Carstensz as a whole is an incredible adventure from beginning to end. It is unique in its own right. There is nothing quite like it. It is neither terribly high nor too cold but our approach through the Papuan rainforest is likely different than anything you’ve done before.
In addition to getting prepared physically for this adventure, mentally preparing for an adventure of this enormity must not be overlooked! Mental readiness is just as important for success. Having travelled abroad many times, my advice is … make this unique adventure fun! This is a long haul adventure, so good preparation and an ever-positive, ever-flexible outlook helps make for a successful expedition. Carstensz is an elusive summit that only opens its top to those with patience and endurance, so work your way up the mountain steadily and carefully, beginning well before ever landing in Papua!
It is useful to know precisely what to expect with regards to the technical climbing. Because the climb includes a substantial amount of rock climbing, a healthy dose of rock climbing should be included in your preparation. While the climbing covers mostly low-fifth class terrain, there is lots of it, some is quite exposed, some of it traverses, and rain/snow (!) may bring an entirely new element to the adventure.
Definitely get out and spend time climbing. Climbing gyms can be a great place to start, but nothing beats time at a local crag.
The skill set you wish to acquire includes:
- Comfort climbing at 5.3 to 5.5 for multiple pitches (8-10)
- Capable of climbing shorter steps (60 feet) at 5.6-5.7
- Belaying with gloves on
- Multiple rappels with gloves on
- Comfort executing a Tyrolean traverse
- Some comfort climbing and rappelling in the rain!
Here are a few more pics to inspire you to get your skill set mastered …