November 4, 2016
Another successful round on Carstensz Pyramid is in the books! As always, Papua served up a trip with plenty of adventure and fun for our team. This expedition really keeps everyone on their toes throughout. We arrived in Timika to the news that some good weather meant for a quicker than usual launch, via helicopter, up to our initial 12,000 foot camp at Nasidome. Some repacking and stripping down of unnecessary gear and the team was ready to go in the morning. Hurry up and wait; The weather moved back in and slowed things up for a couple days. That’s really part of the fun of this trip – flexibility and patience are key!
Once we were all settled in at Nasidome, the team was excited to get rolling up toward our high camp as soon as possible. I really enjoy flying into Nasidome because there is always something new to see in this far out place. A day of rest and easy hiking got the team adapting to the rapid changes in altitude, and we were ready to trek over the 15,000 foot New Zealand Pass on our way to the Yellow Valley. Some of the usual rain showers and a little mud to slog through kept us company on our trekking day but we were still treated to some beautiful views over the course of the day.
We took an active rest day in high camp that included a technical refresher on the first couple pitches of the route. This sets everyone up perfectly for our summit push. On the morning of the summit climb we woke to some damp but very climbable conditions on Carstensz “grippy” limestone. We started at 2:30am and by the time we hit the ridgeline, after about four hours of climbing, we were breaking out of the clouds and got to enjoy a beautiful sunrise over Papua. By mid morning we had summited and begun our descent, reaching camp exactly at noon. Great job to a team with a really wide range of experiences coming into this climb.
48 hours later and we were back out enjoying the beaches of Bali.
Already looking forward to our return next year.