Encounter the Stone Age and Ice Age
A journey into one of the most original unspoilt regions on earth.
Meet people living in a different time.
Climb the highest mountain on the continent of Oceania and discover the marvellous island and mountain world of Indonesia.
A true expedition combining mountain experience with exceptional natural wonders.
The trek to/from the mountain is an integral part of this expedition. Regardless whether the we trek via Illaga or Sugapa, it always poses a challange to all members.
At 4,884m, Carstensz Pyramid is the highest mountain in Oceania, which makes it one of the famous ‘Seven Summits’ – the highest mountains of the seven continents.
The mountain was named after the Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz who sighted it on a rare clear day in 1623. It was first climbed on 13 February 1962 by the Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer, Philip Temple from New Zealand, Russell Kippax from Australia and Albertus (Bert) Huizenga from the Netherlands. Their climb via the North Face was supported by 100 porters.
Carstensz Pyramid is one of the more difficult mountains to climb among the Seven Summits, even though it is certainly not the highest.
The trek to base camp makes this trip very special as it meanders through the thick jungle and across wetlands. It goes up and down steep slippery slopes, which can be a real challenge in the rain that often lasts for days. If you opt for Carstensz Pyramid, you opt for immersing yourself in another world and another time – a real exotic expedition.
Day 1 - 2: Flight to Denpasar
Scheduled flight to Denpasar, the main town of the Indonesian island. Quick transfer to our hotel, where we can relax for the rest of the day.
Day 3: Bali
We take a day to acclimatise to the tropical climate and explore some of Bali’s most beautiful spots. We plan to visit the Pura Tanah Lot Temple. This Hindu temple is in the southwest of the island and can only be reached during low tides, especially if you don’t want to get wet. Only worshipping Hindus are allowed to enter the actual temple complex. People drink from the holy water at the fresh water spring at the foot of the rock. This excursion is especially beautiful in the late afternoon when we can watch the sunset. After this first spectacle, we head back to the airport to prepare for the upcoming domestic flight to Papua.
Day 4: Bali (Denpasar)–Papua (Timika)
After a four-hour flight, we reach Timika, which is in Papua – one of the two provinces of West New Guinea, the Indonesian part of the island New Guinea. Our local guide will collect us from the airfield and take us to one of the few local hotels.
Day 5 - 10: Jungle trek to base camp
From Timika, it takes six days to reach base camp. Our transport is versatile and adventurous. At first, a small Cessna plane takes us to Sugapa. During this 30-minute-flight, the almost impenetrable rain forest Papuas opens up underneath us and reveals its sheer size. After touching down on a tiny bumpy airstrip, which will probably be teeming with curious spectators, we quickly continue our journey on the back of motorbikes! It is very likely that local landowners will stop us demanding payment for crossing their land. The usual discussions will take place and after we calmed them down, we usually continue our way.After having covered the first 250 metres of altitude on two wheels, we reach a small bridge which indicates the end of the road. We set up our first camp near the bridge.
The following day, we leave civilisation once and for all and start our trek through the thick jungle. We step over huge roots, squeeze our bodies through gaps underneath tree trunks, wade through mud and, whenever we are lucky, circumnavigate all these obstacles. This is a real jungle experience! Only swinging from liana to liana like Tarzan would be more exhausting. On our seventh trekking day, the jungle thins out and the terrain opens up. After another camp on the high plateau, we descend to a beautiful valley. Here, the wild landscape takes us back millions of years, to a time when dinosaurs roamed the vast forests. We cross the river on a natural stone bridge to get to the top of the next ridge, where we come across the other route option (via Illaga). We wade through swampland before shortly reaching our last camp before base camp and the New Zealand pass, leading us to the foot of the pyramid.
Our last trekking day takes us across the legendary and challenging New Zealand Pass (it should actually be described as plural since it is several consecutive passes). There is a 50-metre-long climbing section, which must not be underestimated when wet. Once we have negotiated this section, we descend to our base camp at the foot of Carstensz Pyramid.
Day 11 - 12: Ascent of Carstensz Pyramide (4,884 m)
For the actual summit bid, we need one long day, however, due to the volatile and unpredictable weather in the region, we have added a spare day to our itinerary. We also have the option to climb other interesting peaks, such as Ngga Pulu which is only insignificantly smaller, from base camp.
The route to the top of Carstensz Pyramid follows the path of least resistance. We start very early and follow a path over a small pass that takes us to the actually start of the climb of Oceania’s highest mountain. Cracks and slabs sometimes give way to scree slopes. After having climbed about half way up the wall, we reach a boulder basin from where we continue through a scree gully up to the west ridge. The ridge we are just about to climb has several deep cracks and fissures, the first and largest of which has to be crossed from a fixed rope. A technique that takes getting used to, but is very efficient and quick. We reach the “Yellow Tower” which can be passed on easy terrain on the right. More gaps follow, however, from here the ridge becomes wider and the summit gets closer. If you are lucky enough to reach the summit before the daily downpour, you will get a magnificent view across the small glacial pieces to the rain forest that are 4,000m lower down. The glaciated summit of the Ngga Pulu can be seen on the opposite side.
Day 13 to 14: Helicopter flight to Timika
This 40-minute helicopter ride takes us back to Timika. Transfer to our hotel, where we will most certainly toast to our tiring but magnificent trip. If you feel like it, you can also have your drink in the pool. Hotel accommodation.
Day 15 -16: Return flight to Denpasar and back to your home country. Arrival in home country on day 16.
The Profilecheck is an integral part of our expedition. Please read it thoroughly and assess your skill and physical condition. Due to the score required for this expedition, your score will indicate whether or not your skills, fitness and mountaineering experience are sufficient to join this expedition. Your registration is a testimony of your physical and technical abilities to participate in this expedition.
Please take note of the following points concerning procedure of this expedition:
This expedition is demanding and exhausting. The high altitude alone entails several risks.
The members do not have to be ‘super alpinistis, however, they have to have a solid amount of high altitude mountaineering experience and be able to move securely and independently through very rough terrain (snow, ice, rock, etc.). You have to independently rope up with a group. Active participation on the mountain, camaraderie and tolerance are an essential part of this expedition and we count on you to be able to provide this.
You have to be able to recognise your own limits on the mountain and be prepared to, if necessary, abandon the attempt and turn back. You join this expedition at your own responsibility.
The leader of the expedition is responsible for the management of the entire group, and personal support is not one of his/her responsibilities. Nevertheless, every member has to prepared to follow the decisions made by the leader. The decisions are always made in the group’s interest.
Depending on the circumstances and conditions on the mountain, improvisations and changes to the itinerary might be necessary.
Kobler & Partner do not take any liability for accidents, damages or loss of equipment.
Organisation of the entire expedition
Helicopter flight from base camp to Timika (17 kg luggage per member)
All transfers; bus and jeep rides (according to itinerary)
Pre-expedition briefing at Bächli Bergsport, including a 10% voucher for equipment purchase
Full board in Papua (according to itinerary)
Breakfast during the stay in Bali (according to itinerary)
1 hotel night (double room) in Denpasar
2 hotel nights (double room) in Timika
1 tent per two members during the approach and at base camp
Fixed ropes, climbing ropes
Satellite phone, exclusive call charges
Porter to base camp (17kg per member)
Large medical kit with pulsoxymetre at base camp
Certified and experienced mountain guide
In case we opt for the alternative “fly in / fly out”, services remain the same with additional cost for helicopter flight from Timika to base camp (17kg luggage per member)
International flights to/from Denpasar/Indonesia and domestic flights from/to Denpasar to Timika
Visa for Indonesia
Additional costs in Bali
In case no roommate can be found for a booked double room, we charge half of the single room surcharge (see Additional Costs)
Surcharges that may arise due to changes being made to the planned travel programme
In Bali, we stay in double rooms at the beautiful Risata Bali Resort. In Timika, we also stay in one of the few double rooms. All other nights we spend in a tent. Additional hotel nights not indicated in the itinerary are not included in the price.
Visa for Indonesia (30 days) can easily be obtained on arrival and is not included in the price. Estimated cost: USD 25 (as per 2011).
Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after the date of the return journey.
Comfortable shoes (trainers)
110 l travel bag (waterproof, dustproof K&P-bag)
Backpack 30-50 l
Rain cover for the backpack
Thin down jacket or Primaloft jacket
Light, long trekking trousers
Sleeping bag, synthetic, comfort zone -18°C
Mountaineering boots, that are fit for crampons
Full fingered gloves, warm
Mat to sleep on
Thermal underwear and shirts
Socks, thick and thin
Bottle with large opening (Nalgene)
Compression bag for down items
Light kitchen utensils (bowl and cutlery)
Toilet case, washbag
Hand sanitizer (50 ml)
Sun cream and lip protection, sun protection factor > 40
Passport and copy of it
Towel (micro fibre towel)
Swimsuit/bathing trunks; swimwear
Cash for personal use, emergency money, credit cards
Credit card (Mastercard or Visa)
Copy of your vaccination card
Climbing harness, lap belt
Crampons with anti-balling (customised for expedition boots)
4 normal carabiners
3 HMS carabiners
5 metres accessory cord (diametre of approx. 7-9 mm)
Headlamp (including spare batteries)
Pen knife or multitool
Expedition medical kit, radios, GPS and maps are provided by K&P.
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