Carstensz Pyramid, composed of limestone, has seven faces. Several routes ascend Carstensz. The Harrer or Normal Route is the usual route up the mountain. Its ascent and descent usually takes 12 to 15 hours. It ascends mostly solid rock up the north face to a long jagged ridge, which is followed to the summit. The ridge poses the most difficult climbing sections, requiring technical climbing skills up to 5.9 depending on the exact route taken. Commercial trips usually fix ropes over all these sections so less experienced climbers can climb the rope with ascenders.
The other two routes are the East Ridge, a long scrambling route, and The American Direct, which is a long steep climb directly up the North Face to the summit. This route offers 5.10 climbing on steep limestone that is difficult to protect due to the absence of crack system. The final headwall below the summit is the most difficult section.
Good thing that you have several choices of routes to take to reach the summit, which is considered as the most technically challenging mountain of the Seven Summits. The different Climbing Routes give you almost every kind of Climbing challenge you need. Do you want the high level of difficulty thrown at you by the East Ridge or would you prefer a more straightforward Route? The choice is yours.
We lead our clients to the top of the Carstensz Pyramid using the simpler route, the “normal” one. Climbing the summit of the Carstensz Pyramid using the “normal” route takes about 12 – 15 hours including return to the Base Camp. It is therefore a one-day trip. We can use the remaining days to climb other summits, Puncak Jaya, which has a glacier right on the summit. Despite the fact that the Carstensz Pyramid and Nga Pulu lies almost on the equator, you can even go skiing.
on August 2008, Hans Florine and Charley Mace made New Climbing Route to Carstensz
Climbing Carstensz is held to have the highest technical rating, though not the greatest physical demands of that list's ascents. (However, you need great physical preparation for the trekking). The standard route, which is all hard rock surface, is up the north face and along the summit ridge.
The rock climbing difficulty on Carstensz is up to 5.8 for short steps, but most of the climbing is scrambling. It is important that you have basic rock climbing skills and are familiar with rappelling and jumaring. Short technical sections will need fixed lines allowing you to either free climb on top rope or jumar. You need to know how to jumar. Although there are many fixed ropes on the route, the crux involves abseiling into and jumaring out of a notch on the ridge.
Carstensz Pyramid climbing is using fixed rope, artificial climbing skills is very important here. Please pay attention to the recommended climbing equipment, make sure you bring everything in that list. These will provide safety climbing and best summit chance.
First pitch for the first rope is 1.5 hours from the Base Camp, walking up to the foot step of the summit. Climbing the first rope will need ascender to climb up 55? wall for about 60m high. You will do this climbing trough some rope until you get the big terrace, this flat terrace give rest advantage before start summit pitch. To get the summit pitch will be need 15 minutes walk on rock (basically the terrain is rock, sharp and wet).
Ascending to summit will be more difficult with up to 60? wall and 45-50m high, this will take you to summits ridge. Safe your power by moving slowly but sure or follow your optimum tempo. From the summit ridge you can see the landscape of mining below, the virgin rain forest jungle of Papua. However you can all of these only in the clear day and no cloud below the summit ridge.
You are walking on the Ridge to get the Carstensz Pyramid Summit, the path here is only 2-3m wide - walk carefully. From this point need about 1,5 hours to the summit. Before get the summit the climbing will be more difficult, you should pass 3 creck. There is two options to pass these creck, with higher difficulty level then the first climbing. First is rappelling down, walk pass the bottom of this creck and ascend in a vertical ascending (about 8m). The other way is crossing this by a line bridge using pulley and belay rope. This is very interesting and challenging part. After pass this most difficult part, you are in the summit step.
The way back is more easy, usually need only half from the climbing time to the summit. However, you need more concentration after spending much power to get the summit.