it's no problem, it just new system, I have good relationship with people in Youth & Sport Ministry !


For Carstensz trip I'm running my own company.


Your other question:

1.) What happens if climbers pay and then they get to the mountain and something happens and they are asked to pay more?


I'm professional! All happens inside the itinerary & cost Include is my responsibility, I never run out of my responsibility, for me money is not everything, I really keep care my reputation, cause money will come if you have good & strong reputation.


I will guidance until the top all my clients, by my self!


2.Freeport has told us the mine is closed to expeditions. has something changed?

I have told you before, my trip is not cross or use Freeport facility, and Freeport still closed for all climbing activity. (Except you have special permit from them)


I'm waiting your next email!



Franky Kowaas

E-mail 6: I start to organizer Carstensz, because I know lot of people all over the world, they need to climb Carstensz.

Sorry George, to take your time for this email, I just want you to know, I'm not same like _____



Franky Kowaas


E-mail 7: Thank you very much for all you have to do and you want to do for Carstensz pyramid, you know and also I know many people all over the world, they need, and they much climb Carstensz, Carstensz is not only Indonesia mount, but it was International Mount, that's why it's not only Indonesia to responsible, but also people like you, for me to climb Carstensz with help people make they are dream come true, that's make me different feeling and happy, than I just sit on the chair and receive paying money!



I will keep all of this with Hard Working, High Responsibility, SAFE, and Success!!!



Franky Kowaas


So, Is Carstensz open legally with a new way? In November, we asked Adventure Indonesia for a status:

Even now the security condition is become worst and worst from time to time around the mountain area. Last month the Free Papua Army killed 6 civilian, and wounded 2 police and army officers. As always after attacked the rebel will runaway to the mountain area...

So until now the mountain still closed and no permit so far granted to anyone who plan to climb Carstensz Pyramid or entering the area of Sudirman Mountain Range. We will inform you if we get the chance to return to Carstensz Pyramid.

Budhiprayoga/Adventure Indonesia

EverestNews.com strongly urges anyone thinking about Carstensz to carefully check the status before going there.


So be careful, contact your guide, have him ask all the questions twice, ask all the questions twice yourself, and check to see and travel at your own risk.

Summary: Lots of mountaineers want to climb Carstensz. Indonesian government stopped the permits a few year ago. A number of teams tried it anyway: several confronted violence and extortion. Adventure Indonesia says Carstensz is still closed to all climbers. But Franky Kowaas, former AI guide, says he has the permissions needed to climb the mountain legally and safely using this new way. EverestNews.com doesn't know who is right, and strongly urges anyone thinking about Carstensz to carefully check the status before going there.

Is Carstensz open legally with a new way?


It appears we will soon know....


Altitech2: Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms. Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032 battery. See more here.



  Altitude pre-


   Atlas snowshoes

   Black Diamond




   CaVa Climbing Shoes

   Clif Bar



   Edelweiss ropes
Eureka Tents




   Granite Gear


   Ice Axes

   Kavu Eyewear







   New England Ropes



   Outdoor Designs



   Princeton Tec

   Prescription Glacier



   Rope Bags

   Seattle Sports

Sleeping Bags




   Trekking Poles
and more here




Send email to     •   Copyright© 1998-2003 EverestNews.com
All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes: Read it