The dramatic downturn in Kokoda trekker numbers, around 54 per cent in 2010, is causing some trek operators to compensate by overloading their PNG support crews. A recent backpack weight check at Owers Corner found that some porters were burdened with backpacks weighing up to 31 kg. The Ranger conducting the check said others were weighing in at up to 36 kg. This far exceeds the recommended weight of 20 kg in the KTA Code of Conduct for trek operators.
This exploitation of local carriers would not have been allowed in 1942 and it should not be allowed today. [Read more...]