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Carstensz Pyramid 11/27/08 dispatch

Our 3:00 a.m. depar­ture from Bali put us in Timi­ka this morn­ing a lit­tle after sun­rise and we were treat­ed to some excel­lent views of the Carsten­sz sum­mit ridge to the north side of the plane upon approach. 

We were informed that we had to be inter­viewed by the local author­i­ties before we would be allowed to con­tin­ue to Sug­a­pa. Despite hav­ing all of our per­mits in order, we had a brief­ing with a local police offi­cer who want­ed to hear it direct­ly from us that we have no inten­tions of attempt­ing to cross the pri­vate prop­er­ty owned by the Freeport Mine. This meet­ing could not hap­pen until ear­ly evening and the char­ter flight to Sug­a­pa must hap­pen ear­ly in the morn­ing, so we had one more day of wait­ing it out. 

Timi­ka is a bustling lit­tle city with basic ameni­ties, decent super­mar­kets, and a cou­ple of nice hotels. It serves main­ly as the port of entry and hub for work­ers and busi­ness­men affil­i­at­ed with the mine. It has a dusty look and more of a rough around the edges” feel than Bali. There is still a no tol­er­ance pol­i­cy for climbers cross­ing the mine, either to or from Carsten­sz Pyra­mid. The close prox­im­i­ty of the mine to the peak makes it look very appeal­ing for a short descent route back to Timi­ka, espe­cial­ly as an alter­na­tive to trekking north for sev­er­al days after a climb. We jumped through all of the hoops and gave our promis­es that we will return via Sug­a­pa after our climb and we now have clear­ance to move on tomor­row morning. 

Our char­ter flight is sched­uled to leave at 9:00 a.m., bar­ring any weath­er delays. For now, we are well fed after a huge din­ner at a local chi­nese restau­rant and are cur­rent­ly holed up at the sim­ple but clean Tem­ba­ga Hotel. I will call tomor­row and hope­ful­ly we can report that we are final­ly on the move with packs on our backs.