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 is paramount.
Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.
Date & Prices
Pics & Vids
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.
Just because it’s the lowest, don’t let that fool you. Summiting Carstenz Pyramid will be a challenge like nothing you’ve taken on before. The expedition leads us through sweltering equatorial rainforest under gigantic ferns and towering limestone walls. We’ll trek barely visible paths contouring steep gorges, cross bamboo bridges spanning pristine jungle streams, and cool off in turquoise lakes. As we explore deeper into the mountain range’s heart, our group will be supported by the native Moni people, offering a glimpse into a culture little changed since the stone age. You ’ll experience more than you can imagine and that’s before you really start.
The summit attempt is punchy and technical. With support and careful supervision from experienced guides, you’ll ascend ropes fixed over steep rock, abseil into notches cut into the ridge and perform a Tyrolean traverse by pulling yourself upside down across a 50’ gap to the summit. To say this is an unbelievable expedition is the understatement of the year.Find out more
Date & Prices
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.
- International and domestic flights
- Local guides and 360 Leader when applicable
- All accommodation, hotels and tents based on two people sharing
- 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
- Personal equipment
- Tips for staff and guides
- Alcoholic beverages
- Items of a personal nature (laundry etc)
- Lunch and dinner when city based
- Additional porters (these can be hired for individual day stages at a cost of between $120 to $180 for 18kg load)
- Helicopter from Base Camp to Nabire at the end of the trek
- 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 : Depart UK
Meet your leader at the airport in London, ready for the overnight flight to Bali.
DAY 2 : Arrive Indonesia
Arrive relatively late in the day in Bali. We will be met at the airport by a member of our local guiding and porterage team and taken to our hotel for a nap to try to tackle the jetlag.
DAY 3 : Bali - Nabire
No rest for the wicked – we’re off at 1:00am to drive to the airport and a nocturnal flight to Nabire, arriving at around 7am. Once we’ve got our bags we’ll head to our hotel for the day and night where we finally get a decent amount of time to stay in one place and get some rest after a lot of flying. Nabire is a small coastal fishing town.
DAY 4 : Nabire - Bilogai - Soanggama
After breakfast, we head back to Nabire airport for our last flight for a while to Bilogai airstrip in Sugapa Region. From there we’ll be taken about 15 minutes up the road to Mamba village where we finally start our journey proper. Bilogai is at an altitude of approximately 2,300m and we begin gently with a two-hour trek to one of a handful of small villages within Soanggama where we spend our first night.
DAY 5 : Soanggama - Dibasiga / Camp 1 (2,300m)
Today is our first big trekking day with about 7 hours ahead of us, and what will become the norm over the coming days, as we track the river beneath us, skirting around the mountains before we eventually reach Dibasiga and our camp for the night.
DAY 6 : Dibasiga - Endasiga - Endatugapa (3,200m)
It’s uphill all the way today, gaining 1,000m in altitude, as we leave the river and start to head up the mountains towards Endatugapa camp around 7 hours away.
DAY 7 : Endatugapa - Ebai / View Camp (3,400m)
We have a slightly easier day today as the terrain levels out, taking us through fern meadows, savannah and swamps. The Sudirman Mountains will become visible in the distance if the cloud breaks. We camp for the night at Ebai.
DAY 8 : Ebai - Nasidome (3,700m)
We spend another seven hour day covering much the same terrain, but we start to penetrate deeper into the mountain range today, with Ngga Pulu and Carstensz Pyramid itself both coming into view as we reach Nasidome, the night’s camp.
DAY 9 : Nasidome - Danau Danau Valley / Base Camp (4,250m)
After breakfast, we trek up along the edge of Hugayugu Lake situated at 3,900m, then on to Larson Lake (4,550m), before heading over New Zealand pass at 4,700m. Once over the pass we descend back down to Danau Danau Valley Base Camp which is at 4,250m.
DAY 10 : Rest Day and Climb Preparation
A day to relax after some hard trekking, go through our gear and prepare for summit day tomorrow.
DAY 11 : Carstensz Climb - Summit Day
We’ll be up again just after midnight, have “breakfast” while we prepare all our equipment. We’ll set out with headtorches at about 2am. We head for the north face, where some tricky scrambling and climbing up fixed ropes takes us to the ridge.
Once on the ridge we begin our abseil and jumar through the 3 notches to finally reach the top after a Tyrolean traverse. The views from the summit are nothing short of spectacular. The return to camp is an abseil back down the route we ascended.
DAY 12 : Contingency day
This is really in the event that our passage towards the mountain has been slower than anticipated for whatever reason, or poor weather has hampered our summit attempts. These may not be used, in which case additional hotel days are payable by clients and not included in the expedition cost.
DAY 13 : Danau Danau Valley - Nasidome
Hopefully well rested after our summit, we return back to Nasidome over the New Zealand Pass and past Larson Lake.
DAY 14 : Nasidome - Endatugapa Camp
Retracing our steps, it’s back to to Endatugapa Camp.
DAY 15 : Endatugapa Camp - Salt Water Camp
From Endatugapa it’s across the meadows and savannah once more, this time to Salt Water Camp and our last night under canvas.
DAY 16 : Salt Water Camp - Mamba - Sagupa
Our final day of trekking takes us back through Soanggama to Mamba where we are picked up and transferred Indonesian-style back to Sagupa where we can finally enjoy a proper bed once more, and a very welcome beer.
DAY 17 : Flight to Nabire
From Sagupa we take a flight to Nabire
DAY 18 : Fly to Bali
From Manado we finally arrive back in Bali for the final leg of our grueling journey home.
DAY 19 : Fly home
Possible overnight flight or day flight back to UK.
DAY 20 : Arrive UK
Arrive back in London after one hell of an adventure, depending upon the quality of the flight connections.
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.
Bags & Packs
A 120-140L 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
At least 60L capacity. 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
3 Season sleeping bag
You should get a sleeping bag rated to -5C 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
A full length self-inflating rather than ¾ length Thermarest
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
Sun cream will not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burn without proper protection
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
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
These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack
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
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
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
A warm, insulated and preferably waterproof pair of gloves to wear at altitude when it’s cold
Lighter working glove, if possible with a leather or grippy palm
A pair of durable, waterproof gloves that will stand up to the abseils and climbing on the coarse limestone of Carstenz
Loose and high wicking
Lightweight merino wool
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
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
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
Must be very waterproof and have a solid sole and high rand suitable for climbing
Yes really! these can be purchased in Nabire to save your luggage allowance
To protect the tops of your footwear from harsh conditions and to provide some added insulation
Start with lighter socks lower down, working up to thicker pairs for higher up as it gets colder. Some people like a clean pair every day, others are happy to change every other day – that’s a personal choice. Remember you might end up with more wet pairs than you’re used to
Just in case
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
At least 1 screwgate karabiner is HMS
Snap gate Karabiners
Type of karabiners used for climbing
Of your choice
1.5m long cord and we can sort them out
Left and right
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
Purification tablets are better than any other system. Highly unlikely to be needed. 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!!
Keep it simple on the mountain. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!
Travel towels from the likes of Lifesystems are perfect
Preferably biodegradable, these are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past
These are great for washing when shower facilities become a thing of the past
For early stages and once back down
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
The 360 med kits are designed to be used in emergencies and akin to an A&E rather than a pharmacy on Expeditions so please come prepared with useful meds for yourself such as painkillers (Ibuprofen if you can take it and a Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets and any muscle rubs you wish to use.
Keep this in your daysack
Bring spare batteries
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
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
Copy of own travel insurance details. And relevant contact numbers.
We have a partnership with True Traveller and would recommend that you contact them when looking for travel insurance for your trip with 360. However, it is vital that you ensure that the insurance cover they offer is suitable for you, taking your personal circumstances (items to be insured, cancellation cover, medical history) into account. 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.
Will we have porters? How much can they carry?
We will be using porters from the local Dani tribe. They will be carrying in the region of 12kg. However some of this will be group equipment so make sure that your own bag – ideally a soft duffel bag – weighs no more than about 10kg. You will also need to carry a fair bit of your own gear, so your rucksack should be a 40L – 60L capacity. It is important that your rucksacks have an adjustable waist belt to transfer the weight of your daily load onto your hips and from here onto your legs (your strongest muscles) to do most of the carrying. Another handy feature would be a compartment in which to fit a Camelbak or water bladder. Our initial check in luggage should be around 20kg.
How much should we tip the local guides and porters?
Our crew works hard for us and while they are paid well by our local support team, tipping has become a cultural norm in developing countries. Allow for around $120 USD per climber to tip your local team. Tipping the 360 Guide is entirely at your discretion.
Food and Water
What is the food like on the mountain?
We’re in the jungle, quite a way from town so we need to get a bit creative with what we can carry and prepare in the jungle camp environment. Typically breakfast will be bread and jam or porridge with tea and coffee. Lunch will be fairly portable packaged food like cheese, crackers, sardines, salami etc. Later we can tuck into carbohydrate intensive stuff – expect to be served a lot of rice or pasta, stewed vegetables with protein coming in the form of eggs, canned and some fresh meats, with sugars provided by biscuits and chocolate. It’s pretty basic stuff and certainly won’t be winning Masterchef but it will keep you fueled for the days ahead.
I have food allergies, can these be catered for?
Absolutely, please inform the office of any allergies or intolerances and we will ensure that these are taken into account on the trek. Bear in mind that you may be slightly limited in your choices depending on your intolerances.
Where does the drinking water come from?
There is a lake at Base Camp that we take water from. While it is clean, it’s good practice to sterilise it as well. Likewise, if you top up from any streams that we pass, sterilise that as well – while it’s probably not long out of the sky failing as rain, you can’t be sure what’s living in that stream. We will not 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. It is important to remember that sleeping bags work by your own body; heating the insulate down or fibre that is inside the bag. Once you have warmed up the bag its down will retain the heat and ensure that you sleep at a temperature that is your own body temperature. For best results it is best to wear as little as possible when inside your sleeping bag. Our guides will often only wear a set of thermals in their bag. It is important for the bag to trap the heat. By wearing multiple layers of clothing your clothing will trap this heat and your bag will not function properly.
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.
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 in Nabire will be comfortable, with two people sharing a twin room unless you’ve requested otherwise, think something along the lines of a 2 star European hotel.
How big are our tents?
Once we’re in the hills we’ll be sharing 2 man tents and Base Camp facilities will be equally basic and limited. Tent share is always organised according to same sex and where possible age groups. Obviously if climbing this mountain with a friend or partner then you will be able to share tents and if you’re a group we’ll ask you to make your own arrangements. If you have joined the team by yourself then it is highly likely that you will be sharing a tent with your pre-assigned room buddy unless prior arrangements have been made.
Are there toilet facilities on the mountain?
It’s every man and woman for themselves once we’re in the mountains.
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?
We will be carrying a fully-stocked first aid kit on this expedition, however you should also bring your own personal kit with basics like plasters, antiseptic, blister patches, ibuprofen etc. If you take medication for particular conditions, ensure you have a sufficient supply to last the expedition, and carry it in your daypack as the porters will not always reach camp at the same time as you.
We advocate a lot of self-help on the climb. If you have a blister developing for example then please stop take off your boot and treat it before it becomes a problem.
Your own first aid kit should contain a basic blister kit, plasters, sun-protection, your own personal medication (sometimes your porter might get to camp after you and if he is carrying your medication you may not be able to take it according to the regime you are used to), antiseptic, basic pain relief (paracetamol and aspirin/ibuprofen), a personal course of antibiotics if prone to illness. Foot powder in your socks every morning is great for preventing blisters.
Generally the best approach to take when packing your first aid kit is to include such basic medications as if you would on any family or personal holiday.
Your 360 expedition guide carries a very comprehensive first aid kit which contains a wide range of supplies and medications that they are fully trained to use. We advocate keeping this in mind when packing your own first aid supplies and keeping your own FA kit as compact and light as possible.
If a climber is injured who will accompany them down the mountain?
If somebody does injure themselves or become sick during the expedition, they will be taken back down the mountain by one of the assistant guides and dealt with appropriately depending on the severity of the problem.
Our 360 guide and local crew are very experienced in dealing with any problems that may arise. Our guides are either doctors or are qualified with the highest standards of wilderness first aid qualifications and can handle any emergency to the highest level of competency without assistance if necessary.
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.
What is the skill level of this climb?
The trek to Base Camp is through thick, wet, humid, muddy, boggy jungle. 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 rock climbing experience.
What is the ratio of your guides to climbers?
The expedition will be led and overseen by our illustrious Expedition Director and Founder – Rolfe Oostra. Helping him will be our Indonesian guides, working at a ratio of 1 guide for every four climbers.
What are the trekking days like?
The number of miles we cover on the trek to Base Camp varies, but we could be walking for anything from five to nine hours having woken up at around 6am like most expeditions. This is down to the huge variation in terrain, from adhesive mud to limestone plateaus. The paths are slippery, impeded by fallen trees, and indistinct. It will be hot and humid, and by mid afternoon (by which time we hope to be in camp) the heavens will open. Add to that heavy footwear in the form of wellies or similar jungle boots, and you should be reasonably tired by the end of the day.
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. This expedition is more arduous and physically demanding than other 360 expeditions as some load carrying is done by the climbers themselves. 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.
How many climbers are on this expedition?
Never more than 12. Typically a group has between 6 to 8.
What is the best time of the year to climb the mountain? What type of weather can be expected?
Carstensz can be climbed any time of the year. The weather around the mountain is very unpredictable. One day it can be hot, humid and sunny, the next a total downpour, with snow up on the ridge. Temperatures will be anywhere between 30C to -5C. And we kit ourselves out to cater for any of these conditions.
Where do I meet my guides?
Your guide will meet you at the airport. Look for someone wearing a 360 logo!
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.
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 the international flights well in advance. The full amount should be paid four months prior to departure. However having said that, our aim is to get you to the top of this mountain and we understand that personal financial situations can vary. Please contact our friendly office crew to discuss a suitable payment plan should you find raising the funds to be difficult. We have been in your shoes after all and go by the motto of where there’s a will there’s a way.
Is all my accommodation included in the price?
Our itinerary allows for several potential summit days in the in the event of bad weather or other contingency. Should we summit on the first or second day we will arrive back in town earlier than scheduled. Equally, events may dictate that our return is pushed back. In this event your additional accommodation is not included and you should allow approx. £40 per night.
What is your cancellation and refund policy?
Please read 360 expeditions terms and conditions carefully before you depart. 360 expeditions highly recommend trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions. Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits 360 expeditions must adhere to a stringent refund policy.
Do I need any other money?
Take the equivalent of about $200 in USD to cover incidentals, meals away from the mountain that aren’t included in the package price, beers etc. Indonesia isn’t an expensive country.
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. Even that can struggle if you’re in the jungle trying to get signal through the canopy.