As climbers, we face extremely dangerous situations by just setting foot on the mountain we’re about to climb. And sometimes those dangerous situations can come in the form of unforeseen threats completely out of our hands in the areas we choose to climb in. This is one of those instances for John Beede and his fellow climbers. John is not only a climber, but he is also a motivational speaker and travels the world to change the lives of youth through his speeches. John is in need of our help as he and the others are trapped in Papua, New Guinea, Indonesia where they were climbing Carstensz Pyramid. They are trapped in one of the most remote parts of the country where cannibalism was practiced less than 50 years ago.
A highly contested election was held in Indonesia that led many groups into the remote portions of the country to seek independence. The porters that were accompanying John Beede and his companions deserted them after the political strife broke out. The porters stole their food, clean water and any hope of hiking out. The porters were all local tribesmen whose presence in the group was meant to ensure their safe travel through hostile lands. Local tribes are not only warring with one-another, but also with outside forces and internally. The guide company that John hired was legally required to have a contingency plan to airlift the climbers out in case of a political emergency. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t have the required insurance or access to a helicopter and because they are at 12,500 feet, most helicopters cannot fly at that altitude.
At this time the group is camped just outside the Freeport Mine which is owned by Freeport McMoRan of Phoenix, Arizona. This puts them between the mine and warring tribes. The climbers have asked the mine for humanitarian assistance only to be turned down. Basic rice and water has been provided to keep them alive, but aside from that, the mine has refused to help evacuate the climbers despite the fact there are Americans and EU citizens in need. The mine has told them to hike out, but it is impossible as it would put their lives in serious risk. The US Embassy in Jakarta claims that little can be done for the group of climbers and that they need to figure out a solution themselves.
Two feasible options have been identified for the dire need of help that this group needs: 1) The Freeport McMoRan mining company assists with evacuation as they have the manpower, resources and equipment to get John and his companions back to civilization within four hours. 2) The US Embassy steps up its efforts to assist the climbers. John’s family was told by those close to the embassy that pressure from high-ranking US officials would spur action from the US Government.
How you can help:
- Call the Freeport McMoRan Mine and DEMAND that they assist these climbers for humanitarian reasons. These climbers are victims of political circumstances beyond their control. If a company wishes to enjoy the benefits of US Protection abroad, they ought to extend humanitarian aid to US citizens in need. With no luck or response from the mine after trying to contact someone with authority there, it seems that they are hoping this problem will just go away. Please tweet, Facebook, or call them to insist that they offer humanitarian rescue to the climbers in Papau, New Guinea. You can contact them at 602-366-8100, and post on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Freeport-McMoRan/105590602807364https://twitter.com/FreeportMcMoRan
- Call your local senator, congressman, or state department official and demand that they put pressure on the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia to assist these climbers. Find your local contact info here: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/.
- Sign this petition on Change.org.
Please spread the word and let’s help get these climbers home safely!