Carstensz Pyramid with International Mountain Guides
Dear Prospective Team Members,
We have now conducted ten successful Carstensz trips, via five different routes (from the mine, via helicopter from both Enarotoli and Timika, via Ilaga trek and via the Sugapa trek approach). In addition, we have conducted guided climbing expeditions to other Papuan high peaks including Idenberg, Trikora, Mandala, Ngga Pulu, Semantri, and East Carstensz.
Our 2018 Carstensz expedition combines the best of both flying and trekking in a unique Hybrid program. Under the direction of IMG's Greg Vernovage, we are planning another great trip to the most elusive of the Seven Summits!
Our team will meet in Denpasar (Bali), then fly to our jump off location in Papua (likely Timika). From here our helicopter charter will fly the team to Nasidome Camp on the Plateau north of the Sudirman Range. Unlike Carstensz Base Camp (which at 13,700 feet is usually too high to safely fly people into without the risk of altitude problems) this Nasidome Camp is at more reasonable altitude (about 12,200 feet). After acclimatizing two nights on the Plateau, we will make a one-day approach over New Zealand Pass to our Base Camp below Mt. Carstensz in the Yellow Valley. This is a rugged and fun hike, requiring the "mud boots" that has made this trip famous! With local porters supporting us, we will traverse the famous plateau vegetation (tussocks) and several stream crossings, then a fabulous limestone karst zone leading to the rocky New Zealand Pass and the steep descent into the Yellow Valley near the Freeport mine. This is a perfect amount of Carstensz trekking to get the "feel" of the Plateau and its incredible views and plant life, without the danger of the jungle part of the trek with its very steep slopes, treacherous river crossings, very long days, or the potential safety and security issues associated with going through some of the local villages.
For Carstensz you need to be confident moving on moderate (3rd, 4th and easy 5th class) rock terrain, on fixed ropes, rappelling, clipping in and out of anchors, etc. Up on the summit ridge there are several precipitous notches to cross (with fixed ropes). These days the biggest notch is now fixed with a cable Tyrolean Traverse. It is not unusual to get rain or snow during the climb, but the temperatures are not extreme. Don't forget leather gloves for the rough rock!
After the climb, the team will spend the night at BC, before flying by out by helicopter (normally early in the morning for best weather). We have used this Hybrid itinerary on our recent expeditions, and it has worked very well. What an adventure!
I Come From the Stone Age
by Heinrich Harrer
Under the Mountain Wall
by Peter Matthiessen