Explore 360

Carstensz Pyramid

  • Where?


  • Altitude


  • Duration

    9 days

  • Weather

  • Physical


  • Technical


  • P3 - This trip is physically tough. Frequent exercise is necessary to prepare properly for this expedition. Regular walking mixed with training at the gym to build up endurance and cardiovascular fitness is key. Expect to be able to do 8 hour days in hilly and often steep train, carrying a pack of 6-10kg in weight with the occasional extra long day.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T6 - Expect punchy sections of more technical rock climbing or prolonged Alpine climbing at Scottish Winter III or Alpine AD. Good skills on rock or ice are paramount.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQs


Climbing Carstensz Pyramid, the giant of the Indonesian Sudirman Range (4,884m) is like stepping into the pages of National Geographic. Set in deep West Papua, Puncak Jaya is a densely jungle-clad mountain, the highest peak in Oceania and the lowest of the sought-after 7 summits but don’t be fooled just because it’s the lowest.

Summiting Carstenz Pyramid will be a challenge like nothing you’ve taken on before.  Even though we have opted for the safer option of jumping into helicopters to base camp, missing out the hot and sweaty trek through the jungle, this does not mean it’s a walk in the park.

The summit attempt is punchy and technical. We will ascend ropes fixed over steep rock, abseil into notches cut into the ridge and ‘walk’ across a 50’ gap on a metal rope to the summit. To say this is an unbelievable expedition is the understatement of the year. Some climbing experience is a necessary and a good head for heights is a must!


Find out more
Carstensz Pyramid Carstensz Pyramid

Date & Prices

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

We currently have no scheduled dates for this expedition, however if you give the office a call on 0207 1834 360 it would be easy for us to get this up and running.


  • Return helicopter flight from Timika to Cartstensz Base Camp
  • Local guides and 360 Leader when applicable
  • All accommodation, hotels (Bali and Timika) and tents based on two people sharing
  • Full board meals whilst in Papua and during expedition
  • All road transfers
  • 15kg of luggage allowance on internal flights (excess is $4/kg)
  • Porters (see FAQs)
  • Group (not personal) mountaineering equipment
  • Camping equipment
  • Climbing permits
  • Environmental clean up fee
  • 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Monthly payment plan, on request



Not Included

  • Personal equipment
  • International flight
  • Airfare Bali – Timika – Bali (circa $585)
  • Tips for staff and guides
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature (laundry etc)
  • Visas and aiport tax
  • Meals outside Papua
  • Additional porters (these can be hired for individual day stages at a cost of between $120 to $180 for 18kg load)
  • Airport transfers when not booking on with flights
  • Unforeseen helicopter costs associated with the expedition – for example a return to base in the event of bad weather or any extended cost of having the helicopter on standby in Timika (see FAQ’s for more info)
  • Single supplement
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets

Pics & Vids


DAY 1 : Arrival in Bali

We suggest you arrive Bali today to give yourself time to recover from the long flight. You will need full night’s rest to get maximum enjoyment and to be raring to go. Make your way independently to the hotel which is included.

DAY 2 : Departure to Timika

Today we will be checking the essential gear for our expedition as well as getting used to the heat of Bali. We will leave the hotel at around 23.30 and head to the airport for our early morning flight to Timika

Hotel included

DAY 3 : Flight to Timika

We travel the short distance to our hotel, settle in and rest once again. Today is spent chilling and catching up on sleep as well as having our technical briefing from our local guide

DAY 4 : Flight to Carstensz Base Camp (Yellow Valley)

Subject to weather, today we jump on our helicopter and fly to Carstensz Base Camp. We then settle into our tented home for the next few days and make sure we rest in order to acclimatise to our increased altitude of 4300m. Today, rest is best!

DAY 5 : Acclimatization at Base Camp

Another important day of rest and acclimatisation to the increased altitude. We can of course be flexible with our plans and this time allows us to do this. There is time to wander around camp and take in the incredible scenery whilst giving our bodies a chance to catch up in the rarefied air.

DAY 6 : Summit Day

We have a long day ahead of us, usually around 12 – 14 hrs round trip from Yellow Valley to the summit and back.

We head up from base camp and straight onto the rock face which is a mixture of scrambling and climbing up the fixed lines. A couple of short abseils and ascents take us to the final part of the climb, the traverse across the metal rope where we clip into the safety lines at shoulder height and edge our way across the airy 50’ gap to the summit.

Once we have celebrated, we retrace our steps to the final long abseil back down to base camp. Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!


DAY 7 : Return to Timika

Today we pray for good weather and clear skies, pack up our gear and catch our helicopter out from Yellow Valley back to Timika. If the weather and flights are with us, we will also fly back to Bali. If not, we overnight in Timika and head back to Bali tomorrow.

Hotel included

DAY 8 : Contingency Day

This is when the weather can play a big part in our expedition. If all goes according to plan then this day is spent resting and being a tourist in Bali. If the weather has not be in our favour, then we use this day to fly back to Bali, and then be a tourist!

Hotel included

DAY 9 : Expedition ends

If all has gone according to plan then an early flight out of Bali is an option – or you can extend your stay in this beautiful country!

You will be booking your own flights to and from the UK so the choice is yours!

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the expedition and what you will experience.

Our programme does need to be flexible due to the changeable weather which we may experience. It is worth booking a flight home as scheduled in the itinerary but booking it as a flexible flight. Alternatively, enjoy a few days extra in Bali if you have the time.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Kit bag

A 90 -120L duffel bag to transport kit.  A duffel bag is a strong, soft, weather resistant bag without wheels but with functional straps for carrying. Suitcases and wheeled bags are not suitable


Your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials, fitted with shoulder straps and importantly a waist belt

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain


Nylon rolltop bags (or even just large plastic bags) that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and iPods dry in the regular downpours that seep into your kitbag and daysack. Bring plenty, of different sizes. Good for quarantining old socks

Small kit bag or light bag

This is for any kit you intend to leave at the hotel and could even simply be a heavy duty plastic bag


For use on your kit bag for travel and on the expedition plus your hotel bag

Sleeping Gear

4 Season sleeping bag

You should get a sleeping bag rated to -10C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. Synthetic is recommended over down. A silk sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights

Sleeping mat

A full length self-inflating rather than ¾ length Thermarest


Warm headgear

This can be a warm hat, beanie, balaclava, anything to reduce the heat loss from your head

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck


Category 4 minimum. Worth spending money on good UV filters.  Julbo is our preferred supplier


Buy the highest SPF you can find as UV intensifies with altitude

Lip salve

Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection

Upper Body

Base layer

This is the layer closest to the skin and its principal function is to draw (wick) moisture and sweat away from the skin. You can also get thermal base layers for use at higher altitudes that provide an additional insulative layer while still drawing sweat during times of high exertion

Quantity: 2

T-shirts / Trekking tops

To wear on the trek in when it’s humid and hot, avoid cotton, and long sleeves help to protect the arma from the sun, biting insects and stinging plants

Quantity: 2

Mid layer

These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack

Soft Shell

These should be windproof (not all are) and insulative. They are mostly made of soft polyester and sometimes resemble a neoprene finish which makes them very mobile and comfortable to wear. While offering a degree of weather repellence, they are not waterproof

Hard Shell

These jackets are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended

Down jacket

A light down jacket (not Himalaya grade) will keep you warm at higher altitudes at night and be more comfortable than multiple layers when you’re trying to relax, or if it’s cold when you’re climbing

Warm gloves

A warm, insulated and preferably waterproof pair of gloves to wear at altitude when it’s cold

Light gloves

Lighter working glove, if possible with a leather or grippy palm, that will stand up to the abseils and climbing on the coarse limestone of Carstenz

Lower Body


Loose and high wicking

Long Johns

Lightweight merino wool

Trekking trousers

Lightweight and high wicking, most likely a nylon derivative that ensures that they dry quickly if they get wet crossing a river or caught out by a shower, potentially with zip-off legs

Softshell trousers

Windproof and much warmer than trekking trousers as well as stretchier, for use during the climbing phase they also offer a degree of water repellency

Waterproof trousers

Like the jacket, an essential piece of kit to stay dry and should also be Goretex with full length leg zips enabling you to put them on over boots


Merino or wicking material, not cotton. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you


Mountaineering boots (B2 or B3)

Scarpa Mont Blanc / La Sportiva Trango or similar

Trekking socks

1 pair for base camp and an additional pair for summit, with suitable thermal insulation

Spare laces

Just in case

Comfortable trainers

Comfortable trainers or Crocs for camp

Technical Equipment

Climbing helmet

A plastic helmet is more suitable rather than the expanded foam helmets available. Make sure you try it on in a shop with a woolly/fleece hat underneath

Alpine climbing harness

Make sure you can put it on without having to step through it – for example the Petzl Altitude harness

Screwgate karabiners

At least 1 screwgate karabiner is HMS

Quantity: 2

Snap gate Karabiners

Type of karabiners used for climbing

Quantity: 2

Belay plate

Of your choice

Sling (120cm)

Quantity: 2


1.5m long cord and we can sort them out

Quantity: 3


Left and right

Quantity: 2


Water bottles / bladder

2L equivalent. Camelbaks are useful at lower altitudes but have a tendency to freeze up at higher altitudes without insulation tubes, Nalgene bottles are better at altitude

Water purification

Although generally all water is boiled some prefer to double up and add purification tabs as well. Always good to have in your bag


Pee bottle (+ optional Shewee for the girls!)

A good idea if you are storm bound at higher camps. A 1ltr Nalgene bottle is a good option but do make sure you label it as your pee bottle!!

Wash kit

Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Travel towel

Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect

Wet wipes

Preferably biodegradable, these are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past

Alcohol gel

These are great for washing when shower facilities become a thing of the past

Insect repellent

For early stages and once back down

Toilet paper

Provided on the mountain but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between camps


Personal first aid kit

Your own first aid kit should contain: A basic blister kit, plasters, antiseptic, sun-protection, any personal medication, basic pain relief (paracetamol/aspirin/ibuprofen), strepsils, anti-nauseau, a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness etc.

Personal medication

Keep this in your daysack


Head torch

Bring spare batteries

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference but help with your stability and can dampen the pressure on the knees coming down hill


Bring plenty of spare batteries and memory cards

Penknife (optional)

Sewing kit (optional)


No really, it rains a lot out there


For showers in camp or the odd swim



Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity.  With your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel.

Copy of passport

Just in case

Passport photos x 4


This can either be obtained from the Indonesian Embassy in London or on arrival in country. Please refer to the Indonesian Embassy website for further details

Dental check up

We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip. New fillings can be an issue at altitude if there is an air pocket left in the gap


We recommend you take around $300 or so onto the mountain in small denominations. This will allow for tip money plus any extras such as satellite phone calls and emergency funds. Small denominations are recommended as it will be difficult to obtain change and will be easier to divide tip money

Travel insurance

Copy of own travel insurance details.  And relevant contact numbers. We recommend looking into deals offered by the BMC, the Austrian Alpine Club or similar insurers. Team members should take out private insurance that covers you against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons and it is important that the insurance contains coverage for medical evacuations.

Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include: medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip. Please contact the office if you have any queries on insurance for this expedition. We are happy to help.


Food and Water

What is the food like on the mountain?

We have a base camp manager who is also our summit guide and our cook! They work incredibly hard and are multi-tasking and skilled at all of their roles!

Our food will be locally based with a Western twist and we can accommodate dietary requirements. As we are not on the mountain for too long, as climbers we only need to bring our own snacks.

Where does the drinking water come from?

There is a lake at Base Camp that we take water from. While it is clean, we do boil it for sterilisation. It’s is always worth bringing a filtration bottle or sterilisation tablets too. We won’t be short of water!


What sleeping bag rating should we take out?

Your sleeping bag should be rated to a comfort zone of -5C. Note that this is the comfort zone, not the extreme zone. Unusually, you’re better off with a synthetic sleeping bag in this instance, as it will dry more quickly than a down one if it gets wet.

Can I leave items I won’t need for the mountain in storage somewhere?

Yes, a bag with your civvies can be left either at the last hotel, or with the ground support team at their offices.

Are there toilet facilities on the mountain?

There will be a designated toilet tent at our base camp as we are keen to keep our waste in one area. Think a short drop covered by a small but tall tent and your expectations will be managed!

What is our accommodation like in the towns?

Accommodation is going to be pretty basic on this expedition, so temper your expectations, this is the developing world and we’re a long way from the capital. The hotel on arrival in Bali will be comfortable, with two people sharing a twin room unless you’ve requested and paid a single supplement, think something along the lines of a 2-star European hotel. If you are travelling as a singleton, we will team you up with a fellow climber of the same sex.

How big are our tents?

Once we’re at base camp we will have single tents to ensure good rest and acclimatisation. Tents are of great quality and big enough for you and your kit. Base Camp facilities will be basic but comfortable.

Is all my accommodation included in the price?

All accommodation included is stated in the itinerary. However, if we are delayed in Timika due to bad weather, please allow for approx. $80 per night. Hopefully we’ll be lucky and this won’t be the case.

Health and Safety

Do we need to get some jabs for this expedition? What about anti-malarials?

You should make sure your normal travel inoculations are up to date – contact your GP or travel clinic for advice on which ones you need to update. You should also bring out anti-malarial drugs, again contact your GP regarding which type to get.

What about first aid?

Each climber should also bring their own personal medical kit with basics such as plasters, antiseptic, blister patches, ibuprofen/paracetamol, zinc oxide tape. If you take medication for particular conditions, ensure you have a sufficient supply to last the expedition, and carry it in your daypack. We advocate a lot of self-help on the climb.

Should I bring Diamox on the expedition with me?

Although we recommend you come armed with a course of Diamox or other high-altitude drug on this expedition, we do not recommend that take you these as a prophylactic during the trek or climb. We view Diamox as a treatment drug rather than a preventative medicine. Most adventure medics give similar advice, however we do appreciate this can be confusing, as many GPs (who aren’t necessarily mountaineers) do suggest taking it as a prophylactic.

We pride ourselves on designing all our itineraries with acclimatisation very much front and centre and this expedition itinerary has been carefully designed to allow for your body to adjust to the altitude gradually, safely and comfortably. However, if you find that you are still having problems adjusting to the altitude (see our FAQ on Altitude Sickness) then your expedition leader or expedition medic will recommend the correct course of action regarding taking Diamox.

Should I take Diamox?

It is far preferable to take Diamox if and when needed during the course of the expedition. If you are already taking it and then start having altitude related problems you are left with few options but to descend to a more comfortable altitude which sadly often means that the summit is not attainable.

Furthermore, Diamox is a diuretic, meaning you will have to drink a lot of fluid to prevent dehydration. Of course, the upshot of this is you’ll have to pee more which means you’ll probably be having to get up more in the night and take cover behind rocks during the day. Another quite common side-effect is that it can cause your extremities to “buzz and tingle” including your fingers, toes and lips which can feel quite unsettling.  Other side-effects can include dizziness and light headedness with loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Although all these side-effects are manageable when you have symptoms of altitude sickness, we personally believe it is counter-intuitive to take it unless necessary.

Of course, it is totally up to you, this is just our recommendation and we’re not doctors. If you do decide to take Diamox on the advice of your doctor then please do let your leader know in situ so they are aware of this. We also suggest you take the drug for a couple of days a few weeks before travelling so you can experience the symptoms before taking them during the trek.


What gear will I need?

Please review the equipment list. While all items are required there may be times when some of the items on the gear list may not be used (such as warm weather or changing conditions). The gear lists are created by the guides to so that climbers are prepared to summit in any conditions.

The Climb

What is the skill level of this climb?

From base camp, the climb itself follows a direct route up slabs and corners on the north face of the mountain to reach the summit ridge. This lower section of the climb involves scrambling and rock climbing up to grade ‘severe’ (USA 5.4). On the ridge, three notches must be negotiated, the first of which requires abseiling into the notch and jumaring a fixed rope out the other side. Participants therefore need to have appropriate ropework skills and some rock-climbing experience. The last notch is negotiated by a wire rope bridge, exciting!

How long is summit day (hours)?

Summit day on Carstensz is a biggie; you need to prepare yourself for a long day of 12 – 18 hours of climbing on the abrasive and craggy limestone, depending on the conditions and the performance of the group. It will be hard work, but we have contingency days in place to allow for poor weather.

How fit do I need to be for this expedition?

Climbers are expected to be in good physical condition. The better your physical shape the more you will be able to handle the demands of climbing the peak. Having a good level of fitness will allow you to enjoy the expedition far more and increase your chances of reaching the summit. Summit day will be long.


Is helicopter transportation included?

We have included return helicopter costs from Timika to Base Camp within this expedition but it’s possible that unforeseeen helicopter charges will apply.

Due to the nature of this expedition and the fact that the helicopters are not solely used to ferry climbers to and from Timika, there may be occasions where the helicopters are brought in from another job, specifically for our transport. We hope that this is not the case for us but if it is, you need to be aware that there are additional charges which need to be shared between the participants of each helicopter.

Should we need to extend the duration of having the helicopter on standy in Timika, appoximiate costs are $2000 per day.

In the event the helicopter needs to return to base due to sudden deterioration of weather, there will be an additional charge per helicopter, to be shared amongst the clients (circa $3,000pp)


Do I need special travel insurance for the expedition?

You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on the mountain without proof of insurance.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip. To include medical evacuation and coverage up to the maximum altitude of this trip.

Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.

Entry into Country

Do I need a visa to get into Indonesia?

On the assumption you hold a UK passport; you can get your visa on arrival at the airport, which is $35


When is the money due for this expedition? What kind of payment do you accept?

Generally, deposits are due when you book as we need in turn to book. A deposit of $4,500 is due on booking and the balance is due on 28th August 2019.


Is there mobile phone reception when we are out of town towards the mountains?

As soon as we leave town, you’d might as well switch your phone off as there won’t be any signal. Your expedition leader will have one of our satellite phones on him which is mainly for emergency use, although you can borrow it (for a small fee) if you want to make an important call.

Great to meet the 360 team at Rolfe’s adventure talk in London. It’s nice to see your relationship with the clients. It’s not something I’ve come across too often in this industry. I can see why people keep booking with you!

Tom Horrocks
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