Ever toyed with the idea of climbing Carstensz Pyramid?
Reading Sacred Summits (Peter Boardman, 1982) years ago kindled my curiosity regarding Carstensz Pyramid in New Guinea. At that time, the “Seven Summits” idea hadn’t caught yet on as Dick Bass hadn’t completed his quest to stand on top of the seven continental high points. He finally reached the summit of Everest on April 30, 1985 and wrote his now classic Seven Summits in 1986, thereby inspiring many others to follow his footsteps. (Many now include Carstensz as the seventh summit rather than Australia’s Mt. Kosciusko, as Bass had, but Bass can be credited with putting the whole Seven Summits idea into the climber’s playbook.)
It was Geoff Tabin’s Blind Corners (2002) that fired my interest again. Actually, it was Geoff’s striking stories and affable personality that really charged me up. The guy has a lot of good energy! However, I was training for other climbs at the time and Carstensz slipped out of my mind again.
It wasn’t until I was climbing Mt. Rainier in Washington State and met a woman who grew up in western New Guinea that I first entertained any serious ideas of climbing Carstensz. Sure, I feel a little intimidated by all the stories. Boardman and Tabin were far more adventurous than I sought to be. And my friend Amy LOVES and knows this land of jungles and rain and remote tribal peoples as her home.
Over the past year, and quite excitedly, I’ve spent significant time delving into and discovering this land and its peoples, communicating with folks who live there, and coming to the decision to visit and attempt to climb Carstensz Pyramid.
I’ve set this blog up to share some of what I’ve learned as I prepare, to serve as a resource, whether to excite the armchair mountaineer or the individual who also one day hopes to plant their feet on this amazing piece of our planet.