Located on the island of Papua, Indonesia, Carstensz Pyramid (4,884 m [16,024 ft]) is the highest mountain in Indonesia. Included in the famous Seven Summits, lots of people around are eager to reach its top. Carstensz Pyramid is located in the remote area of Papua and requires great planning and good physics beforehand. Carstensz Pyramid peak is the only one, of the other seven summits, which have a rock climbing peak. The Carstensz Pyramid difficulty is not only based on the technical challenge but also challenges to get to the basecamp.
Originally, there are two ways to get to Yellow Valley Carstensz Basecamp:
Trekking to Basecamp
The trekking expedition to the basecamp was originally through Ilaga Village (2.286m asl), a farming valley in Papua. However, due to safety reasons, the starting point to the basecamp then moved to Sugapa Village in 2010. From Sugapa Village, 5-6 days challenging trekking is required to reach the basecamp. You need to trek through the wet and muddy trek. Nevertheless, the beauty of nature is worth the trek. Unfortunately, due to the same safety reason (tribes conflict), trekking through Sugapa Village is also now closed. We will update if it is open again.
Helicopter to Basecamp
The safest, easier, and preferred option to reach the Yellow Valley Basecamp is by chartered helicopter. You will ride a helicopter around 35 minutes from Timika and will easily reach the basecamp. Helicopter flight from Timika is very reliable and safe. We will have a direct view to Mount Carstensz and are supported by weather reports from Timika Airport, Tembagapura & Grasberg. We can also send our team in advance to Yellow Valley if needed, they can give live weather report for a maximum success rate flight. Pleas note that the economist trip runs when the helicopters are available at Timika (There will be a mobilisation fee if you want to get the helicopter from other cities in Papua, thus the cost will be higher).
However, the weather at basecamp is unpredictable and we can’t rightly estimate the duration of your Carstensz Pyramid trekking trip. When the weather is clear and all things go well, you can complete the expedition for 3 days. Nevertheless, in cloudy and bad weather, it will be hard for the helicopter to take-off or make a landing. Climbers need to prepare longer days (around 1 week or more) to anticipate any delayed helicopter expedition due to unpredictable weather conditions. It is recommended to book a flexible international flight.
Helicopter RTB (Return to Base) Cost
Helicopter RTB is a situation when the helicopter fails to arrive at the destination, for delivery or pickup, due to any reason (mainly weather) and has to return to base (Timika). Therefore, the helicopter should do another trip again. The RTB cost can be minimised as long as we are not forced to fly under non-ideal weather. We always send our team in advance to Carstensz Basecamp, so they can give a live weather report for a maximum success rate flight, which will reduce the RTB risk.