Summited October 22, 2011
Oceania: Carstensz Pyramid (16,023'/4884m)
'newest' of the 7 summits when Reinhold Messner challenged Dick Bass's summit of
Australia's Mt. Kosciuszko as the highest peak in Oceania. Carstensz Pyramid on West
Papua (irian Jaya) in Indonesia's New Guinea is now consider one of the 7 but most
7 Summiteers try to bag the walk-up Kosciuszko as well.
The Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz first sighted the peak in 1623. It was first
climbed by Austrian Heinrich Harrer and team in 1962. Carstensz is considered the
most exotic of the 7 Summits surrounded by dense jungle and rumors of cannibals!
Even though it is near the equator, snow sometimes graces the limestone slopes.
Click on any picutre to enlarge
The climbing is consider the most technical of the 7 Summits requiring rock scrambling
a short section of 5.8 rock climbing with fixed ropes and a Tyrolean traverse across
a 50' gap. This involves pulling yourself upside down across a suspended steel cable. But
the real challenge is just getting there. Often the road is closed to climbers by
the owners of the Freeport mine thus requiring a 5 day hike to reach to base of Carstensz.
Instead many teams charter a helicopter. Obtaining permits and travel logistics can
be quite difficult.
The second highest mountain in Oceania is Puncak Trikora also in New Guinea at
15,580'/4730m and is 100 miles east of Carstensz.