Carstensz Pyramid 2015 Dispatches

The Madison Mountaineering Carstensz Pyramid climbing team is safely back in Bali!. We flew back to Timika in the B3 helicopter and were able to catch a fixed wing flight back to Bali. Sangeeta, Ankur, and I had a nice meal together when we got back and now we are all getting some well deserved sleep. Our expedition to Carstensz Pyramid was a success! Our first team (Joe Butler & Newall Hunter) made a quick summit of Carstensz Pyramid after arriving in base camp. What was going to be a reconnaissance turned into a summit of the peak! Then, our second group of Joe Butler, Ankur & Sangeeta made an attempt. Overall, we had a few summits, and very much enjoyed our time in Papua! This peak is one of the most challenging of the seven summits from a logistics perspective, the multiple fixed wing and helicopter flights required to access the mountain from Bali are a remarkable feat by itself, and then there are the many pitches of fixed ropes necessary to climb the tough steep rock faces to the summit! We had good climbing conditions on Carstensz Pyramid, and are very happy with the outcome of our expedition. All members are now back in Bali and are safe. We look forward to returning to Carstensz Pyramid soon for another great expedition next March!!!

-Joe Butler, Expedition Leader

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Puncak Jaya Ascent:

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Our Madison Mountaineering climbing team staying safe with fixed lines:

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Beautiful scenery on the Carstensz Pyramid ascent!

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Mozes Kilangin International Airport ~ Timika, Indonesia:

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B3 helicopter ride back to Timika!

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Sangeeta looking good with a big “Thumbs UP” next to our B3 helicopter! Way to go team!!

Expedition leader Joe Buttler’s reconnaissance mission from base camp turned into a successful summit push today! Joe and Newall pushed onward through the Yellow Valley and to the impressive rock face of Carstensz Pyramid. At this point the team crossed the Tyrolean Traverse and continued up the summit ridge. After reaching an elevation of 16,042 ft, Joe and Newall experienced beautiful views from the highest point in Indonesia. Carstensz Pyramid is also the highest point between the Himalayas and the Andes, and the highest island peak in the world!

Ankur of our climbing team is currently under the weather and we are hoping for a fast recovery to full health. Tomorrow the team will have an early start to the day and make another push to the summit. To the top!

Awesome news received from Indonesia, the team has arrived to Carstensz Pyramid Base Camp! The Madison Mountaineering expedition is underway after a volcano eruption near Bali had delayed the team’s departure. Yesterday the team flew to Timika in the Papua province by jet, then a quick helicopter ride to base camp. Weather is overcast with light rain reported. Our climbing team will be spending these first couple days acclimatizing to the altitude change. A team member on our expedition has backpacked in a DJI Phantom 3 drone, needless to say that we expect to receive some AMAZING content following this epic life adventure. More to come as this expedition progresses up the mountain!!

Attached is a audio dispatch received from our expedition leader, Joe Butler. At times the audio can be difficult to hear. I found the most effective way to listen was to play this audio on a louder sound system.

With the eruption of Mount Barujari in West Nusa Tenggara settling, the Madison Mountaineering team is preparing for liftoff in Bali. The spread of volcanic ash from the volcano is moving to the south and west of the eruption point. With any luck, our climbing team will be headed to Timika and then board a helicopter to base camp today. While in Bali the team has enjoyed the breathtaking forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. Bali is a part of the Coral Triangle, a famous oceanographic area with some of the highest biodiversity of marine species in the world. The weather has been warm for the most part in the low 80’s, with occasional thunder storms in the area.

Earlier today, the Jakarta Post wrote an article that details the Bali airport gradually reopening and the continued effects of this powerful volcano eruption. The Madison Mountaineering team will receive daily updates as the climbing team progresses toward Carstensz Pyramid. Daily dispatches will be posted here!

For family members and friends, my email is andrew@madisonmountaineering.com. Feel free to email me if you have any questions as this expedition continues. Onward!

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Gear check with Ankur and Sangeeta in Bali:

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Team welcome dinner in Bali! The adventure begins:

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The Madison Mountaineering team is preparing for a expedition to the highest island peak in the world! This massive rock formation is the largest mountain in Indonesia as well as the Australian continent. Carstensz Pyramid, or Puncak Jaya, is one of the least climbed peaks in the “7 Summits” and a formidable objective located in Papua, Indonesia. Our expedition will begin in the beautiful island of Bali, where the team will then fly to Timika then Sugapa to begin the trek to base camp. Madison Mountaineering’s high end logistics, local staff relationships, and mountain guide experience ensure the group will be well taken care of throughout this expedition.

 

Carstensz Pyramid was developed by the collision between the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates. The rock formation that exists today is composed of limestone that rises from the thick forest below to just over 16,000′. This mountain ascent will be a exciting adventure filled with many challenging rock formations. Along the ascent the team will push through multiple glacier fields across the mountain such as Carstensz Glacier. Upon reaching the peak the summit will typically be free of ice. The team’s rock climbing ability to ascents includes mostly 5th class terrain on fixed ropes. Stay tuned as this expedition prepares to launch!!

Carstensz Pyramid