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 Alpine Ascents: Carstensz Pyramid (16,023ft/4,884m) Irian Jaya 2007 Summits Details

Hello from Manado! We are back on the island of Sulawesi and it's a beautiful Wednesday morning in Indonesia. We arrived yesterday evening in from Papua with some rain. It seemed to be raining everywhere in Indonesia over the past couple of days. Anyway, we are back and everyone is excited to be wrapping up a successful Carstensz Pyramid expedition.

Last night we made it out for a nice celebration dinner of local seafood. It was quite a feast including our local guide's family. The restaurant was crowded when we arrived but after I lost at spoof during dinner I had to sing 'To Love Somebody' karoake and the diners vacated. Matthew sang 'Imagine' after that and got rid of the last few customers. So we were all alone when Geri, Robin, Matthew and Adrian sang 'Country Roads'. Anyway, check out the photo of the crew and their atrocious John Denver cover!

This morning everyone is hustling around trying to change flights to get home a couple days before the planned departure. Everyone should be pushing out in a couple hours from now.

We had a great time together in this small crew dealing with all of the last minute changes in plans and schedule that go along with this expedition. Hearing about Geri's traverse of the range in '92 and his experiences with the locals added to the experience for sure. Everyone did well on summit day and I couldn't have asked for a better group hanging in there throughout. We enjoyed the extremes of the rain, heat, cold and humidity. I send my true congrats to all four of these adventurers I was with.

I'm sending along photos from BC, the climb, and last night...

Looking forward to the next adventure!

All the best, Dave

11/13/07: Hello from Papua's lowlands! It is Tuesday morning here and we are going to be headed back to Manado on Sulawesi in a couple of hours. We've just had a late breakfast with some great coffee (brewed not instant!) and the gang got a good night's sleep.

Because we did not have reliable phone communications on the mountain I'm sending in an update via the internet about our last few days.

Matthew, Geri, Robin and myself were able to summit Carstensz Pyramid around 10 a.m. on the 11th after spending a couple of nights in BC. Our first full day in BC we were able to get up to the base of the climb and do a couple of pitches reviewing some of the skills for the climb and getting our systems set. Then on the morning of the 11th at 4 a.m. the 4 of us without Adrian headed off for the climb and had beautiful weather the entire way. We were able to see out south to the lowlands and sea as well as north through the rest of the range running east and west around 4000 meters. The glaciers were out in all their splendor and we had perfect views of Puncak Jaya to the northeast of Carstensz Pyramid. Our descent though was through snowfall and rain and by the time we were back at base we were soaked. A standard descent here! Adrian elected to stay down as we wasn't quite acclimitizing as well as needed. His day in BC helped immensely and by the evening when we returned from the summit he was up for try.

Adrian and I set out at 3 a.m. yesterday morning the 12th and were able to arrive on the summit by about 7:45. It was raining significantly when we left BC but by the time we made the summit the rain stopped and only returned when we were very nearly at the base of the final pitches. Yesterday we had many visiting Dani at BC with their brightly colored umbrellas and barefeet in the very wet and cold temps.

We made it back to town yesterday and last night we went out for an obligatory few beers. We will be in touch with photos and more updates as to the trip when we make it back to Manado later this evening. The whole group here is excited about the success. Look for a few photos this evening (our time).

All the best,


11/11/07 From the office: Dave called in to say that he and 4 climbers summited Carstensz Pyramid today. We send our congratulations to the team. Details to follow.

11/9/07: Hello everyone from hot and humid Papua. It is a scorching day here where being out in the sun feel nearly deadly. We have had quite a few days of seeing the sights in Manado, Sulawesi Indonesia before arriving here in Papua yesterday evening.

We were able to pull off a couple of days of snorkeling just off of Bunaken Island near Manado. The reef was spectacular and everyone seemed to have scorched their back similarly except for Robin who was smart enough to wear a t-shirt during the outing. We also had time to find the best bars and food in Manado so that we can go straight there upon our return for a celebration! We also had the opportunity yesterday to enjoy a brand new hotel in Manado with a great pool when we found our original early a.m. flight cancelled. Anyway, we are here now and everyone is psyched.

By tomorrow evening we will hopefully be in BC and in position to make a trip to the summit on the 11th or 12th. We did get a glimpse of the range today from the plane as it was a rare clear day above the mountains. Matthew, Adrian, Geri and Robin are all doing well, taking their malaria medication on schedule, and generally keeping in good spirits. The exception may have been the realization that beers cost the same in Papua as they do at Aconcagua BC! We are having a good time today wandering the hot and dusty streets smiling back and forth with the Papuans as neither of us has any idea what we are saying to each other.

I'm looking forward to another successful year here on the top of Carstensz Pyramid! Keep your fingers crossed with us. We will be in touch as soon as we can!

All the best, Dave


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