James Clarke at CP
summit July 8, placard in picture. Carstensz Pyramid, 16,023ft
(4,884 m), is located in Irian Jaya and the highest Peak of
Oceania, therefore one of the Seven Summits. The Indonesian
government stopped issuing climbing permits there in
2002/2003. Image courtesy of James Clarke (click to
Out of the fog:
James at summit. Believed to be the first legal foreign
expedition since 2002, American climbers James Clarke, Pat
Hickey and Randy Peeters teamed with Indonesian Franky Kowass
and overcame significant legal and logistical challenges to
gain access to the remote 5000 meter peak, located in the
highlands of Indonesia's Papua province. Image courtesy of
James Clarke (click to enlarge).
negotiates ridge. Bringing years of big-wall experience,
Peeters inspected the fixed lines and anchors and moved
everyone efficiently up to the 'halfway terrace'. Owing to the
length and nature of some of the pitches, communication was
frequently difficult. Clarke succeeded in locating the route
above the terrace and led to the long summit ridge, reaching
it just at dawn. Image courtesy of James Clarke (click to
Franky Kowass at
summit-ridge. Safe, legal and successful - an American team,
facilitated by Franky Kowass of Manado Adventures, re-opened
Indonesia's Carstensz Pyramid to foreign climbers with
successful summits on Friday, July 8th. Image courtesy of
James Clarke (click to enlarge).
01:17 pm EST Jul 13, 2005 "Three were on the ridge on and one on the ground.
An arm's-length out and overside the banked fog held them bound."
Kipling's "Rhyme of the three sealers" is easy to adapt
to the first legal climb in years of the Carstensz Pyramid last
week. They transmitted the first report to ExWeb from Singapore a
few days back (yesterday's story), and today the climbers landed in
California - shooting over those pictures.
Although there is
still no permit currently available for future climbs according to a
commercial outfitter, this ascent was not only a scoop - but
possibly a door opening back into Irian Jaya.
report on exactly how they did it is expected by the end of the
week, till then check out the images.
Safe, legal and successful - an American team, facilitated
by Franky Kowass of Manado Adventures, re-opened Indonesia's
Carstensz Pyramid to foreign climbers with successful summits on
Friday, July 8th.
Believed to be the first legal foreign
expedition since 2002, American climbers James Clarke, Pat Hickey
and Randy Peeters teamed with Indonesian Franky Kowass and overcame
significant legal and logistical challenges to gain access to the
remote 5000 meter peak, located in the highlands of Indonesia's
several weeks of planning, Kowass secured the "Surat Jalan" - travel
permit(s) - from federal officials in Jakarta. Once the Americans
arrived in Indonesia's easternmost province, Kowass then negotiated
a series of provincial and district police approvals across Papua.
The team acclimatized in Enarotali for several days while Kowass and
Clarke worked through significant complications to coordinate the
necessary helicopter transport to the remote mountain. No overland
access was granted by the authorities out of ongoing concern over
political unrest in the region.
After a series of
frustrating setbacks, on Wednesday, July 6th the team deployed in a
chartered helicopter to Zebra Wall (just outside of Freeport Mine
territory) and trekked up to Lakes Valley base camp later that day.
Peeters and Clarke reached the
summit just before 9 am with Kowass and Hickey approximately one
hour later. Heavy rains caught all four climbers on the descent.
Nevertheless, everyone was elated to have achieved the summit of
Carstensz. The Americans departed Timika on Sunday and returned to
the United States today. A European team, also facilitated by
Kowass, arrived on the mountain that morning.
climbers agreed that accessing this peak -- the most technical of
the seven summits -- will continue to pose considerable obstacles.
One very bright spot was the friendliness and support of all of the
Indonesian people and officials encountered along the way. Before
departing, the Americans again expressed their gratitude to Franky
Kowass for his critical and untiring efforts to make the climb
Carstensz Pyramid, 16,023ft (4,884 m), is
located in the western central highlands of Irian Jaya and is the
highest peak in Oceania, Australasian continent, making it one of
the 7 summits. In order to climb Carstensz one must secure the
proper permits. This region, however, has had “limited and
frustrating access throughout its history”, said Gordon Janow,
Director of Programs for Alpine Ascents last year.
Kikstra of 7summits.com said he was the last one to receive an
official permit (for 6 Norwegians in Dec 2002) and got another
permit that was canceled at the last moment due to security reasons.
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