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Carstensz Pyramid Expedition

11 Days in / (Skill level: Intermediate)

Price per person

$28000
  • Next Available: -

About this trip

2022 DATES TBD: Located on the remote Island of West Papua, the Carstenz Pyramid is a mesmerizing limestone peak that rises high above the dense jungle below. Topping out at 16,024’ (4,884m) above sea level, the Carstensz Pyramid is the tallest peak in Oceania. 

Overview

  • skill level

    Intermediate

  • Duration

    11 Days

Climb one of the “7-Summits”

Standing at 16,024′, 4,884m, the Carstensz Pyramid is the tallest peak in Oceania. Rising out of the remote jungle of Papua New Guinea, it is often regarded as the most exotic of the 7 summits. This steep limestone peak is the only 7-summits that involves rock climbing, making it a unique experience for 7-summiters and adventure seekers alike.

Route Description

Our journey to the summit of the tallest peak in Oceania starts in Bali. After arriving in Indonesia, we’ll spend the first day organizing gear and resting from the long day of travel. From Bali, we’ll take a flight to  the city of Timika on the Island of Western Papua.  After arriving in Timika, we’ll re-pack and make sure that we are all dialed in for the coming expedition. 

Weather permitting, we’ll take a helicopter to the Carstensz base camp the following morning. Upon arriving in the yellow valley we’ll put up base camp and settle in. This will also be the first of our two day acclimatization period as we prepare for our summit bid. 

After two days of acclimatizing, we’ll be ready to push for the summit. An early start and a short trek from base camp will see us at the foot of the Carstensz Pyramid. The route follows a series of gullies with technical climbing up to 5.8 as we work our way up the North face of the peak. There is about 500 meters of solid rock climbing before reaching the summit ridge.

Once we make the ridge, we’ll start traversing as we make our way towards the summit. This section is pretty straight forward, with some awesome exposure and a Tyrollean traverse across a gully.

After making our way across the razorback ridge, we’ll arrive at the summit of the Carstenz Pyramid. Standing at 16,024’ (4,884m), the summit of this incredible peak rewards our climb with stunning views of Western Papua. We’ll celebrate having summited one of the coveted “7-summits”, and start to work our way back down to base camp.

Quality Logistics

We work with an incredible local logistics team that helps us navigate the complicated logistics that comes with climbing on this remote island.  Taking a helicopter from the city of Timika to base camp allows us avoid difficult local political disputes and reduce the time spent away from family and business. Couple with the best guides in the business and a high emphasis on quality logistics, food, camp infrastructure, and Alpenglow office support allows us to provide the best climbing experience possible.

 

Preparation

  • Technical Experience

    Climbers will need to have prior multi-pitch experience and be able to climb up to 5.8.

  • Fitness

    Climbers should be in great physical shape. While this climb is not a long and sustained multi-day climb, the summit push is a big day and will require great physical fitness.

    • Day 0 — Arrive in Bali

      Today you arrive into Bali, Indonesia. We'll use this day to allow the team to arrive and get settled to start the expedition.

    • Day 1 — Organize Gear in Bali

      After your long travel day, we'll spend today resting and organizing gear.

    • Day 2 — Fly to Tamika

      Today we’ll fly to the remote Island of Western Papua. Arriving in the city of Timika in the morning, we’ll spend the rest of the day making sure that our gear is all dialed for the helicopter flight to Carstensz base camp the next morning.

    • Day 3 — Fly to Carstensz Base Camp

      From Timika, a short helicopter flight will see us arrive at the foot of Oceania’s tallest peak. We’ll set up base camp as we start to acclimatize at 13,780’ (4,200m).

    • Day 4 — Acclimatize

      We'll spend the day acclimatizing and resting before our summit push. We'll get to bed early to prepare for an early start tomorrow morning.

    • Day 5 — Summit Bid

      Starting bright and early, we’ll make our way from base camp to the start of the “Harrer” route on the North face of the Carstensz Pyramid. 500m of rock climbing and scrambling will see us make the summit ridge. From the ridge, an exposed traverse will take us to the summit of the Carstensz Pyramid. After a short celebration, a series of rappels and some trekking will see us back in base camp.

    • Days 6-8 — Extra Day's

      We've built in some extra days in case of weather delays etc. If we don't need these day's, we'll head out of base camp and back to Timika and onto Bali.

    • Day 9 — Fly to Tamika/Bali

      Today we’ll take a helicopter flight back to Timika, and either overnight in Timika or connect through to Bali to depart for home.

    • Day 10 — Fly to Bali

      We'll spend the day in Bali, either having arrived the night before or taking a short fly there this morning.

    • Day 11 — Depart for home

      Today we'll depart Bali and fly home.

      • Headwear and Eyewear

      • Blue 5-Panel AEX Hat

        The perfect hat for warm days on the move. This hat is a lightweight construction and provides ample ventilation to keep your head cool and your face shaded. Leather patch on the front with our classic Alpenglow Expeditions logo. Simple and stylish. Our summer guide's favorite piece of headwear!

        $25.00
      • Beanie

        A comfortable, warm well-fitting hat that covers your ears. Make sure that one of your hats fits under a helmet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer First Slouch Beanie

      • Neck Gaiter (Buff)

        A multi purpose neck gator that can also be worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible and yet is still comfy. Recommended: Alpenglow Expeditions Buff

      • Balaclava

        We recommend a tight-fitting balaclava that is worn under your hat. Make sure that it covers as much skin as possible, but is comfortable enough to wear for hours. Recommended: Patagonia Balaclava

      • Sunglasses

        Must have dark lenses. Minimal light should come in below, above, or around the sides of the lenses.“Wrap” style is best. Ventilation is important and a retainer strap is very useful (Chums or Croakies). Recommended: Julbo Shield

      • Hands and Feet

      • Lightweight Gloves

        All-around gloves for mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and hiking. These gloves (and similar options) are warm, wind-resistant, durable and have a sure grip. You will rarely take these gloves off. They should be snug-fitting, and have some sort of reinforced palm. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Mountain Glove

      • Midweight Gloves

        These gloves should be full GORE-TEX®, and insulated. These will be your main glove for the trip until summit days, or when it gets especially cold. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Glove

      • Climbing Gloves

        These leather climbing gloves will be used for rope handling and climbing on corse rock. Full finger gloves are recommended. Recommended: Black Diamond Crag Gloves

      • Liner Socks (optional)

        A super-thin wicking sock that repels moisture. Liner socks help to reduce the likelihood of blisters. The socks should be thin wool, nylon, or Capilene®. NO COTTON. Recommended: Ice Breaker Hike Liner Crew

      • Hiking Socks

        Your everyday sock, good for day hikes, trekking, and in- town. NO COTTON. Recommended: Patagonia Lightweight Merino Performance Crew Socks

      • Hiking Shoes

        These light to mid-weight shoes are for every day use. The ideal shoe is comfortable to wear for multiple days and scrambles decently on rock. A Gore-tex lined shoe stays drier when hiking in rain or snow. Recommended: La Sportiva TX Guide

      • Mountaineering Boot

        Should be warm single boots that have a stiff sole and accept a step-in crampon. The boots should be comfortable, have adequate wiggle room for your toes, and your heel should not lift more than 1/8 of an inch when walking. Recommended: La Sportiva Trango Tech GTX

      • Upper Body Apparel

      • Lightweight Top

        Ultra-light base layer that effectively wicks moisture away from your body and is breathable. Quick-dry is important as well. One light colored shirt is recommended for extremely sunny days. The new wool blends are also an option. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Resolution Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

      • Long Sleeve Base Layer

        A poly-pro mid-layer that you will never take off. Fitted, light- weight and quick drying. Make sure it is long enough to tuck-in and we recommend zipper collars for more ventilation. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Midweight FreeDry® Merino Hybrid Baselayer 1/4-Zip

      • Warm Layer

        A polarguard or fleece jacket. This is your mid layer that will be worn over your baselayer most of the trip. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Cloud Layer Pro 1/4 Zip or Patagonia R1 Jacket

      • Synthetic Top

        A simple, lightweight synthetic jacket. This item is good for layering systems and the Primaloft keeps you warm when wet. Recommended: Eddie Bauer IgniteLite Stretch Reversible

      • Hard Shell Jacket

        A lightweight, waterproof and breathable jacket WITH A HOOD that can withstand extreme weather conditions. Make sure you have pit-zips and if you are using an old jacket, re-waterproof it. Recommended: Eddie Bauer BC Freshline Jacket

      • Lower Body Apparel

      • Base Layer Bottoms

        Fitted and quick drying. This piece will be a base-layer that will get you through a wide range of temperatures. Recommended: SmartwoolMen's Intraknit™ Merino 250 Thermal Bottom

      • Quick Dry Shorts

        Throw these on under other layers for when the sun begins to beat, or you have a sudden urge to jump in a glacial lake. Lightweight, durable and comfortable. NO COTTON. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Short

      • Trekking Pants

        You will spend most of your days in these pants. Choose a breathable and water resistant pant. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro

      • Hard Shell Pants

        Your waterproof bottom layer for extreme weather days. Make sure you have water-resistant zippers, crampon patches + good pockets. Recommended:Eddie Bauer BC Duraweave Alpine Pants

      • Soft Shell Pants

        You will spend most of your days in these pants. Choose Schoeller® or a soft-shell equivalent. Breathable + water-resistant. These pants should have an ankle zip so they will accommodate your mountain boot. Recommended:Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Alpine Pants

      • Expedition Equipment

      • Sleeping Bag (20°)

        Rated to 20º F. Choose an 800+ Fill Premium Goose Down bag. Make certain that the sleeping bag is the right length. DON’T FORGET A COMPRESSION SACK FOR THE SLEEPING BAG. Granite Gear Compression Sack is desired. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Kara Koram with Compression Sack

      • Inflatable Sleeping Pad

        72 inch long inflatable pad required. Make sure you also purchase and bring a repair kit + bag for the sleeping pad. Recommended: NeoAir Xtherm

      • Foam Sleeping Pad

        A foam pad will help protect the inflatable pad from puncture. Recommended: Therm-a-Rest Z-lite

      • Duffle Bags

        2 Duffle Bags - At least one bag should be extremely durable, waterproof, and big - between 90L and 120L. You should feel comfortable leaving it in a puddle for several hours. Remember dry clothes are hot commodities in the mountains! Large enough to fit everything you own, plus what you anticipate buying. Two duffel bags are necessary to fit all your equipment for travel (we don't recommend checking your backpack, best is to put all gear and backpack into your duffle). Once in country, you can consolidate your gear into one duffel and your backpack. It's common to leave the second duffel with city clothes and other non-necessary items behind in a locked and secure location that your guide will arrange for you. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Maximus Duffel

      • Day Pack

        Mid-size pack for city days and trekking. Streamlined, neat and lightweight (10-20 liters). Recommended: Eddie Bauer Bacon 2.0 Pack

      • Backpack 35-45 Liters

        Internal frame pack that is between 35 and 45 liters. Either purchase a matching pack cover, or use garbage bags as liners to protect from precipitation. Make sure the pack is fitted to YOUR body. Recommended: Eddie Bauer Alchemist 40 Pack, or Black Diamond Mission 35 Pack

      • Hydration System (optional)

        Should carry 70-100 ounces. Must be durable and have a reliable closure system. Recommended: MSR Dromlite 2L with Hydration Tube

      • Headlamp

        L.E.D. headlamps are required. Make sure they have 3+ bulbs. Bring extra batteries. We highly recommend a tilting lamp. Recommended:Black Diamond Revolt 350

      • Trekking Pole(s)

        Make sure that they are durable, lightweight + easily adjustable. Recommended:Black Diamond Trailback Trekking Poles

      • Two 1L Nalgene Bottles

        Two 1 Liter Wide Mouth Nalgene bottles. Recommended: Nalgene 1 L wide mouth

      • Compressible 1-1.5L Bottle

        Wide mouth compressible 1-1.5 liter bottle. Recommended: Nalgene Flexible Cantene

      • Coffee

        While Alpenglow provides hot drink options every morning, it can be nice to have your own on hand any time you need a boost. With hot water always readily available, having instant coffee packets can give you the energy you need after a long day in the mountains! Recommended: Alpine Start Original Blend Instant Coffee

      • Thermos

        A fully insulated thermos is recommended for warm drinks that help with comfort, hydration, and safety on cold days in the mountains.   Recommended: Thermos STAINLESS KING™ DRINK BOTTLE 24OZ

      • Technical Equipment

      • Helmet

        Easily adjustable lightweight helmet that fits with hat and Balaclava. Make sure this is a climbing-specific helmet. *Climbing helmets are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow Expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Meteor Helmet

      • Harness

        Must have belay loop, gear loops and adjustable leg loops so that you can layer up underneath it. Easy to pack, lightweight + comfortable. *Harnesses are also available to rent (for our introductory climbing courses) at no charge from Alpenglow expeditions on a first come, first serve basis. Recommended: Petzl Altitude

      • Locking carabiner (4)

        Lightweight pear-shaped locking carabiner Recommended: Petzl Attache

      • Non-Locking Carabiner (2)

        Lightweight small carabiners are best, wire-gates are fine. Recommended: Petzl Spirit

      • Belay Device

        Light, easy to use + simple. Should have teeth/grooves for skinny ropes. Recommended: Petzl Reverso

      • Ascender

        Should have large opening for gloved hands, and an easy thumb trigger. Recommended: Petzl Ascension

      • Accessory Cord

        25’ of 6mm nylon accessory cord. This will be used to make prusiks and cordalettes. Recommended: Sterling Ropes

      • Miscellaneous Items

      • Miscellaneous Items

        -Passport (with visa, if necessary) -2 luggage locks (TSA compliant) -Non-cotton underwear -Wag bags, 1 per night camping as to leave no trace -Heavy duty garbage bags (at least 4) -Stuffsacks: assorted sizes, for organizing your clothes and gear -Sunscreen: SPF 30 (or higher) -Lip balm with SPF 15 (or higher) -Personal first-aid kit (Band-aids, Ibuprofen, Cough Drops, Moleskin, Pepto-bismol, Imodium, Personal Medications) -Toiletries -3-4lbs of Snack food (a variety of snack food, some whole food, some bars, some gels) -Hand Warmers -Face Mask -Hand Sanitizer -Knife

      • Optional Items

        - External Battery Packs for phones, and other electronics. Recommended: Anker PowerCore Speed 10000.

        - Travel wallet pouch (waist or neck)

        - Leatherman/ Swiss Army Knife (Recommended: Leatherman Juice C2)

        - Zip lock bags (large size, for organizing small items and waterproofing)

        - Pee Funnel (optional for women) One popular model is the Freshette.

        - Ear Plugs

        - Journal/Cards/Games for personal entertainment

        - Language Phrase Book

        - Camera - Full size DSLRs not recommended as your summit camera.  Sony RX100 is a guide’s favorite. Remember extra SD cards and batteries.

        - Compact Binoculars

        - Sandals (Flip-Flops, Chacos or Tevas)

    • What is your Cancellation Policy?

    • Would you consider doing a custom Carstensz Expedition?

      We always love putting together custom expeditions. This creates more flexibility in your schedule and also provides for the best experience. Call or email to get the conversation started!

    • Do I really need to purchase trip and rescue insurance?

      We require trip insurance and rescue insurance on all expeditions. Trip insurance covers issues that would cause you to cancel your trip in advance. Rescue insurance can help cover costs in the event that you decide to end your expedition early. We recommend Global Rescue for both types of insurance.

    • Are flights included?

      Flights in and out of Indonesia are not included. We will book all flights within Indonesia for you.

Esteban “Topo” Mena

Topo’s formal name is Esteban Mena, but he goes by his nickname. Esteban Topo Mena is 28 years old and began his guiding career at 19, when he climbed Aconcagua’s South Face and became the youngest person to accomplish this difficult climb. Topo began guiding in Ecuador and Peru. In 2012, Topo summited Manaslu and in 2013, he summited Everest – both without using supplementary oxygen. Topo again summited Everest in 2016 while supporting his wonderful partner Carla as she successfully summited without supplemental oxygen. In 2018 Topo summited both Cho Oyu and Everest with clients in under 30 days. An incredible achievement that only the best guides in the word could attempt. He also has climbed challenging new routes in Kyrgyzstan and China and one of his climbs (Kyzyl Asker) has been nominated for the Piolet d’Or (as part of an Ecuadorian team).

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Carla Perez

Carla has been on the pursuit of her climbing dreams for most of her life, she started climbing as a teenager and her love to the mountains took her to the french Alps, where she studied geology and got a masters degree on geochemistry. In 2007 she decided to become a full time climber, which also put her the path of becoming a mountain guide. Carla has trained with and is pursuing UIAGM/IFMGA certification with the ASEGUIM (the Ecuadorian mountain guides association).

Carla has made multiple successful summits of Everest, including an ascent without the use of supplemental oxygen in 2016. She was the sixth women in history to accomplish this feat and the first Latin American woman to do so. She was also the first woman from the Americas to summit K2 without supplemental oxygen in 2019, and was the first woman to summit Everest and K2 in the same year..

In 2008 she did a biking trip from Ecuador to Argentina and had the opportunity to understand and learn more about her home: the Andes.

Today she splits her time between speaking about her climbing experiences all around the world, chasing new missions with her parter “Topo” and guiding big mountains.

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM

Gaspar Navarrete

Gaspar hails from Ecuador, and has been guiding for over 18 years, and climbing since he was 12. He has extensive experience in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Patagonia, Aconcagua, the Himalaya, the Cascades, the Alps and the Pyrenees. Gaspar has established new routes in both Ecuador and Bolivia. As an active instructor with the Ecuadorian School for Mountain Guides, he has trained in Ecuador, Bolivia and France. He is a Wilderness First Responder, and has spent a great deal of time working at high altitude.

Gaspar joined one of Quito’s oldest climbing clubs at a young age, which gave him the opportunity to mentor under very experienced climbers. He considers the Andes, including Patagonia, his home, and he love to share his enthusiasm for the mountains, the Andean traditions, food and culture with his guests.

Gaspar is an ASEGUIM/IFMGA mountain guide

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Ignacio “Nacho” Espinosa Andrade

Nacho was born in Ecuador and started to climb at the age of 12. After that Nacho climbed continuously in Ecuador leading expeditions and people to the summit of the Ecuadorian Andes for the last 15 years. He is a very active guide in the Cordillera Blanca range of the Peruvian Andes where he has been an active guide for the past 10 years.

He started his formal mountain guide training with the Ecuadorian Mountain Guide Association where he received the ASEGUIM certification. After that he continued his process in Bolivia where, with the support of the alpinism French school ENSA,  he received the UIAGM/IFMGA certification. He is also a WFR certified guide and for 5 years has been an instructor for the ESGUIM, the local mountain guide school.

Among his long list of climbs the biggest highlights are ascents in Peru like the South Face of Piramide de Garcilazo, South Face of Caraz I, West Face of Cayesh, and the South Face of Chacraraju Este. He also has notable climbs in  Bolivia like the West Face of Huayna Potosi in 4 hours and 30 minutes and the British Route of Hallomen in the Condoriri Masiff.

Guide Certifications
  • ASEGUIM
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

Mike Pond

Mike is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide. He became a mountain guide immediately upon completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Expeditionary Studies in 2008. Since then, Mike has led expeditions in Alaska (including 6 successful Denali summits), South America, and throughout the American West, and is always looking for the next place to travel. He has completed several first ascents in Alaska, Canada, Washington and California. Mike also completed a Masters Degree in Outdoor Education with a Masters thesis titled “Investigating Climbing as a Spiritual Experience.”

After spending the last decade traveling while based out of Washington, Mike and his wife moved to Reno in winter 2020. While Mike feels generally at home on glaciers, snow, rock, and ice, he enjoys rock climbing on big, sunny granite the most. Hello, California! He loves sharing his passion for mountain adventure with others, and teaching aspiring climbers to reach their goals. While not on the rock, Mike also enjoys gardening, fostering rescue dogs, mountain biking, yoga, and swimming in as many brisk alpine lakes as his metabolism will allow.

 

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Tim Mincey

A native of Chicago, Tim grew up barely knowing that mountains existed, much less that you could climb or ski them for fun. But as an engineering student at Stanford, he managed to fall in love with snowboarding, and after college he made the move to Tahoe to ride full-time as a snowboard instructor. Once in Tahoe, Tim couldn’t wait to dive into backcountry splitboarding and rock climbing, and he is perpetually trying to make up for his late start in the mountains by climbing and snowboarding as much as possible. Tim has guided throughout California since 2011, and has a hard time imagining that he’ll ever tire of showing off the beauty of the Sierra Nevada.

He is an AMGA Certified Rock and Splitboard Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, and Single Pitch Instructor, as well as an AIARE Course Leader and AASI Level 3 Snowboard Instructor. He lives in South Lake Tahoe with his wife, Beth, their daughter, Cora, and their Mini Australian Shepherd, Pika.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Ski Guide

Tim Dobbins

With notable first descents in the Alps, Tim Dobbins represents Alpenglow’s cutting edge guiding philosophy providing only the best guides for every trip and expedition.

Growing up in Oregon, Tim started out skiing at the young age of 4 years old. Tim grew up ski racing for 9 years before he moved on to backcountry skiing in Aspen, Colorado. He spent 4 years working as ski patrol at Snowmass Ski Resort.

Tim moved to Chamonix in the mid-’90s where he spent 6 seasons skiing and climbing while studying French. Tim says that Chamonix is where he really started learning how to ski tour, rock climb, ice climb and eventually began skiing the steepest lines he could find.

Examples of those steep lines were the North-East face of Les Courtes, Couloir Barbey from Aiguille D’Argentiere, Couloir Couturier from L’Aiguille Verte, Couloir du Diable on Mont Blanc du Tacul, East face of the Matterhorn and many, many others.

Tim has spent the last 10 years guiding and instructing in rock, ice, alpine, and skiing. He is an AMGA/IFMGA mountain guide, and lives on Donner Lake in Truckee with his wife Gisele, sweet daughter Manue and son Matisse.

Guide Certifications
  • AMGA - American Mountain Guide
  • IVBV IFMGA UIAGM - Mountain Guide

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    Carstensz Pyramid Expedition

Carstensz Pyramid Expedition

2022 DATES TBD: Located on the remote Island of West Papua, the Carstenz Pyramid is a mesmerizing limestone peak that rises high above the dense jungle below. Topping out at 16,024’ (4,884m) above sea level, the Carstensz Pyramid is the tallest peak in Oceania.