14 Aug 2012

NZ climber undeterred by Papua misadventure

1:30 pm on 14 August 2012

A New Zealand climber who was detained by a local militia in Indonesia's Papua province says some of the group will attempt the trip again.

The group of ten, including five New Zealanders, were in the restive province to climb Mount Carstensz.

The expedition's leader, Mike Roberts, says after paying a local village to be allowed to climb the mountain, they were confronted by a group of men armed with machetes and bows and arrows.

"There was about 40 in that militia group. And one of the things that happened almost instantaneously is that the local tribal people, there was numerous children and women, and they instantly disappeared. And even the local tribesmen disappeared when this group arrived. They took a back seat."

Mike Roberts says the group had to pay about three and a half thousand US dollars to have their passports returned, and having abandoned the trip, they are now on their way to Bali.