Basic Maoke Mountain Information

Miles Clark |


“There is almost no information available on the old ski resort in Indonesia’s Maoke Mountains.  We’ve been digging for weeks.  We found a decent amount of information on a German ski forum. The information has clearly been translated and retranslated or but the details are clear.  It’s even possible that these writings have no basis.  There is so little information out there on this ski resort that we deemed it viable to include this information despite the fact that it is uncorroborated.” –


The resort is located in the Maoke mountains, in the shadow of the Puncak Jaya (+16 000 feet). In the Puncak Jaya range you will be find four separeted glaciers. They are the Northwall Firn, the Meren Glacier, the Carstensz Glacier and the Southwall Hanging Glaciers.

The nearyby Puncak Trikora also had in the past an ice cap, but that disappeared between 1950 and 1960.
In the climate is very important the monsoon, which occures seasonal variations with rainfalls in the winter and dry conditions during the summer. In Indonesia the only area high enough to receive snow is the Maoke Mountains , where located our resort. The annual avarage temperature is about 33F in our resort. Example in the high level (Mt Elbert) of the Rockies is the annual avarage temperature about 36F. The winter can be pretty much cold with temperatures below – 4F, while in the summer the daytime high temperatures ranges from 32-46F. The summertime is relatively dry here. So the best time to enjoy the snow-skiing in the Jaia is from May to October. The other months, especially the periode between December and March has heavy rainfalls. In the high level that’s mean solid snowfalls with snowstorms. Due the bad weather conditions we are closed for this time, however it could be happen, that we open our doors, if the weather is still enough good to operate the skilifts.

All the three skilifts located at the Meren glacier. Both platterlifts are relatively close each other, but they served different hills. The rope tow is located also at the Meren glacier, but it is closer to the Carstensz glacier. Both platterlifts recommended to use for all level skiers. But our oldest lift, the “oldie tow” is very hard to drag and ride. So be carefull with the rope tow and we recommended it only for intermediate and expert skiers. Lifts are open from 9 AM to 17 PM in all day.

The slopes are gentle; offer green and blue runs from 14 500 feet to 15 700 feet. Our slopes are good for beginners and pre-intermediate/intermediate skiers. The skiruns are groomed, but we make a day to day grooming only after dumps. Usually we are grooming three-four times in a week. At the rope tow you will also find some nice mogul runs. It’s a bit hard to guesstimate the overall lenght of the skiruns, but approx. we have ~3,5 miles groomed slopes.
The nearby glacier, called Northwall Firn is a heaven for freeriders with its wide and open terrain, covered with powdersnow. During the wintertime sometimes get the lower part of the range also a lot of snow. If the snowcover is enough deep, than you can ski from the top of the mountain to the D. Biru, it’s mean about 2300 vertical feet ! But the terrain is very steep here, only for expert freeriders (guide is avalaible).


The resort was established by Sir John McCisk. Sir Mccisk was born in 1948 in Edinburgh. As a fanatic skier he skied in the Rockies, Andes, in the Alps, Pyrnees and also in the far east (Japan). In 1977 he spent his vacation in the island of New Guinea, where he climbed the ice covered peak, called Puncak Jaya. Puncak Jaya is the highest peak on the island with over 16 000 feet.
Puncak Jaya is part of the 1500 miles long Pegunungan Maoke or Central Range, home to several peaks almost as high as this mountain. The Puncak Jaya massif has four separate glaciers, and it is possible to go skiing as high as Ngga Pulu at the head of the Meren glacier. The Carstensz glacier is located about 300 m below the summit of Puncak Jaya.
Sir McCisk dream was to operate an own skiresort and while he was staying at the Puncak Jaya and took a look at the glorius mountains with glaciers, he decided: “I’ll make here my own resort!” And believe or not, but he did it! In 1979 was built the ski lodge and the rope tow. Three years lather two mobile platter lift was added to the area and he bought and imported an old groomer from Japan, thank to Nakashima, he is Sir McCisk’s good friend. Nakashima found a quite old groomer in Niigata and this groomer operate nowadays in our resort. The groomer was taking apart and after this methode we imported from Japan to New Guinea as shipment. All the lifts were constructed by japanese technicians, but these were made in Jakarta and in Semerang. The most expensive and difficult thing was to carry the elements of the lifts and the groomer. In New Guinea is the terrain very difficult due the mountains and the rainforest. Here aren’t wide highways as in Europe, in North America or even in Japan. The last stage was the most difficult and we needed an Heli. It was a hard job to find a heli in New Guinea. We asked at the airfields in Jayapura and near Kokenau. Unfortunately they had only small airplanes. Than we asked for heli in Moresby, and finaly they had an old heli. To built the resort was a sweaty job. Waiting on weather due the snowstorms during the monsoon time. Example in January of 1982 we had no sunshine, only snow fog and cold temperatures. Sometimes was it bloody cold and for the workers it was unusual. Most of them haven’t got any idea from the snow! But we did it, and in october of 1982 we completed the resort!
In the future Sir Mccisk will buy a doubleseater from Japan. “In the summer of 2004 I visited my dear friend, Nakashima. He told me that lots of japanese skiresorts have financial problems and many of them are allready shut down. The biggest problem is, that we built too much resorts and in the golden years we had more than 1200 skicenters here in Japan – told me Nakashima. We visited some closed areas and Nakashima told me, that I could buy the lifts for a good price. I think it will be a really nice deal, but the transportation is so expensive. I need more money for a new chairlift in my resort. Hope, that in the future, maybe between 2010 and 2015 I can realize my plan and my next dream”. (Sir John McCisk)

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