Welcome to the dispatches from the Mountain Trip 2011 Carstensz Pyramid Expedition. We’ll be posting updates here to allow friends, family, and armchair adventurers to follow this expedition to climb the highest peak on the continent that includes Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea. There is some argument here, which is why I mention it, Australians claim they are there own continent and the highest peak is 7,310 ft (2,228m) Mount Kosciuszko. Regardless of your definition of the continent, a trip to the remote Indonesian province of West Papua on the island of New Guinea to climb 16,024 ft(4,884m) Carstensz Pyramid is always and adventure.
Our team will be meeting on the beautiful island of Bali on the 15th of October 2011 before heading to the Indonesian province of West Papua to begin their journey to base camp.
Meet the team:
Scott Woolums (guide). Hood River, OR This will be Scotts 4th trip to Carstensz Pyramid.
Chuck Raper. Oceanside, CA
Alan Arnette. Fort Collins, CO
Denys Veronique. Quebec, Canada
Jonathan Reiter. Kenwood, CA
Michael Crowley. Bellingham, WA
Moises Nava. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
An expedition to Carstensz Pyramid (also known as Puncak Jaya) is unlike any of the other trips that we offer at Mountain Trip, in that getting to base camp provides as many challenges as the climb itself. We have been offering trips to Carstensz since 2006 and have had a lot of success in bringing climbers to this remote and challenging part of the world. It is never easy, but we’ve seen that patience and maintaining a “rigid state of flexibility” has proven successful. The Indonesian province of West Papua shares the island of New Guinea with the country of Papua New Guinea. This is one of the most remote corners left on this planet, and the team will encounter members of local tribes including the Dani, Asmat, and Lani who inhabit the island along with hundreds of other distinct tribes. The Dani people were famously “discovered” only in 1938 in the highlands of Papua and the nearby Baliem Valley. It is truly a unique and challenging experience for anyone choosing to journey to Puncak Jaya.
The climb is also unique amongst the “7 Summits” in that it is a rock climb, each of the other 7 are primarily a snow climb. The climbing is not terribly difficult, but it can be a long day, and there is one section where the climbers will be challenged by a Tyrolean Traverse up high on the summit ridge. The Tyrolean Traverse involves clipping into a rope extending across a gap and pulling yourself across. It is a very exposed and airy spot and is one of the highlights for most climbers.
Here is a great video that Todd took of the Tyrolean Traverse on an expedition a few years ago.
As usual, there are some political problems in Papua right now. The mountain is next to one of the largest copper and gold mines in the world. The workers at the mine are currently on strike, and have been for almost a month now. We hope this is all resolved soon, and the violence associated with the strike is over. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation and stay in touch with our contacts in Papua to see how this may affect our expedition. We have some back up options, but hope that this won’t be necessary.
Thanks for visiting, follow along over the next few weeks and we’ll keep you updated on their progress and adventures.