This expedition was almost half way through the challenge. By this point I had become a pretty reasonable winter mountaineer - easily able to deal with the weather and pretty confident wearing crampons. Rock climbing remained a different matter altogether. I wasn't too concerned about the technical nature of this climb as I have succeeded on tougher climbs whilst training, but the exposure (ie sheer drops) is meant to be extreme here and the ropes that you are relying on aren't always the best. This was always going to be much more of a mental challenge than anything else.
The Carstenz Pyramid is the highest point in the Australasian region (see the various discussion about this on-line) but it was clear to me that you need to have done this to properly claim the 7 Summits. it is also a very different expedition to the others and part of the attraction of the 7 Summits is climbing all round the world and the variety of expeditions in doing so.
The trek through the rainforest with a local entourage is very different to all the other mountains save Kili. There are a number of risks to this as well – including inability of extraction in case of injury and armed conflict between the mine and the local tribes.
There really aren’t many options for this mountain. Some companies offer the opportunity to helicopter in and out of base camp. It is unclear how possible this really is. There are conflicting reports about the availability of helicopters on the island and the perennial mist means that frequently they are unable to fly and, when they do, the mine usually has first call on them.
It takes about a week to get to the mountain through the rain forest – this is very interesting but not necessarily the most pleasant. The mountain itself is a good climb, only a few hours up and down. Then it’s back out through the rainforest.
Accounts and photos of completing the Explorers Grand Slam - 2 Poles and 7 Summits. By Sebastian Merriman. Aconcagua, Ama Dablam, Carstenz Pyramid, Denali, McKinley, Elbrus, Everest, Kosciusko, Kilimanjaro, North Pole, Arctic, South Pole, Antarctic, Antarctica, Vinson, vertigo, climbing, mountaineering, skiing to the pole, skiing to the poles, seb2poles7summits, seb27, Seb Merriman, seb2poles, mountains, poles