EXOTIC HIGH ALTITUDE ROCK ASCENT
Located on the island of Papua in New Guinea Carstensz Pyramid is the highest island peak in the world and one of the Seven Summits. Rising above the dense jungle that guards the approach, this remote, limestone peak offers exciting and challenging rock climbing and is the only one of the Seven Summits to require technical rock climbing. The jungle surrounding Carstensz is home to the Dani people, as well as many other individual tribes, and is a very challenging environment to navigate. Inter-tribal politics and conflicts, difficult jungle trails, the humidity and sometimes extreme weather combine to make a trek into Carstensz very challenging. Recently the availability of reliable helicopter service has made an ascent of Carstensz much more practical as well as eliminating the challenges and dangers of a long jungle trek. Even without the jungle trek this is one of the most remarkable places left to travel on earth. With a combination of excellent climbing, otherworldly locations and the unique, exotic culture of the Dani people, Carstensz Pyramid Climb is truly one of our most fascinating adventures in one of the wildest remaining places on the planet.
Located at latitude 4 degrees and 5 minutes south by 137 degrees and 11 minutes east longitude in the western central highlands of New Guinea, the second largest island after Greenland, 16,023-foot / 4884-meter Carstensz Pyramid is the highest peak on the Oceania continent and one of the seven summits.
With helicopter access, this otherwise inaccessible peak is made readily available. After a short flight from the town of Timika, the team arrives in base camp and reviews skills and acclimatize before an early start of the climb.
From the magical base camp that is surrounded by alpine lakes we have easy access to the peak. Our climb of Carstensz Pyramid consists of moderate rock climbing over mostly solid, white limestone and is completed in one long day from our basecamp in the Valley of Lakes. The climb is never extremely difficult but has several technical sections that require both the familiarity of mechanical ascenders and being comfortable on steep, exposed terrain. On our way to the summit we will encounter several rappels and ascend short sections of near vertical rock. The climbing along the summit ridge is a distinct pleasure with high exposure and interesting climbing on easy to moderate fifth class rock.
From the summit we will have incredible views of Ngga Pulu and its rapidly retreating glaciers, the brilliant white limestone towers of the Sudirman Mountains, the turquoise lakes of the Meren Valley and on a clear day all the way to the coast of New Guinea.
The total number of days for your trip includes all travel to and from your destination, with some exceptions. Please call our office to confirm that your flight itinerary is correct. For this trip you will need to arrive in Denpasar, Bali in Indonesia. The capital city, Denpasar, is located on the east coast of the Island of Bali and is known for its white sandy beaches and offers a great stopover on the way to Carstensz or on your return home. From Denpasar you will fly to Timika.
This trip necessitates an overnight flight from the U.S. beginning on day 1 of the itinerary. You will cross the dateline in mid-flight to Asia thus losing a day. Don’t worry, you’ll make it up on the way home. Your return flight will take 2 days to arrive back home. Book your return flight to leave Timika to Denpasar, Indonesia on day 17 and on to your home city.
Please contact our office for any help needed with flight schedule.
Carstensz Pyramid Day by Day
Travel to Denpasar, Bali.
Mountain Madness staff will meet you at the airport. You will transfer to your hotel
We will spend Day 3 having a team meetings and doing equipment checks in preparation for our early morning flight to Papua. We wrap up last minute paperwork and secure our permit with the Indonesian government. Welcome dinner with the team.
We fly to West Papua and transfer to our hotel. Flights are generally early morning which gives us the rest of the day to prepare for our morning helicopter flight to base camp.
CARSTENSZ BASE CAMP
We’ll get an early start, depending on weather, for the helicopter flight to base camp.
CARSTENSZ BASE CAMP
Acclimatization. Spend the day at base camp acclimatizing to the altitude and preparing for the summit climb.
We’re off to the summit! The route is relatively straightforward and follows a line up the north face. After scrambling approximately 1,640 feet / 500 meters over mostly solid rock we will break out on the summit ridge where lines will be fixed in preparation for our descent. Our route here follows the ridge crest with grand exposure along the way. We pass four small notches as we rappel and use ascenders to negotiate these tricky sections. Our descent entails multiple rappels and scrambling. We will be on good, clean rock that provides excellent friction even in wet weather. This will be a long, difficult day of 12 – 18 hours roundtrip.
EXTRA WEATHER DAYS
These extra days are to allow for a better weather window or extra days for acclimatization if needed.
Carstensz basecamp to Timika. Morning helicopter flight to Timika. Hotel in Timika
We fly back to Denpasar, Bali and our hotel where we will celebrate our expedition.
Helicopter flights are subject to weather delays, sometimes lasting several days. We allow contingency days to accommodate delays. It is strongly advised that you allow a delay of up to one week should an extended delay occur.
Note on Itinerary: Although we do our very best to follow the schedule listed, this itinerary is subject to change due to inclement weather, unsafe route conditions, or other reasons beyond our control and in the guide’s best judgement.
- Carstensz Pyramid permit and environmental fees
- Indonesian government royalty fees
- Two scheduled hotel nights in Denpasar, Bali (double occupancy)
- Two scheduled hotel nights in Timika, West Papua (double occupancy)
- Restaurant meals as indicated in itinerary
- Round-trip helicopter transport to/from base camp
- All food during the climb
- All group gear at base camp and on the climb.
- Airport transfers and all scheduled land transport in West Papua
- International airfare to Indonesia
- Indonesia entry visa and airport fees
- Travel insurance with trip cancellation, medical and evacuation policy
- Personal climbing gear and clothing
- Personal expenses (phone calls, laundry, room service, extra hotel nights, extra meals, etc.)
- Alcoholic and bottled beverages
- Excess baggage on domestic flights (44 lb / 20 kg limit)
- October, November 13 Days
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