August 7 – August 17, 2020


11 days in Indonesia
Grade: Intermediate


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Carstensz Pyramid is the tallest in a series of peaks on Mt. Carstensz in Indonesia, and the tallest peak in Oceania. Also known as Puncak Jaya. In 1936 a Dutch Expedition climbed the neighboring two summits, including Ngga Pulu, which would have been the tallest point of the mountain at that time before massive glacier melts reshaped the Carstensz Range. It would not be until 1962 that the true high point, the Carstensz Pyramid, would be summited by the Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer.

Carstensz Pyramid • North Face • 11 Days

From our Yellow Valley basecamp located in the heart of the Sudirman Range, we will ascend the North Face of Carstensz Pyramid. The route itself is quite complex following the natural weakness of slabs to gain the exposed ridgeline. This climbing can be in the 5.6 range and requires some skill on rock. From here we will utilize cable bridges and a tyrolean traverse to the true summit. After summiting we will use rappel stations to descend back to basecamp.

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1 • Meet in Timika
Day 2 • Rest Day
Day 3 • Flight to Yellow Valley • 13,700 ft
Day 4 • Acclimatization day
Day 5 • Acclimatization day
Day 6 • Puncak Jaya • 16,024 ft
Day 7 • Flight to Timika
Day 8 • Flight to Bali
Day 9 • Extra Day
Day 10 • Extra Day
Day 11 • Depart Bali


Carstensz Pyramid

Expedition begins and ends in Timika, Indonesia

Day 1 • Meet in Timika

Meet in Timika, Irian Jaya, Indonesia and relax after a long day of travel.

Accommodations: Hotel in Timika

Day 2 • Rest Day

We allot an extra day to recover from jet lag, gear checks and wait for any baggage that may have been waylaid.

Accommodations: Hotel in Timika
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 3 • Yellow Valley Basecamp • 13,700 feet

The morning will give way to a quick 45 minute helicopter ride from Timika to our basecamp on in the Yellow Valley, located at an elevation of 13,700 feet. Once there, we will set up camp and have time to relax and acclimatize.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 4 • Acclimatization Day • 13,700 feet

We spend today getting used to the altitude and acclimatizing with a short hike around base camp.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 5 • Acclimatization Day • 13,700 feet

After breakfast climbers will once again trek around basecamp in order to get their bodies used to the elevation. Since the following day is our first potential summit day we will spend most of the day training, discussing the climb, and packing for the climb before heading to bed early.

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 6 • Summit Day • Puncak Jaya • 16,024 feet

An early morning start leads to our summit bid. We ascend the standard route West Ridge route. Climbing up the pyramid will include a combination of technical rock climbing, via ferrata, and tyrolean traverses.

Vertical Ascent Climbing: 2,324 feet
Climbing Time: 7-10 hours

Accommodations: Tented Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (B, L, D)

Day 7 • Flight to Timika

We will take a helicopter from the Yellow Valley Basecamp back down to sea level in Timika. After checking into our hotel we will have a celebratory dinner before departing the next day.

Accommodations: Hotel in Timika
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner (B, D)

Day 8 • Flight from Timika to Bali

Weather permitting, we begin our flights home, generally through either Bali or Jakarta.

Day 9 – 11 • Contingency Days

Additional days are allotted for weather and delays, which can affect flights and the climbing route. These are not optional days, be prepared for delays beyond the 11 day itinerary.

Itinerary Notes
Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the needs of the group. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner





Deposit and Payments

  • 25% deposit due at time of acceptance, due with application.
  • Balance due 120 days prior to start date.
  • The deposit and balance can be paid by check, wire transfer, or by credit card with a convenience fee of 4.0%

Price Includes

  • Round-trip helicopter flights from Timika to basecamp
  • Hotels in Timika (2 nights)
  • Tented accommodations
  • Scheduled meals during the expedition
  • Professional mountain guide
  • Permits
  • Luggage transport (limited to 15kg / 33lbs)
  • All group equipment for the expedition

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare and meals during travel
  • Domestic airfare (Bali – Timika – Bali)
  • Non-scheduled airport transfers
  • Non-scheduled meals
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal gear
  • Trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
  • Single room supplement (hotels only) $300
  • Medical and evacuation coverage
  • Helicopter flights due to delays
  • Early departure fees
  • Excess baggage fees
  • Tips and gratuities


A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your trip will be sent to you in the PreClimb information upon reservation.

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool/ synthetic, one that covers the ears.
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses: Essential eye protection at altitude.
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip Balm: SPF 30+
  • Climbing LED Headlamp: Bring one extra set of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic long-sleeve shirt.
  • Mid-layer Top: This is a synthetic or fleece top.
  • Softshell Jacket: This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Hardshell Jacket: GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof shell. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Insulated Jacket: 700+ fill down.


  • Lightweight Gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)
  • Softshell Gloves: One pair. Leather palms offer durability and grip.
  • Leather climbing gloves: One pair

Lower Body

  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
  • Trekking Pants: One pair. Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated
  • Hardshell Pants: One pair of GORE-TEX© pants full-length side zips are required; you may need to take off your Hardshell pants without removing your boots.
  • Insulated Pants: One pair that fit loosely and comfortable.


  • Trekking Socks: Six pair synthetic medium weight
  • Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes: One pair medium weight hiking boots/shoes large enough to be comfortable with sock.
  • Sport Sandals or Camp Shoes: These are to wear in camp or lodges.


  • Sleeping Bag: Bring a warm bag (rated to 20ᵒ fahrenheit).
  • Sleeping Pads: A full-length closed-cell foam pad and inflatable pad.

Packing and Backpack

  • Backpack: One 30L pack with good support, adequate to carry personal.
  • Duffel: One large duffel for transporting gear.
  • Liner Bags: One large plastic contractor bags.

Climbing Gear

  • Climbing Helmet: Lightweight
  • Alpine Harness: Lightweight alpine harness with adjustable leg loops.
  • Locking Carabiners: (3) Large pear-shaped, screw gate locking carabiners.
  • Non-locking Carabiners: (2) Wire gate non-locking carabiners.
  • Ascender: Left or right handed
  • Rappel/Delay device: Figure 8 recommended
  • Prussik Cord: 40 feet, 6mm perlon
  • Nylon Sling: (2) 60cm nylon slings


  • Water Bottle: Two, 1L wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©
  • Water Bottle Parkas: Two, fully insulated water bottle covers.

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Snacks and drinks
  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications
  • Toilet paper, blue bag or wag bag
  • Earplugs



Program Location:
Begins and ends in Timika, Indonesia

Visa/Entry Information:
A passport and visa are required. American citizens will be issued a tourist visa upon arrival valid for 30 days.

Health & Immunizations:
Check with the CDC for updated immunization information.

Flight Travel Information:
Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS), Bali, Indonesia
Mozes Kilangin International Airport (TIM), Timika, Indonesia

International Departures:
Itineraries reflect the date and time you will need to arrive in country for a program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in-country in the destination city. When booking your flight, you will need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It is easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you will need to arrive.

Meals and Food:
All meals are provided as per meal schedule. See itinerary.

A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Carstensz Pyramid Fitness & Training

Climbing Grade: Intermediate

Though this climb does not require a heavy pack, it does require climbers to have a high technical ability on rock. Be prepared to use a combination of fixed lines, rock climbing, tyrolean traverses, and rappelling to safety ascend and descend. Pack weight on summit day will be in the 20 lbs. range.

Prior to the expedition we recommend taking a private prep course with Mountain Gurus or have extensive rock and/ or ice climbing experience.

Here’s a suggested progression of climbs before attempting Carstensz Pyramid:

  • Carstensz Pyramid Prep Course
  • Rock or alpine climbing experience
  • Northwest Climb (Mount Shuksan, Sahale Peak, Forbidden Peak)

Frequently Asked Questions

How hard is this climb and what technical skills do I need?

This climb requires basic rock climbing, rappelling, fixed line, and via ferratta skills. We will use a combination of all these skills to safely make our way to the summit and back to basecamp.

How much weight will be in my pack on summit day?

Our summit packs will include extra layers, food, water, and technical gear in the range of 20lbs.

What are the camps like?

Our Yellow Valley Basecamp features a dining tent, private toilet, and double occupancy tents for climbers.

What are the toilets like?

There will be an establish private toilet at basecamp.

Will I be able to contact friends and family while on the mountain?

During our time in Timika there is limited cellular and wi-fi service. At basecamp there will be a satellite phone available in case of emergencies.

Is it safe to travel to West Papua?

The area we will be accessing is generally safe with common travel protocols. We will review safe travel practices at our gear check and ensure that local staff and guides are always available to answer questions. By traveling in a group we mitigate any risks.