Mount Carstensz Pyramid: The Indonesian Summit

Mount Carstensz Pyramid: The Indonesian Summit

Mount Carstensz Pyramid goes on record as one of the hardest summits to conquer in the world. This mountain is known by several names, being the second most popular Puncak Jaya. This is Conquering The Indonesian Summit.

Carstensz Mt Facts

Located in West Papua in Indonesia, the Carstensz Pyramid is 4,884 meters (16023 feet) above sea level and is the highest peak in Indonesia. The mountain records a success climbing rate of 100% and, despite all the difficulties involved, this encourage mountaineers to attempt the Puncak Jaya summit at least once in their life.

  • Weather:

The Mountain weather is generally stable around the year, although there is bad weather sometimes, mountaineers can know what to expect almost every time.

  • Average Temperatures:

At the base of the mountain, the temperature is between 12 Celsius and 37 Celsius (53 to 98 F). By contrast, night temperatures get to as low as -10 Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) at the summit.

Rain and sometimes snow, can be present for several hours during the day, usually from 2 p.m. Climbers should thus, set out for the climb early in the morning so that they can manage to find shelter when the rain starts.

Climbing Mount Carstensz Pyramid

What makes the Punck Jaya climb difficult is that it is located in an extremely remote area and mountaineers have to trek for 5 days through the jungle to get to the mountain.

Some people opt to take a helicopter ride to Zebra Wall from where they begin the climb. This option will obviously cost you more besides posing the danger of altitude sickness for lack of adequate acclimatization (training is essential: click here to see what mountain climbing training is best for you).

  • Mountain Permit and Difficulties:

Aside from the actual difficulty that the mountain presents, there is a serious of government restrictions. On the other hand, the political instability often affects the usability of the mountain.

Mountaineers require several permits from the police, the army and government ministries to access the island and additional permits to climb the mountain.

Mount Carstensz Pyramid
Mount Carstensz Pyramid

Adding to the complicated regulations imposed by the Government to climb the summit, climbers who opt to use a helicopter also need an extra permit for it.

To reduce all the hassle presented, most of the climbers take the easiest way and acquire these permits through services of registered trip organizers. Otherwise, it may take a very long time to acquire the right documentation by yourself.

  • Climbing Season and Expenses:

Fortunate for mountaineers, there is no specific climbing seasons. climbers thinking to attempt this beautiful mountain can give it a go all year round. It costs between $10,000 and $15,000 USD to climb Mount Carstensz Pyramid.

Climbers are advised to plan their trip to the mountain because dates and itineraries often change, especially due to political issues in the region.

Mountain Climbing Routes

There are several climbing routes available for adventures, including the Normal Route (Harrer’s Route), the East Ridge Route and last but not least, the American Direct Route.

  • Carstensz Normal Route or Harrer’s Route:

The Normal Route is being the most widely used. It takes up to 15 hours to ascend and descend on the Harrer’s route, which off course requires an early morning start. It is important to note that this route also includes a bit of rock climbing, so be prepared for this.

  • Carstensz East Ridge Route:

This route is rated as moderately difficult and steeper than the normal route. Climbers on this route have to contend with a lot of lose rocks, a long ascent and narrow sections, making them very complex.

  • Carstensz American Direct Route:

The third route is the American Direct Route, which as its name suggests, provides a direct climb to the summit. However, it is the most difficult route especially as you near the summit, so be aware of this fact before attempting this route. Just remember, it is never late to think twice and reassess your chances, even considering the fact of climbing down and taking a less difficult one, if required.

Carstensz Pyramid Summit
Carstensz Pyramid Summit

Between trekking to the base of the mountain and climbing the mountain itself, mountaineers should plan for at least 15 days. Climbers can set camp at the Meren valley to rest and create a plan on how to climb to the summit. There is also a base camp at 4300 meters (14107 feet) to help climbers acclimatize as they head to the peak.

Mount Carstensz Pyramid may be hard to access but the expedition is worth all the trouble you might endure to conquer one of the 7 Summits of the world.


Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro could be challenging. There are several factors that you need to consider before attempting to climb this mountain. If you are planning on taking the challenge, here are seven (7) facts you should know beforehand and to embrace your mind.

1. First things first, facts about Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is perched high on the pantheon of the world’s tallest mountains (5,895 m above sea level). It’s been feted as Africa’s highest point, the world’s freestanding mountain, one of the Seven Summits. It is the highest (in Africa) and most scenic points, an amateur can ascend without any prior technical training. While climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is tedious and daunting, the views from the summit are awe-inspiring and beatific. That moment you stand at the peak will etch itself in your memory, forever.

2. What weather to expect when climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

The temperatures on Mount Kilimanjaro oscillate between 80 0F and -20 0F. Hikers usually describe the journey from the foot to the peak as something akin to traveling from the equator to the Antarctica, just in under a few days. That is because the routes to
Uhuru Peak, the highest point of the mountain, cross various ecological zones; in fact, five of them.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Each of Mount Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones is approx 1000 m in altitude, and each zone correspondingly decreases in temperature, rainfall, and wildlife with every increase in altitude. Moshi, which is the gateway town to the mountain, is situated 900 m above sea level, and occupies the warmest ecological zone (80 0F).

3. Trail Conditions

The trails on Mount Kilimanjaro are usually well maintained and tarmacked so much so that you don’t require any technical skills to make the ascent. Despite of this, there are a few spots where you’d need to crawl a little, such as the optional lava tower climb, the western breach approach, and the Barranco wall. Bad weather conditions do complicate matters. Climbers should prepare physically and psychologically to trek through any kind of weather, be it fog, snow, rain, and any type of ground conditions, (e.g, muddy, loose, dusty, snowy, wet, or icy).

Trails on Mount Kilimanjaro
Trails on Mount Kilimanjaro

Along the way you’ll meet wooden structures constructed around deep holes dug onto the ground. These serve as toilets where you can relieve yourself in a squatting or standing position. Keep in mind that, they are not the most clean toilets.

4. Accommodation

Where will you put up during the climb? Tours will provide you with four-season tents that you can use during the trek. The Mountain Hardwear Trango tents are especially suited for this kind of expeditions. They are often a standard issue for base-camp shelters on mountain expeditions worldwide.

kilimanjaro 6

5. Guidance to embrace the Summit

According to experts, only about 65% of climbers who dare to summit the mountain, actually reach the peak. The chances of reaching the highest peak increase if you opt for the right tour operator. It’s been made compulsory to climb the mountain with a guide or chaperone. Remember, when choosing your guide, prioritize safety over cost.

6. Very important – choosing routes

When climbing mount Kilimanjaro, selecting the route is THE MOST important decision you have to make. Overall, there are seven main routes to get to Kilimanjaro’s peak. Each of them varies from the others in terms of traffic, scenic beauty, and difficulty. Other factors you have to consider are time, money, preparation and, personal preference.


Based on the experiences from other climbers, we are giving an overall of the available routes in the following order (from most difficult to the “easiest”):

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - Routes
Kilimanjaro Routes

Mostly, the ascent starts in Moshi, which is a town found at the base of the mountain to the south, at approx. 3,000 feet above sea level. It is a short drive from the Kilimanjaro International Airport.

kilimanjaro 1

Take your time to choose the most suitable route for you. It is worth noting that routes with the highest success rate are often the ones that take climbers longer to ascend gradually, hence, permitting climbers to acclimatize to changes in altitude.

7. Getting ready for the action

Lastly, you need to prepare for high altitudes by rigorous physical training (click here to see mountain climbing training program) at least two months before the expedition. High altitude training will help you to per-acclimatize at home.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is well-nigh one of the most demanding expeditions, but the experience, thrill, and views from the summit make the trouble worthwhile and livable.