One of the most spectacular adventures in Irian Jaya is climbing the glacier covered Puncak Jaya or Carstensz Pyramid. Located in the Mount Lorentz Reserve, it is the highest mountain on the island of New Guinea, on the greater Australian continent and in Oceania.
It is the highest point between the Himalaya and the Andes and the highest island peak in the world. , down to formidably steeps and rugged valleys, many types of forests to the freshwater swamps, and plains and torrid mangrove swamps on the South coast. This is one of the only three places in the world where glaciers can be found at equatorial latitudes.
One can compare the Carstenz massif with the Marmolada except that here ice and snow lay on the south side. The glacier were arranged like an enormous horseshoe around the Carstensz Pyramid, which stood like a narrow knife cut off to the south of the main crest. It is one of the three equatorial glaciers in the world and they all are fast disappearing due to global warming. In the range between the Pyramid and main crest lay two valleys, separated by a rock ridge. The rock consisted of grey limestone, cut by innumerable gullies, and it offered firm holds.
The carstensz summit climb was exciting. It was a mixture of free - climbing, jumaring and scrambling with moderate difficulty, 5.8 for short steps, but most of the climbing is scrambling.
The standard route is up the north face and along the summit ridge, which is all hard rock surface. This carstenz pyramid route follows a series of gullies up the north face for 500m of solid rock before breaking out on the ridge. Riddled with notches, the summit ridge undulates for half a kilometer from this point to pitch and leave a rope fixed to jumar on our return. On our descent we will rappel short distance and down climb most of the way.
The rock is extremely good, rarely loose, and always provides good friction even in wet weather, and it is very abrasive so it necessary to wear gloves while climbing.
It is important that you have basic rock climbing and are comfortable with rappelling and jumaring.