Seven Peaks – Seven Islands part VI – Iran Jaya

Carstensz-Pyramid

Here’s the sixth miniblog about my Seven peaks – Seven Islands challenge…

Carstensz Pyramid (4884m-16023ft) is a classic in the mountaineering world.  First sited in 1623 by Dutch explorer Jan Carstensz, it is the highest island peak in the world.

After a deal of flying, in numerous aircraft from international jets to twin otters, I touched down in the small village of Enarotali where I stepped into a helicopter for the final flight.  In the following 30 minutes we crossed over dense jungle, limestone ridges and towering waterfalls, before passing the huge Freeport Mine.  Minutes later we touched down at Base Camp and sprinted out under whizzing blades and dust.

Landing at over 3,600m after being at sea level requires some getting used to, and that takes time.  The climb itself is only a day, but some acclimatisation is a must.  There are many local peaks and walk to help and the scenery is truly stunning.  The rocks are sharp and the flowers beautiful.

Base Camp sits against a glacial lake as is comfortable and well served.  There is a main dining tent which provides excellent food and hot drinks, which are a must.  The sunsets light far away peaks a fiery red and a ghostly mist rises from the freezing waters.

An alpine start is needed to climb Carstensz and I opened my tent zip at 3.30am.  The first section is an easy scramble followed by a long an interesting ridge traverse to the summit.  There are a number of tricky steps and jumar sections to negotiate, before all of Iran Jaya sits below you.

Click here to read my full expedition report…

Want to try the challenge yourself..?  Click here to find out more…

Next time I’ll be heading to my final lek on the island of Madagascar…

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