Tag: Carstensz Pyramid

We’ve just concluded our journey to the least climbed of the Seven SummitsCarstensz Pyramid located on the island of Papua New Guinea.  About a week ago our team assembled in Bali and completed our equipment checks.  Then we flew to the easternmost province of Indonesia, Papua.  We waited in the frontier town of Timika for the weather to clear so that we could fly by helicopter over the jungle to the Yellow Valley base camp nearby Carstensz Pyramid.

We were delayed by one day in Timika as frequent the rain and thunderstorms passed by.  Then on the clear morning of October 16th we flew to base camp at 4,242 meters (14,000 ft).  From there we went on an acclimatization hike around the valley.  After lunch, we decided to climb partway up the route on Carstensz Pyramid, so that we could familiarize ourselves with the climbing.  At dinner, we discussed our climbing strategy for the following day and went to bed anticipating the climb ahead!

We awoke at 4 AM and had breakfast at 4:30 AM, then departed camp at 5 AM for our ascent of Carstensz Pyramid. As we ascended the first pitches of rock the sun rose and we turned off our headlamps. Much of the route is climbing on 5th class rock up cracks, gulleys, and rock faces until reaching the ridgeline.  By 9 AM we reached the cable crossing, an airy section where a large gap in the ridge exists.  Climbers cross by walking along a 40 ft. cable.  After that, we continued along the ridge until reaching a ‘step across’ where we hopped from one rock to the next.  We then ascended the final slopes to the summit at 4,884 meters (16,117 ft).  At the top, we congratulated each other and took a few team photos, then began our descent.

We rappelled much of the route and reached base camp at 3:30 PM.  That evening we celebrated our success on Carstensz Pyramid.  For one of our climbers, Gary Nelson, this was the successful completion of his Seven Summits quest.  Gary and I climbed Mount Everest together back in 2011, so this was a special way for me to be part of his last of the Seven Summits.  A few of the other climbers on the team are nearing completion of their Seven Summits as well, likely to finish in the coming months!

The following morning the weather cleared and the helicopter was able to fly to base camp and take out three of our climbers, however, that was the only flight for the day.  The two remaining climbers and I waited until the following day to fly out.  As we lifted off from base camp and exited the Yellow Valley we approached a thick field of clouds and fog, the pilots had to maneuver around the sky to find their way down to Timika. We were lucky as only one flight was able to get in!  The weather in Papua New Guinea is often rainy and cloudy, sometimes groups have been delayed as many as 10 days waiting for the clouds and rain to let up so that they can fly out, we were lucky!

After arriving in Timika we went to our hotel and had breakfast, showered and changed, and then went to the airport to catch our flight to Bali.  We have arrived in Bali and are reunited with our other climbers that were able to fly out a day before us.  Tonight we are celebrating our climb and planning to take a surf lesson in the morning before saying goodbye! 

While we are still awaiting some photos of the triumphant team member summits, the message from the island of New Guinea is that the team awoke to fantastic weather at the Yellow Valley base camp.  Half of the team (Richard, Joel, and Gary) were able to jump on a helicopter a day early and head back to Timika.  The timing should allow them to connect with the return flight to Bali and be enjoying the sunset from Bali’s world-famous beaches this evening!

Garrett, Jim, and Chad will follow suit tomorrow morning and met up with the others for a celebration dinner in Bali tomorrow night.

I promise pictures soon!

We received word that 100% of the team reached the summit of Carstensz Pyramid (4884 m / 16,024 ft) at 10:40 AM local time on October 17, 2018 (about 10 hours ago) and have all safely returned to base camp in the Yellow Valley!

We should have some pictures and details to share shortly.

Our Carstensz Pyramid team reached the summit and has now returned to Bali today, after a helicopter flight early this morning from the base camp.  The weather over the last 48 hours since we got down from the summit has been very stormy, so we were laying low at our base camp until the storm passed and the clouds and rain cleared up for a brief window to let the helicopter fly in.  Most of the kitchen and dining tents in the base camp were destroyed in the wind storm, but our personal tents held up fine throughout the storm, thanks to the great engineering from Mountain Hardwear for our Trango 3 tents!

The climb was an epic day on the tallest peak in Australasia, a rock pyramid jutting out of the surrounding jungle landscape.  We departed before dawn, climbing up the route over varying degrees of steepness on sustained slopes until we reached the summit ridge.  We then traversed the ridge to the famous “abyss” crossing, where we tip toed across a wire cable to the other side.  That wasn’t the crux, as there were a couple more challenging crossings where we literally had to leap across to the other side!  We lucked out with great weather the whole day and reached the top around 9 AM, then began the long series of rappels back down to base camp.  This has truly been an epic adventure!  We are all now on our way home after a wonderful time in Indonesia, climbing one of the world’s “7 summits“!

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid weather has our climbing team positioned at base camp for another day. Garrett checks in below via satellite phone and relays that George and Audrey are enjoying the adventure while they wait for their return helicopter flight. Pictures coming soon!

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Carstensz Pyramid weather

Garrett checks in with the Carstensz Pyramid team after a safe descent from the summit yesterday. Currently our team is socked in at base camp waiting for suitable weather to fly back to Timika and then to Bali. Stay tuned!

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Carstensz

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Carstensz

Follow our progress on this real-time tracking map

Carstensz Pyramid team reaches the summit at 4,884m / 16,024ft! Listen to the audio dispatch below as Garrett checks in from the summit. Reports of variable cloud cover and stable climbing conditions. Way to go team!

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team .

Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

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Carstensz Pyramid team

Follow our progress on this real-time tracking map

 
Our autumn 2017 Carstensz Pyramid expedition has launched!! Our team flew by helicopter and arrived safely at Yellow Valley base camp today. Listen in below for a audio dispatch from Garrett and climbers Audrey and George as they prepare for the ascent. Onward and upward!

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After a few days patiently waiting for the sky to clear we are off to the mountain! Carstensz Pyramid here we come!

2017 Carstensz Pyramid

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2017 Carstensz Pyramid

Once the expedition gets underway, follow our progress on this real-time tracking map.

 
Hello and greetings from Timika, the island of Papua. While on standby for the last couple of days waiting for good weather to fly into the base camp of Carstensz Pyramid, we have made the most of our time here by visiting some nice restaurants and touring the town & surrounding areas.  Our climbing team is very eager to get to the mountain and begin climbing, however, we must wait for good flying conditions.  So we are playing the waiting game, keeping our spirits up, and anticipating with positive hopes for a flight in the next day or two.  As soon as we are able to fly to the base camp we will be poised to make our climb of the famed Carstensz Pyramid rock wall!

Once the expedition gets underway, follow our progress on this real-time tracking map.

Greetings from the town of Timika, on the Island of Papua.  We arrived yesterday here from Bali and went to the immigration office to get our permits.  Then we enjoyed some nice dinner here before checking our equipment and preparing for today’s helicopter flight to Carstensz Pyramid, assuming good weather and flyable conditions.  We will fly about 45 minutes over the jungle to the base camp at about 14,000′, and once there plan to settle into our base camp.  We are very excited to get to the mountain and start climbing!

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