Climb the most remote of the Seven Summits with Berg Adventures
Carstensz Pyramid – Trip Description
Hidden in the thick jungles of the Western Papua, Indonesia, Carstensz Pyramid has been considered the most unique and remote of the Seven Summits. At 16,024ft/4,884m, the mountain is the highest peak between the Andes and the Himalaya. Whether you count it as part of the Australian continental plate or not, it is the highest summit on an island on earth. New Guinea Itself is vast, more than 1,500 miles/2,400 km across, and it is the also the second largest island on earth, behind Greenland.
In 1938 aviators flying over the Baliem Valley, near where our trek to Carstensz will begin, identified the cultivated fields and settlements of civilizations that had previously not been known to the outside world. The Dani, and other peoples of this area, were truly “from the Stone Age” as mountaineer Heinrich Harrer described in his 1963 book about his climb of Carstensz, which was the first ascent.
Today a trek through the rain forests in the company of Dani porters and a climb of the limestone faces of Carstensz Pyramid is somewhat less wild than it might have been in the 1960’s, but not by much. This is not your typical Seven Summits climb. We will trek for days through virtually trackless forests, finally reaching the equatorial alpine terrain of New Zealand Pass and the high clear lakes around our Base Camp.
Summit day on Carstensz is a long one-day rock climb, often wet, but enjoyable as a guided climb. The abrasive limestone provides great traction with wet shoes and the summit ridge is spectacular in any conditions.
Berg Adventures Carstensz climbs begin and end in the island paradise of Bali. From there we will fly together eastward to Timika, on the southern coast of Western Papua. Grasberg Mine, the largest gold and copper mine in the world, is headquartered here, hence the scheduled air service. From Timika we will fly across the wild Sudirman Range, upon which the Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz first spotted glaciers in equatorial New Guinea in the year 1623.
Conditions and Qualifications
Climbing Carstensz Pyramid is technical and physically demanding. Though the five day hike to Base Camp does not gain much in elevation the days will be long and will offer some challenges such as crossing deep rivers. Summit day will offer the most challenges of the trek as it involves rock climbing on solid but abrasive limestone rock all day. Your team will need to move effectively on fixed lines. Climbers will need to be in excellent physical conditions and should have basic rock climbing and expedition experience.
Updates from your adventure will be posted on bergadventures.com and on Berg Adventures Facebook page. If you would like to have a specific dispatch posted for your expedition, please contact our office for details. We will be happy to accommodate your requests. Our dispatches have been used by family and friends to follow the progress of our groups and by schools to learn about the wild places we visit. They can be a wonderful lasting archive of your adventure.