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.
Carstensz Pyramid, one of the least climbed peaks in the ”7 Summits” is a formidable objective located in Papua, Indonesia. Our expedition begins in the beautiful island of Bali, where we fly to Timika then Sugapa to begin the fly to base camp. Our high-end logistics, local staff, and mountain guide ensure you are well taken care of throughout the expedition. The mountain is limestone that rises from the thick forest below, jutting to just over 16,000’. This rock climb requires basic rock climbing ability to ascents mostly 5th class terrain on fixed ropes.
Note From Garrett: I am very excited to lead this trip to Carstensz Pyramid in autumn of 2019! This expedition will be a “fly in and fly out” as current circumstances in Western Papua necessitate air transport. Our recent expedition to Carstensz utilized air transport and was very successful: expedition dispatches. I look forward to repeating this success and safety with you on this adventure!
Using helicopters to fly in and out allows us the best chance for an overall successful expedition, reaching the summit and returning safely. Recent logistical difficulties have resulted in some climbers not reaching the mountain, as well as detainment by tribesman and the security company overseeing the mining operation adjacent to the mountain. Until the last few years, trekking was the normal way to access the peak, with heavy reliance on local Dani Tribesman. Helicopter transport, in general, reduces the number of variables in reaching our destination. Utilizing the helicopter also reduces the chance of contracting an illness while trekking, avoids the local politics, and offers easy and reliable evacuation.
Day 1: Arrive in Bali. Transfer to our hotel. Expedition orientation & equipment check.
Day 2: Day tour around Bali, obtain expedition permits and ensure all baggage has arrived.
Day 3: Early morning flight to Timika. Arrive at hotel in Timika, final organization of personal equipment, review climb itinerary.
Day 4: Flight To Carstensz Pyramid Base Camp, the Yellow Valley. Rest and acclimatization in the afternoon, review of ropes, knots and technical climbing.
Day 5: Today we go on a short hike for acclimatization, final review of climb, then return to sleep at base camp.
Day 6: Summit Day! We awake early for an ‘Alpine Start’ and depart base camp in the pre dawn hours for our ascent of the peak.
Day 7: Helicopter flight from Carstensz Pyramid base camp and arrive Timika. We either stay in our hotel or connect to Bali if possible.
Days 8-9: Extra days in case of bad weather, etc.
Day 10: Flight To Bali, stay in hotel, extra day in Bali
Day 11: Depart Bali for home!
Carstensz Pyramid Expedition
October 26 – November 5
February 20 – March 1
March 16 – March 26
October 11 – 21
• Airport pick up and transfer to the hotel upon arrival in Bali
• Helicopter flight from Timika to Carstensz Pyramid Base Camp
• Accommodation (Single Occupancy) in Bali before and after the climb
• All meals on the expedition after departing Bali until return to Bali
• Tents, ropes, and other group climbing equipment
• All expedition logistics including climbing and trekking permits
• All equipment necessary to make a strong and safe attempt for the summit
• All expedition staff including Mountain Guide and local support staff
• 1-2 nights accommodation and meals in Papua one night prior to the climb and one night following the climb
• Transport of 15kg personal equipment from Timika to Base Camp by helicopter (20kg max for internal flight from Bali – Timika)
• Porters assistance if necessary
• Satellite phone for emergency contact
Costs Do Not Include:
• Round trip airfare Bali – Timika. Approximate ticket cost is $500 which we will arrange
• International Air travel to and from Denpasar, Indonesia
• Indonesian tourist visa charges and airport taxes
• Personal clothing and equipment
• Meals outside Papua
• Alcoholic beverages
• Bottled or canned beverages
• Specialty coffee or espresso drinks
• Personal travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance and medical or security evacuation insurance
• Any rescue costs or costs of early departure from the expedition
• Costs from arriving early or leaving late
• Overweight baggage charges on the flight to / from Bali – Timika
• Any costs due to flight delays/cancellations
• Additional Helicopters Charters
• Personal domestic excess baggage costs
• Customary gratuities to local expedition staff, porters and guides
• Accommodation in Bali, beyond the 2 nights
• Accommodation in Papua, beyond the 2 nights
• Personal climbing equipment. (See equipment list)
• Incidental Expenses such as Tips, Telephone, Bar, Laundry or other personal expenses.
• Force majeure.
• Costs for delays that are beyond the control of the expedition
• There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without a summit or progress towards a summit for participants due to route conditions, weather, insufficient manpower, or any other factor outside the control of Madison Mountaineering. Expedition leader has the final say on the expedition conclusion and will make all best efforts within our margin of safety.
• Participants that choose to leave an active expedition for any reason are not entitled to any refunds
• Madison Mountaineering, LLC highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions
• Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Madison Mountaineering must adhere to a stringent refund policy
• Deposit due with registration materials
• All balances are due 120 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified
• Participants whose balances are not received by the 120-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their funds and their place on the expedition
Note: Madison Mountaineering, LLC reserves the right to waive any fees. As we offer personalized service, we will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible. Deposits paid by participants acknowledge the above cancellation terms.
Alpine Climbing Harness: A lightweight mountaineering harness.
Locking Carabineers: 3
Rappel device: figure 8
Ascender: 1 (Petzel)
20ft. of 6mm accessory cord
Climbing Helmet: Adjustable
Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles to trek around the area of base camp.
Technical Climbing boots: To wear on the climb, must be waterproof. Good models include the La Sportiva Trango S Evo GTX, La Sportiva Trango Cube, and the Mammut Magic GTX.
Socks: Minimum 2 pair thick mountaineering socks and 2 pair liner socks
Rain Boots: waterproof rubber rain boots for use in base camp wet conditions
Short Underwear: 1-2 pair of synthetic short underwear
Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear.
Lightweight Trekking Pants: for wearing around base camp.
Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
Soft Shell Pants: For trekking and climbing
Insulated Jacket: PrimaLoft or Down
Insulated Pants: PrimaLoft or Down, these should have full side zippers.
Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers.
Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat.
Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days.
Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp.
Buff: 1-2 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust.
Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
Leather Rappel Gloves: 1 pair
Alpine Backpack: A 35 liter internal frame back pack.
Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least 20 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket.
Self Inflating pad: A full length air mattress
Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
Cup: 16oz. minimum
Bowl: ½ liter minimum capacity
Spoon: Plastic (lexan)
Sunscreen: SPF 50 or stronger
Lipscreen: SPF 30 or stronger
Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
Water Purification System: Tablets or Steripen
Pee Bottle: 1 liter capacity minimum
Pee Funnel: For Women
Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
Umbrella: A small and sturdy model
Trash Compactor bags (4): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
Travel Clothes: For days in Timika / Sugapa.
Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear to base camp.
Small Duffel Bag: to store items in the hotel in Bali.
Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops.
• Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
• Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness
• Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
• Pepto Bismol for loose stool
• Excedrin for headaches, anti nausea medications.
• Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 12 days such as Nuun.
• Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.
• Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
• Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milkey Way, etc.
• Hard Candy: 1 cup
• Crackers: 1 box
Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. Because we have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun!
Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.
Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are not only experts in our field, but we also love what we do!