Climbing the gap in the summit ridge on the way down. © Harry Kikstra, 7summits.com
The summit of Puncak Jaya (“Victory Peak”) as it is called in Indonesia, better known as Carstensz Pyramid among climbers, stands at 4.884m and is located in the western central highlands of Irian Jaya at a latitude of 4° S. It is the highest peak in Oceana, or the Australasia continent, and in Indonesia. It is also known as Mount Carstensz, named after Jan Carstensz, the Dutch explorer who first saw the mountain and the glaciers from the coast in 1623.
The area is one of only a few present-day, ice-covered equatorial regions. The summit was first reached in 1962 by the Austrian climber Heinrich Harrer and his team. Puncak Jaya is part of the 2.500 km long Pegunungan Maoke or Central Range, home to several peaks almost as high as this mountain.
Join the Norwegian guys in World Wide Vikings on an expedition to Puncak Jaya, the highest peak in Indonesia, also known as Carstensz Pyramid. The expedition took place in December 2002 / January 2003. Carstensz Pyramid is the lowest peak of the Seven Summits (the highest mountains on seven continents), but not necessarily the easiest to climb. The mountain is located in the Indonesian part of New Guinea, and is not easily accessible.
To climb the mountain you will first need a permit from the authorities. This can be a challenge to obtain, and in best case involves a long wait. Several expeditions have experienced this. If you are lucky and granted a permission, you will face a five day walk through dense jungle, and that is before you start climbing. In addition Carstensz is the technically most challenging mountain to climb of the Seven Summits.