Climbing Carstensz is a grand adventure that takes us to one of the most remote regions of the world.
- Trip Overview
- The Climb
- Trek Option
- Gear List
Carstensz-Pyramid Guided Adventure
Climbing Carstensz is a grand adventure that takes us to one of the most remote regions of the world. Much of West Papua were among the very last areas of the world to be mapped. There are people deep in the jungles of Papua, who have never experienced the modern world. Carstensz Pyramid is the highest peak in the oceanic continent and one of the seven summits. This limestone massif rises out of a lush jungle, and one of the worlds most profitable and secretive gold mines.
This expedition, in West Papua a providence of Indonesia, is possibly the most exotic and unique of the seven summits. Without question an amazing and unforgettable adventure even for those not seeking to climb the seven summits. It is located on the island of New Guinea, and is the highest peak between the Himalayas and the Andes, as well as, the highest island peak in the world. This peak was first climbed in 1926 on an expedition led by Heinrich Harrer an Austrian mountaineer.
We begin and end our trip in Bali, Indonesia. Bali’s beaches and night life are great for relaxing and celebrating before and after the trip. From Bali, we take a commercial flight to Timika on the West Papuan Island. From Timika we will fly by helicopter to the Yellow Valley and Carstensz base camp.
Once in basecamp we prepare to climb. Often the morning following our arrival we will make our summit bid. We should be prepared to fly directly off the mountain following our summit. Often we have a few hours rest before jumping on our flights back to Bali.
The rock on Carstensz is limestone, which is quite grippy, even when wet. The route is fixed with ropes and is climbed by using an ascender to protect you against a fall. These two factors make it possible to climb in almost any weather.
The standard route has a rock rating of approximately 5.6 and is up the featured north face to the ridge. As we travel along the ridge we encounter a deep gap nearly 60’ across. Luckily this gap is fixed with cables to assist in our crossing. This used to be a tyrollean traverse, where you clipped in and pulled yourself across. That was a challenging and time consuming endeavor, so now it’s what the local guides have dubbed the “Sky Bridge”. The sky bridge is three tight cables; one cable to balance on and the other two, a few feet higher to clip to and use as hand rails. The new system is quick and fun, and for some a bit intimidating.
The Summit is a small rock perch with views of the vast surrounding jungle, the ocean and the juxtaposition of the nearby gold mine. After a few pictures and a few minutes to relish in our accomplishment, we will descend the way we came up. Using a combination of repelling and down climbing, attaching our ascenders as back up we will make our way back to base camp. The climb basecamp to basecamp takes anywhere between 8-10 hours round trip.
We have numerous times, also climbed Carstensz by trekking into base camp instead of flying. This is a 5-6 day trek through the jungle and across a 10,000’ plateau to our basecamp at the base of the mountain. This is an arduous trek, with mud and rain to deal with on most days.
Our trek is supported by local porters from the Dani and Mani tribes. Working with these people is the most rewarding and fascinating parts of trekking in. We start in the village of Sugapa, which is access by a small aircraft on a dirt runway.
Please inquire about trekking date and prices.
- ALPINE CLIMBING HARNESS: Your harness must be adjustable and fit over all of you clothing layers. Harness must be modern with a belay loop and gear loops.
- ASCENDER (1): You can choose right or left, make sure it’s easy to operate.
- LOCKING CARABINERS (2): These need to be large sized to fit over knots on fixed lines.
- NON-LOCKING CARABINERS (2): Just something to hold your gear. Modern and light is nice.
- 10 FT. OF 6MM PERLON CORD: This will be used to make your tethers.
- 120CM LENGTH SEWN RUNNER: This will be used for person anchor and rappelling rig.
- SUPER 8 RAPPEL DEVICE: Due to the thick diameter fixed ropes, a 8 style device is necessary.
- CLIMBING HELMET: A good fitting, lightweight helmet with clips for headlamp.
- LIGHT CLIMBING BOOTS: Technical climbing boots, waterproof is nice.
- 2-3 PAIR SYNTHETIC SOCKS: New wool synthetic blends are my preferred.
- CAMP SHOES: Any comfortable approach or running shoe works.
- LEATHER RAPPEL GLOVES: Leather is important, but a leather mechanics/work glove is fine.
- LIGHTWEIGHT SYNTHETIC GLOVES: Wool or synthetic and snug fit.
- MEDIUM WEIGHT GLOVES OR MITTENS: Waterproof with leather palms.
- HEADLAMP: Bright (300 lumens or more recommended) light and rechargeable.
- LIGHT WEIGHT SYNTHETIC BEANIE: Quick drying and fits well under climbing helmet.
- BUFF NECK GAITER: This is a very versatile piece of gear for face and head.
- SUNGLASSES: A good pair of sunglasses, preferably with CHUMS.
- SUN HAT: Whatever style you prefer
- SOFT SHELL JACKET: Lightweight breathable and comfortable fit.
- CLIMBING PANT: Well fitting soft shell and non-insulated.
- LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN JACKET W/ HOOD: This is a waterproof hardshell. Simple and light is right.
- LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN PANT: Full length side zips recommended. Light and simple.
- 2 BASE LAYER TOP: I like at least one of these to be a sun hoodie. Lightweight non-cotton.
- 2 BASE LAYER BOTTOMS: Lightweight non-cotton.
- MID LAYER TOP: Midweight insulating layer.
- PUFFY JACKET: Lightweight, hooded and synthetic.
- BACKPACK 30 LITER: Simple and lightweight.
- 20 DEGREE F SLEEPING BAG: Note that down is not really appropriate for this environment.
- INFLATABLE SLEEPING PAD:: Full length and insulated recommended. Make sure it holds air.
- HYDRATION SYSTEM and 1 WATER BOTTLE: The Hydration system works well on the climb, the bottle is for extra capacity and for camp and tent use.
- Sunscreen and Lip screen: New and at least 70 SPF
- Toiletry Bag: Tooth brush, tooth paste, toilet paper, hand sanitizer.
- Small Personal First Aid Kit: Keep it simple and small.
- Malaria medicine: Malaria meds are highly recommended.
- Umbrella: This might seem strange, but we highly recommend.
- Large Duffel Bag (1): Porters will carry this bag.
- Small Duffel Bag (1): This will be used to store travel clothing in Timika.
- Camera Gear: Keep this simple.
- Bali is a City on the beach so bring what you think appropriate for Pre and Post trip play in Bali.