The Expedition Trip Notes provide detailed information and background for Adventure Consultants' Carstensz Pyramid Expeditions.
You can view the trip notes online by clicking the image or download a pdf by clicking the following link:
Carstensz Pyramid Expedition Trip Notes
The team will have a minimum size of 3 members and 1 Adventure Consultants guide (plus local guides) and a maximum size of 7 members and 2 mountain guides (plus local guides).
Your expedition leader will be scheduled approximately six months out from the trip start. All of our trip leaders to the Seven Summits peaks have extensive experience at high altitude and a proven record of safety, success and compatibility.
Expedition Leader - October 2017
Mike Roberts has been guiding for nearly 30 years and during his career has climbed many of the world’s highest mountains including 9 ascents of Everest including back to back ascents of Everest and Lhotse.
He has also managed to fit in 14 seasons mountain and ski guiding in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, 18 seasons in Antarctica as a Field Leader / Guide to the USA and NZ Antarctic Programs, SAR Leader for the Joint Antarctic Search and Rescue team, has worked as a Professional Ski Patroller / Avalanche Forecaster and is a qualified Physiotherapist. Mike is also a fully qualified IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide.
Head Office Support Team
Running successful journeys and expeditions is more about experience, knowledge and strategic management than any other factors. As an organisation, we place a substantial amount of time and resources into ensuring our trips are well planned and supported. You can be assured that the AC staff will provide you with friendly advice and knowledgeable support throughout the planning stages of your trip and we will be there to provide backup while the trip is running.
Kelly McLaren, Client Liaison
Kelly brings a vast knowledge of AC expeditioning to her role as 'Rest of the World' Client Liaison. Having worked for AC since 2004 Kelly oversees those trips outside of New Zealand, Europe or the Himalaya.
Expedition members will be provided with pre-trip medical advice, including information on immunisations and a medical questionnaire and asked to visit their family physician to receive a full medical examination. This information will be sighted only by the expedition leader and our medical adviser and treated with full confidentiality.
What You Carry
During the 4 day trek out from Base Camp, you will have a personal porter to carry a maximum of 15kgs of your equipment and you must carry the remainder of your own gear plus your lunch and snack food for the day. This should equate to around 7-10kg or more if your gear becomes drenched by the frequent rainfall. Due to the uncertain nature of travel in Papua we must be prepared for changes in itinerary which may include trekking into the mountain if necessary. For these reasons we cannot emphasise enough that team members must be pack fit and willing.
Should you wish to employ an extra porter to carry your equipment out of Base Camp please let us know well in advance so we can arrange that facility for you.
While on the mountain you will simply carry your pack containing water, snacks, camera, jacket and extra warm clothes.
Specific Training Recommendations
In order for your Carstensz Pyramid expedition to be both more enjoyable and to increase your chance of success you need to train specifically for the expedition during the months prior to your climb. We cannot stress enough the strenuous nature of the approach (and egress) trek and many a seasoned 7 Summiteer has been caught out through lack of physical preparation. This is nothing like Elbrus or Kilimanjaro, the level of preparation required is more akin to what you’d need to do for Denali.
The trek out through the jungle to Carstensz Pyramid is unlike any other that you are likely to undertake in your mountaineering career. Arduous days of 8-10 hours trekking through thick jungle and mud are norm and some preparation now will certainly pay off in the long term. Rescue is difficult or almost impossible except in the case of an extreme emergency and even then it may take days to effect a rescue, so take the time to ensure any niggling injuries are well dealt with now and make sure you inform us of any pre-existing conditions or injuries you might have, no matter how insignificant they may seem. A minor issue could become significant on this trip and should not be ignored.
A focus on pack carrying on steep and varied terrain is requried, aiming to carry 5-10% more than the required pack weight. Expedition porters carry a maximum of 15kg loads so anything above this allocation you will be carrying yourself, usually equating to 15-18kg. Thus training to carry 20kg loads should see you well prepared. If you do not live close to any significant elevation gain, train on a Stairmaster or treadmill, whilst wearing a pack, but also on varied terrain such as grass, gravel or hilly sand dunes for a more complete training outcome. You should also incorporate downhill training to increase your quad strength for the descent.
Endurance training is also important as you will have to be able to trek, carrying a pack, for up to 10 hours a day.
In the 4-6 weeks prior to departure you will need to add in back-to-back days of pack carrying; either in the form of overnight backpacking or with the first day on stairs or in the gym, building up to the 1000m ascent required on the toughest trekking day, and a second day of flatter, outdoor walking with a lighter pack. During the expedition you will need to trek for 6 consecutive days so if possible try to include a longer backpacking trip before you leave home.
Interval training can help prepare your body for exertion at altitude – see our Fitness Training Programs page.
You will also need to brush up on your rope skills, so if you are not a regular rock climber schedule some sessions at your local gym, aiming to climb routes up to 5.8 (grade 16 Australian) in your mountaineering boots.
Hopefully you’ll have a 4-6 month lead in for training prior to your expedition to Carstensz Pyramid but if you only have 2 months to go before your departure, there is still time to get ready for this unforgettable journey!
Carstensz Toppen, or Carstensz Pyramid, is a Dutch name, deriving from the 1623 voyage of exploration undertaken by the Dutch Empire as they strove to rule the lucrative trade routes of the East Indes. The navigator, Jan Carstensz, recorded his surprised sightings of ice-covered mountains soaring high above the Arafura Sea.
In 1872 Captain J.A. Lawson led an exploratory expedition inland, reporting an ascent to 7500 metres on a Mount Hercules! This sparked rumours that Carstensz was higher than the recently surveyed Mt Everest.
Ensuing Dutch and English expeditions failed to climb this legendary peak, but confirmed extensive glaciation in mountains so close to the equator.
The New Zealand expedition led by Philip Temple in 1961 finally got to the base of Carstensz Pyramid after an epic trek through the jungle but was forced to retreat after a failed airdrop of supplies. The following year Temple was asked to guide Heinrich Harrer over New Zealand Pass, the key to reaching Carstensz. Harrer and Temple then pioneered the steep rock climbing route to the summit. The pair went on to make ascents of many other peaks in the region.
In recent years, Carstensz Pyramid has become regarded as the highest peak on the continental landmass known as Australasia and thus one of the coveted Seven Summits.
Our expeditions are renowned for the quality of the food but we are only able to provide basic fare on Carstensz as it must be carried to Base Camp and weight is an issue. Hence please note it will be basic, although completely adequate, compared to our normal fare. Please bring a supply of your favourite snack food for the summit day.
Clothing & Equipment
Expedition members will be sent a list detailing all necessary clothing and equipment to be individually provided.