Our Carstensz Pyramid team reached the summit of the most elusive of the famed Seven Summits!

The route to the summit is a combination of rock climbing and exposed scrambling, with some higher forms of roped trickery required along the way.  From the team’s camp in the Yellow Valley, right at the base of the route, they ascended steep, bullet-hard limestone to a series of gravel covered benches.  A corner system of light grey stone leads up through much of the route, until the team reached a steep chimney section that took them to the long summit ridge.

Scrambling and traversing along more hard limestone led the team to the first of three “gaps,” the technical cruxes of the route.  The first gap is the largest and trickiest.  They employed a Tyrolean Traverse to cross this 100′ chasm.  The exposure of this maneuver is not for the faint of heart!

After the Tyrolean, they largely hiked along the ridge, with a bit of very exposed traversing that led to the second gap.  This one required the team to make a snort rappel down to a tricky move across a wedged rock and a balancy step backwards to regain the ridge proper.  More climbing, traversing and scrambling along the airy crest of the ridge (thousands of feet of air!!!) led to the last gap, which is the easiest of the three, requiring a short rappel down to a sandy ledge system, from where they climbed up the last bit to the summit of Carstensz Pyramid!

The descent takes almost as long as the ascent, and reversing the three gaps can be almost as tough.  Many, many rappels tool them back down to camp.

They plan to be back in Nabire in the morning and will make their way back to Bali in the next couple of days.


Her’s Scott:


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