2010 Carstensz Pyramid Cybercast

2/22/10
Click for CallListen To Vern's Call (test)
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Carstensz Pyramid Adventure Hogs calling in from our new location. It has been a very wonderful day today, we were able to accomplish a lot; we started off with (…transmission break…). Swamp stomping through the ferns swamps of the upper high lands. We made it all the way down to our camp IV and decided to push on down a little further and we actually ended up in camp II tonight. After doing some jungle bashing and trekking through the mud and the rain and the dark, we finally made it all the way down to camp II. So actually two segments of our trek that we were accomplish in one day going out. So we are currently at camp II listening to our porters sing hymns in their hut that they have built and we are getting ready to turn into pumpkins ourselves. We are all very tired from a long day however we are considering (…transmission garbled…) tomorrow so stay tuned and we will tell you what we do tomorrow, ciao for now.

2/19/10
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Papua New Guinea Pigs calling in from base camp on Carstensz Pyramid. The 7th day we rested but on the 8th day we climbed; starting in a down pour of hail, sleet and rain and wind we got to the base of our climb and then it abated. We were able to climb up rather wet rocks, we made it into the sunshine and we were able to top out in some of the pristinest weather that I have seen in this country, the whole time that we have been here. We were very lucky to have a sunny summit day. Everyone enjoyed the Tyrolean Traverse, especially Jack and everybody was very elated to get up that good rock, that rock when you grab it, it grabs you right back. It was fabulous so we stood on top at 4,884 meters above sea level. We could we see Timika, we could see the mine, we could see ocean, we could see the mountains in the distance and the clouds, my goodness we wish you could have been here, fabulous summit day for the Papua New Guinea Pigs. Now we made it safely back down to camp, on the way it decided that we got off too light and it decided to spank us again with more rain but we were able to make it back into camp. The cook crew treated us to chicken curry-ish noodle gumbo, fresh watermelon, salad, can you believe that, salad how did they get a salad up here, we are (…transmission break...) leading the way to the summit and getting ourselves back down safely. So thank you for tuning in and stand by for tomorrows broadcast, when we descend from the top of Oceania.

2/18/10
Friends, family and loved ones this is the Pigs calling in from Carstensz. We had a rest day today, ended up acclimatizing and going up and practicing on the mountain itself; our rope work, our techniques and we think that we have got a usable system and everybody is real excited about what happens next. So we are camped here at 4,345 meters above sea level at our high camp and prepping for an early morning departure; waking up at 2:00 out of there by 3:00 and then on to the mountain hopefully about 4:00 in the morning. We are thinking of you guys of course and hoping that you can follow along with us to the summit tomorrow. So send us your best wishes and prayers and we hope to call you from the other side of the summit, the highest point in Oceania. So sweet dreams, ciao for now, we are heading for bed.

2/17/10
Hey there friends, family and loved ones this is the Guinea Pigs reporting in from high camp, that is camp VI of the trek which puts us right at the base of Carstensz Pyramid. We started off with a beautiful day, we had lots of sun, we passed a very nice lake, very hansom. As we walked around the lake we could see the approaching wall which we decided to call Jacks Wall because it is such a beautiful uplift of limestone and everybody got to put their hands on it, feeling the type of rock that we are going to be climbing in the next couple of days. We then proceeded on up and over the pass called the New Zealand pass. We were treated to some fantastic weather; we had everything from lightening, hail, rain and wind trying to deter us but what ever it through at us the team took in stride and they didnt let it dampen their spirits. We crossed the pass and came to the valley just below the mountain and we are camped perched right on a little lake. We are dry, warm and happy to be here and we are even going to take a rest tomorrow so join us for resting with the pigs, ciao for now.

2/16/10

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Papua New Guinea Pigs calling from camp V of our trek to Carstensz Pyramid. We have now covered jungle low lands, lots of mud, lots of tree roots, moved up into the heat zone and now into the giant ferns zone. Those (the ferns) are becoming even more and more stunted, they used to tower twenty feet above our heads and now they are about head height. We are moving up close enough that we can actually see the mountain range and the ice cap on top of it, believe it or not even though we are almost on the equator there are glaciers here. It has been impressive to see lots of rain and lightening storms which have been quite dramatic for us as well as our native porters; I am sure that it must be a very spiritual experience for them to be up this close to the mountains and feeling the intense energy particularly in the form of lightening.

We are now camping at 3,525 meters above sea level this has been a very fascinating day, it started off sunny and beautiful and then some severe lightening storms very entertaining, very interesting. We are in a botanist paradise, it is amazing plant life here, lots and lots of birds, not to many mammals, humans are the largest mammal on the island. Only pigs come even close to being large mammals everything else is small rodent type animals. There are snakes of course and crocodiles down low but we have not been blessed with too many sightings of snakes on the trail. Fascinating place, I cant stress enough, all of us are in aw of it. We are also very much impressed with the local porters who sing us to sleep each night in three part harmony of religious songs (…transmission garbled…) It is quite romantic to hear them singing and being in such a strange, strange land.

All members are doing well with the exception of Justin who has got a bit of an upset tummy but he looks like he is working through it, we have got him on antibiotics and he is coming along nicely. So hopefully tomorrow we will move up to our high camp, please join us, ciao for now from high on the slopes of Carstensz Pyramid in Papua.

2/15/10
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Papua New Guinea Pigs calling in from location, camp IV at 3,393 meters above sea level. My goodness it was a day today; on a scale of 1-10 trekking this was a 12, we had mud up to our knees, we had flees in our hair, it was wonderful, wish you could have been here. The sun came out actually and we were able to make some pretty good time once we busted out of the jungle. We are in giant fern country now and it is still pretty wet but we are getting into drier and drier territory as we get higher and close to the mountain. Please stay tuned and follow our progress, everybody is doing well and we are thinking of you. Tomorrow another day in paradise, join us, be there be square, ciao for now.

2/14/10
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Papua New Guinea Pigs calling in from camp III. Oh what a beautiful day it was today, we struggled through the roots, through the rain, we struggled up the hill, it was very challenging, it was some of the finest trekking that I have ever seen in my life. Oh you should have been here for the singing though, the singing of our porters was just almost a spiritual experience. Our cook was Kelly tonight, fixed us some excellent (…transmission garbled…). We came into camp and the tents were already set up for us and the rain came down, we were very fortunate, our timing was excellent, we only got a little moisture down the hill. By the time we got here it dumped on us but we had our tents up and we were very happy to be home. So thanks for checking in with us, we are now camping at about 10,500 feet. All members are feeling good, however we are sorry to report that Bob, tweaked his knee and he actually went back down this morning so he is probably at camp I by now and he is heading out. So thanks for checking on us, just remember that we are thinking of you guys, ciao for now, sweet dreams.

2/13/10
Hello there friend, family and loved ones this is the pigs calling in the, lawn pigs calling in from our Carstensz trip. We moved up to camp II today, it was a lot of jungle, a lot of up and down, a lot of water, a lot of mud, a lot of really challenging terrain here. It was pretty impressive, it was more challenging trekking then I have ever done, I think that the whole team agrees that this is a real good deal. Everyone is in pretty good shape and enjoying life and we are camping out in a major nice clearing and our porters have set up camp. They have got the fires going, they are going to smoke our boots tonight and dry them out a little bit. We are looking forward to heading to bed so thanks for checking on us and know that we are doing well and that we are looking forward to keeping you up to date. Ciao for now from high in the Papua region of Irian Jaya.

2/12/10
Hello there friends, family and loved ones. We made it to camp in good spirits and without rain today. Our trek in is going well and we have a great crew of porters and excellent local guides. Although there was no rain today, maybe some tomorrow and we are expecting jungle mud. Thanks for following along and stay tuned for more from the Carstensz Pyramid Team. Ciao for now.

2/11/10
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this Team New Guinea Pigs calling in from the highlands of Papua. Yes it dawned clear and bright this morning and we were able to jump on a Twin Otter and fly from Timika all the way up to the beautiful emerald city of Sugapa. Once we got here, we were greeted by the locals who came out in masks to greet the airplane as we landed and we were escorted down Main Street by a man with very large koteka and not much else other than his bow and arrow and his woman by his side. We came down the main street which was a continuous parade of pigs and goats and chickens and dogs just a whole menagerie of animals. We went to the house of the main man, the Papa of Sugapa, we met at the airport and we are now safely ensconced inside his house where we are continuing negotiations into the late evening with our porters. Right now there are probably about two hundred of them standing around the front of the building and negotiating for the next couple of weeks of carrying equipment to the mountain of Carstensz Pyramid. So it has been a very exciting day, a very long day and we are exhausted and we are heading to bed but please join us for tomorrow when we get up early and begin our trek to the highest mountain in Oceania. Ciao for now.

2/10/10
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is The New Guinea Pigs calling in from Timika on Papua New Guinea north of Australia. We did make our flight from Bali into Timika and everybody is trying to get their weights down for the next flight, the next stage from here is up to Sugapa Town, we need to get under 22 Kilos to make that flight so we have been crunching and punching and lightening our loads after a hard day of doing that. We went out for a great seafood dinner, we were eating shrimp the size of lobsters and lots of crab and we just filled our face. Now we are going to get ready to go to bed really early so we can get up and get it on before the clouds come up, which is one of the problems that we ran into today which is rain and fog in Sugapa. So we are going to try to beat that by getting up at 5:30 in the morning and getting to the airport bright and early at 7:00 and hopefully make our flight, our big get away from Timika up to Sugapa. So please stand by and stay tuned to the further adventures of New Guinea Pigs.

2/09/10

Friends, family and loved ones,
The New Guinea Pigs are waiting for a 2:30 am flight from Bali to Timika in Western Papau. If all goes as planned we will jump another flight in a Twin Otter to Sugapa as soon as we land. Sugapa is a native village high (2000m) in the rain forest. There we are hoping to break free of civilization and all of it's of red tape and start up the trail to Carstensz.

To The Summit and Beyond,
Vern Tejas

2/09/10
Hello friends, family and loved ones, Bali-It was a big day for us "New Guinea Pigs". After we checked our equipment we rigged ourselves for the rock climbing that awaits us in the clouds. We repacked and divied our loads for the adventure. We did some last minute shopping before we found a tree on the beach and threw our rope over a limb and then proceeded to ascend and descend it until the sun sank in the Western sky. We are slowly adjusting to the heat and humidity of this tropical isle. All eager to get underway with this great team so stay tuned as we adventure hogs experience the "Eighth of the Seven Summits".

To The Summit and Beyond,
Vern Tejas

2/08/10
Hello friends, family and loved ones,

Vern Tejas in Bali reporting for Alpine Ascents fresh expedition on Carstensz Pyramid in Western Papau. Western Papau is the new name for the west side of New Guinea, the island just North of Australia. Carstensz Pyramid is the highest mountain in Oceania. Our whole team and equipment have arrived on our launch pad in lovely resort of Bali. The team consists of Michael, Justin, Meredith, Olaf, Bob and Jack and they have decided that The New Guinea Pigs would be a sporting moniker for us.

So please join us pigs as we redefine the spirit of adventure and give new meaning to the word Bushwhacking.

To The Summit and Beyond,
Vern Tejas

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